Make your own free website on

Porphyria Educational Services

Vol. 1 No. 50                                     December 5, 1999
Focus: Hyponatremia

                Often patients suffering from severe attacks of
acute hepatic porphyria will  run into trouble with an imbalance
of their electrolytes.  One problem that presents is that of

                Hyponatremia means that the patient has less than
the normal amount of sodium in the blood.  Often this is caused
by having too little excretion of water oir by too much water in
the bloodstream.

                In severe cases the patient may develop wayter intoxication\
which is accompanied by confusion and lethargy, leading to muscle
spasms, convulsions, and sometimes a coma.

                The normal treatment for hyponatremia is by an intravenous
injection of a balanced solution.

                Sometimes people will refer to hyponatremia as
dilutional hyponatremia (SIADH) or as a syndrome of
inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion; SIADH.

                Hyponatremia is a disorder of fluid and electrolyte
 balance caused by excessive release of antidiuretic hormone (ADH).

                Fluid and electrolyte imbalance in this syndrome result from
the inability to excrete dilute urine, retention of water within the body,
and low sodium levels.

                While there are many causes for hyponatremia, with the most
common cause being a type of lung cancer called "oat
cell," other causes include pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer,
 Hodgkin's disease, central nervous system disorders such as the acute
hepatic porphyrias, pulmonary disorders, certain drugs, thymomas, myxedema,
and psychosis.

                The risk factors are related to the causes pf hyponatremia.
The incidence of hyponatremia  is about 7 out of 10,000 people.

[PDY 1999]