Dehydration vs Hyponatremia: What’s The Difference

Updated: Mar 8

A well-known fact about the body is that it is made up of 60% of water. Water plays a huge role in the function of the human body.

According to an article, “The Water in You: Water and the Human Body,” published by Water Science School, the brain and heart are 73% water, the lungs are 83% water, skin is 64% water, the muscles and kidneys are 79% water, and bones are 31% water.

It is recommended for males to consume roughly 3 liters and females 2 liters of water on a daily basis. An additional 3 to 4 liters may need to be consumed to replenish and hydrate your body if you exercise. If your body is not properly hydrated it can lead to dehydration. In rare cases, you can flood your system with too much water and become hyponatremia.

What is Dehydration

When your organs are deprived of fluids and unable to properly function your body is dehydrated. Not only is water imperative for your body to function normally, but so are electrolytes. The body needs a certain amount of water to electrolyte ratio to work adequately.

To upset the balance between water and electrolytes can lead to experiencing symptoms of dehydration. Fluid excretion can tip the scales through sweating, breathing, and urination. The three most common causes of dehydration are sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea. Depending on how the scale dips, there are three types of dehydration.

Types of Dehydration

Isotonic Dehydration

Both water and sodium levels are low. Your body has lost an equal amount of water and electrolytes.

Signs and Symptoms of Isotonic Dehydration

  • Decreased blood pressure

  • Central venous pressure (blood flow to and from the heart)

  • Tachycardia (fast heart rate)

  • Central nervous system ischemia (insufficient blood flow to the brain)

  • Oliguria (reduced urination)

  • Dry mucous membranes (dry nose)

  • Dry skin

  • Reduced skin turgor

  • Hypovolemic shock (severe cases)

Hypertonic (Hypernatremia) Dehydration

The concentration of sodium is much higher than the volume of water in your body.

Signs and Symptoms of Hypertonic Dehydration

  • Extreme thirst