Ep7: Hyponatremia (SALT LOSS)

nursing mnemonic podcast




Anorexia, N&V


Tendon Reflexes decreased


Limp muscles (weakness)

Orthostatic hypotension


Stomach cramping


hyponatremia nursing mnemonic

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Podcast Transcription

Alright this next mnemonic is to help you to remember the signs and symptoms of hyponatremia. So, first, let me define what a hyponatremia is, it is decreased levels of sodium in the blood. It can be caused by inadequate sodium intake or excessive free water which leads to lower concentrations of sodium. Sodium and potassium work together to allow depolarization of muscles. Low sodium levels can limit this ability and cause muscle weakness. Sodium in the blood helps maintain the oncotic pressure. If fluid leaves the blood vessels, it can lead to decreased blood pressure. And as a neuro ICU nurse, I have definitely seen my fair share of hyponatremic patients. It’s very interesting to see what a loss, just a loss of sodium will do to the level of consciousness and the way a person acts. I’ve seen very low levels of sodium in those people that are just so out of it. So, it’s pretty incredible how one electrolyte can really profoundly affect somebody’s clinical presentation. So, my mnemonic to help you remember, this is pretty easy, it’s SALT LOSS. SALT LOSS. So, I’ll tell you what all my letters stand for here. So, S – Stupor or Coma. These patients are out of it. When you have severe hyponatremia, these patients can even be comatose. So, S – Stupor or Coma. A – Anorexia and nausea and vomiting. And the way you can kinda remember those is anorexia kinda goes with bulimia. And with bulimia, you have vomiting. So, A – Anorexia, coma, nausea and vomiting. L – Lethargy, so these patients are lethargic and then they can progress to stupor and then coma. And then T – Tendon reflexes decreased, so that’s the SALT. Stupor, Anorexia, Lethargy, Tendon reflexes decreased.


And then for LOSS, L – Lymph muscles. So, muscle weakness. O – Orthostatic Hypotension. S – Seizures/Headache. These patients just from a low sodium can have seizure activity which is pretty interesting. And the second S is Stomach cramping. So, Lymph muscles, Orthostatic Hypotension, Seizures/Headache and Stomach cramping. So, that is SALT LOSS.


This has been another episode of the nursing mnemonics podcast by NRSNG.com with your host, Katie Kleber, RN, CCRN. To grab all of our nursing cheat sheets, head over to NRSNG.com/freebies. That’s NRSNG.com/freebies. Thank you so much for being here today. We love you guys. We thank you so much. We want to see you guys succeed. Listen, we’re all in this together. Now, go out and be your best self today. Happy Nursing.

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