Hyponatremia and Central Pontine Myelinolysis

What is hyponatremia? Information regarding CPM and EPM.

Research and Links:

Technology is a magnificent thing, when it works. Today, I’m using my cellphone to start this post. It most definitely will need to be edited from my home PC. The reason: my laptop won’t allow me to connect to the internet. Frustratingly, I have no idea why, and I have spent most of last night and this afternoon trying to figure it out. Obviously, I haven’t, and after so much time fruitlessly invested, I’m at the moment restraining myself from stomping, throwing, and crushing it into 300-$1.00 pieces.

I should have realized that spending less on a laptop than a cellphone won’t buy you the best laptop on the market, but I really thought I would at least be able get online and write papers. Lesson learned.

Before I started the laptop rant, I was prepared to describe how long it takes me to write these brief posts. Before developing CPM, I could write approximately 3 full pages in 45 minutes. Now, I’m lucky if I can write 8 paragraphs in 2 to 3 hours. Now, that is frustrating!

Since developing CPM, my ability to communicate what I think clearly is significantly compromised. Some hours are better than others, but that also adds to my complete frustration. In this world,  you can’t call your employer and say, “I’m sorry. I’m not able to think through anything today. I won’t be coming to work. Maybe tomorrow.” Obviously, the world doesn’t work that way. It can’t.

Let me stress that, I don’t believe my intelligence has been impacted but my ability to recall information but the ability to communicate my thoughts have. It’s extremely stressful when you can’t say what you feel. At times, when I am under significant stress, I have been reduced to monotone grunts and sputters.  That’s not an exaggeration. I make absolutely no sense.

Ok, so I’ve gone on several rants and haven’t relayed any facts, and that’s really what I want to focus on right now.

I want to start posting some of the links that you can access some of the information I have. I am attaching links for the Toronto study from PubMedhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20142578.  This study is pretty recent, Feb. of 2010.

At this time, I still haven’t received any word from any of the local hospitals from which I requested their hyponatremia statistics. I’m not really surprised, but I will try again tomorrow.

Regarding sports athletes:


The following link is in regards to a study performed on the 2002 Boston Marathon Runners.  Thirteen percent of 488 participants developed severe hyponatremia. Wow, right?!!


Another marathon study for hyponatermia. This was also a 2002 study done by University of Pittsburgh:


A recent study, June 2011, regarding hyponatremia and antidepressants. I really didn’t know that antidepressants would cause hyponatremia, so this study took me by surprise. I know A LOT of people who take antidepressants. It’s actually the most commonly prescribed class of drugs. This is really scary.


The risk in the Elderly:


I found this article, EXTREMELY interesting. It’s a September 2011 interview with the vice president (a doctor) of a hospital consulting company:


Hyponatremia and it’s impact on children:


Hyponatremia and Alcoholics. I also wanted to let you know, it frequently occurs in drug addicts as well:


I am going to pull important information from the following link. I think it really puts into perspective, how alcohol impacts blood sodium levels:


Alcohol consumption can have pharmacological effects on water and sodium metabolism. The effects of alcohol on sodium and water balance may differ with acute alcohol intake, chronic alcohol intake, or acute withdrawal from chronic alcohol abuse.

As the blood alcohol level rises with acute alcohol intake, a transitory increase in the elimination of “free water” (water without salts) by the kidney occurs (Rubini et al. 1955), resulting from inhibition of the release of antidiuretic hormone (ADH). As the plasma alcohol level decreases, urinary flow is reduced (Nicholson and Taylor 1938). Concomitant stimulation of water intake (Sargent et al. 1978) causes significant water gain. This water retention occurs together with sodium retention (Nicholson and Taylor 1938; Sargent et al. 1978) due to increases in the reabsorption of sodium by the kidney.

Animal studies involving chronic alcohol intake have shown significant retention of water, sodium, potassium, and chloride after the first week of daily alcohol ingestion (Beard and Knott 1968). Urine output does not decrease, but fluid ingestion is stimulated.

During acute withdrawal following chronic alcohol abuse, urinary elimination of sodium, chloride, and water increases (Beard and Knott 1968). The augmented urinary flow eliminates the fluid and electrolytes that were retained in excess during alcohol abuse.

I hope this post emphasizes the fact that at some point nearly EVERYONE will develop hyponatremia. I hope that listing these links, you may realize, I am not over exaggerating anything.

I believe it is absolutely fundamental that everyone is educated on the risk factors and what the proper treatment is. Tomorrow, I promise, I will explain everything I know about how hyponatremia should be treated. I will also provide my best insights on how some treatments may induce CPM, and what I believe would be extremely important considerations to discuss with your doctor if you are being treated for it.


UPDATE: 04/20/12—-I just wanted to include this link. It’s a link for Tufts Medical School. It outlines what happens in hyponatremia. It gives a great explanation for the medical aspects of hyponatremia. I would consider this a really great condensed version of things I’ve written about so far: http://ocw.tufts.edu/data/33/497472.pdf

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