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Postby graham » Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:56 am

Dear All,

This weekend at the Boston Invitational, Lucy Moore, a player on Bliss who had come across from the UK for the event, ended up in intensive care with Hyponatremia (low sodium levels). After a worrying 36 hours during which she was she was very disorientated and unable to recognize visitors/understand where she was, she is improving and is awake and alert and has been moved to a non-intensive care ward.

For those that don't know, hyponatremia is caused by low sodium levels
(or other electrolytes) in the body. If left untreated it can be very
dangerous and eventually fatal. Ultimate players at hot weekend tournaments are particularly at risk given the nature of the sport and tournament structure. How to avoid hyponatremia is very much dependent upon the physiology of the individual, however, drinking large quantities of water without either isotonic supplementation or food/salty snacks during the day can be very dangerous.

A previous case of hyponatremia was well publicized in the UK after a player nearly died in Heilbron at the European clubs in 1999. I’ve copied the link to the medical advice that was recommended after that case: ... 00196.html

and below is advice I have copied from the american college of sports medicine.

Look after yourselves,


Hot Summer Heat: Workers and Athletes Must Hydrate Properly, Experts
Urge As
the heat of Summer rises, runners be properly hydrated, according to
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

Seeking to clarify complex issues involving hydration for athletes, the
reiterated its statements on hyponatremia and dehydration for athletes
during endurance events. Hyponatremia is a dangerous condition that may
arise when athletes consume too much water or sports drinks, diluting
disrupting the body's sodium levels.

ACSM experts in sports medicine and exercise science point out that
hyponatremia is a serious concern, excessive fluid consumption
resulting in
hyponatremia is unlikely to occur in most athletes, and hydration is
important for all active people. Water and sports drinks, when consumed
recommended, are not dangerous to athletes.

Appropriate fluid intake before, during and after exercise is important
help regulate body temperature and replace body fluids lost through

"Runners should follow a hydration plan based on their sweat losses
training, and slow runners in particular should take care not to drink
beyond that level during exercise," said Larry Kenney, Ph.D., FACSM.

He also advised runners to consume salty snacks before and after the
race to
replace any sodium lost during exercise. ACSM's current hydration
state that those exercising for more than one hour may benefit from
drinks, which replace carbohydrates for energy.

Generally, says Kenney, a a past president of ACSM and an expert on
hydration and related issues, persons participating in typical athletic
work environments should continue to heed current hydration guidelines.

"There are dangers associated with both extremes of behavior - severe
under-drinking and severe over-drinking. Not drinking at all is not a
option for preventing hyponatremia."

The key, he said, is "drinking intelligently, not drinking maximally."

Dehydration resulting from the failure to replace fluids during
exercise can
limit the body's ability to regulate body temperature by sweating
skin blood flow, and may contribute to heat exhaustion, heat injury,
exertional heat stroke.

To minimize the potential for thermal injury, ACSM experts recommend
athletes attempt to replace fluid losses by consuming fluids at a rate
to the sweat rate. This can be accomplished by athletes weighing
before and after the exercise bout. Recommendations are based on
data and observation of athletes suffering from heat injury.

ACSM experts also contend that active people, not just endurance
should be mindful of the need for hydration during activity and
exercise in
the heat and humidity. Those at risk for dehydration and its
such as hikers, skiers and landscapers, can safely continue their
following the ACSM guidelines.

ACSM's Position Stand, "Exercise and Fluid Replacement," is the fourth
of fluid replacement guidelines and recommendations for fluid ingestion
the prevention of heat injury during exercise. Published in Medicine &
Science in Sports & ExerciseR, it is the product of scientific data and
expert consensus on the subject.
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