Heatwave: what is hyponatremia, the complication linked to high heat which can be dangerous?

The Ministry of Health issued a warning message on Monday July 18 specifying that it was necessary to pay attention to the excessive consumption of water.

Faced with the heat wave and the high temperatures, it makes sense to hydrate more than usual and this is what is recommended.

However, a warning message issued by the Ministry of Health warns against excessive water consumption which could be a source of hyponatremia, especially during heat waves, for some people.

#Heat wave | Excessive water consumption can be a source of#Hyponatremia.

u26a0 Elderly, chronically ill, people taking certain medications:
consult your doctor to adapt your diets and drug treatments. pic.twitter.com/VD1dlPmbhv

– Ministry of Solidarity and Health (@Sante_Gouv) July 18, 2022

What does it consist of ?

What is hidden behind this medical term? Hyponatremia is the decrease in the concentration of sodium in the blood.

Simply put, it’s when the body contains too little salt compared to the amount of water present in the body.

And this can be dangerous for health.


The symptoms are numerous. Initially, he has abnormal fatigue, followed by nausea and vomiting, before the appearance of swellings on the skin like oedemas.

But then, the symptoms can very quickly be much more serious: they are disorders of consciousness, mental confusion, convulsions which can go as far as coma.

What should be done ?

To avoid this type of complication, it is necessary to apply certain actions: do not exceed 1.5 L of water per day in addition to foods already rich in water, vaporize the skin and ventilate it, eat sufficient and balanced way, avoid going outside at the hottest hours and check the drug treatment with your doctor.

[Vague de #chaleurs] Elderly, chronically ill, people taking certain medications:
u2705Discover the simple actions to protect yourself from#hyponatremia.
ud83dudd0eConsult your doctor to adapt your diets and drug treatments. pic.twitter.com/sHL0rb5bh9

– Ministry of Solidarity and Health (@Sante_Gouv) July 23, 2019

People at risk

Of course, in case of strong heat it is recommended to stay hydrated. But some people should not follow these recommendations.

The elderly may be affected, as well as people with chronic diseases having, for example, renal, cardiac, hepatic, respiratory insufficiency, etc.

But there are also people who take medication such as diuretics or psychotropics for example.

If in doubt, just contact a doctor.

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