Q. How does high sodium levels affect heart patients?

Answered by
Dr. Aida Abaz Quka
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 08, 2020

Hello doctor,

My mom had a heart attack at my house. They did a stunt and then she had some brain bleed and had mini strokes. She was in a coma and recovered, even had a temporary tracheotomy. She went to a rehab facility and was very dehydrated so bad she had to go to the ER. The doctor said her sodium was the highest he had seen.

Well, as they slowly dropped it she began to talk again with her voice. Then as the sodium levels got back to normal she had started whispering again. Do you have any answers for this or anything that can help me? She is currently under Synthroid, depression medicines, and anxiety medicines.



Welcome to

I understand your concern and would explain that it is quite normal to have high sodium levels due to dehydration. Anyway, there is no reason to lose voice while rehydration, which causes the normalization of sodium levels. Anyway, the changes in concentration of sodium can lead to temporary brain dysfunction, due to swelling of brain cells or their shrinkage, depending on sodium concentrations. This may be a possible explanation of what has happened, as her brain was accustomed to high sodium levels and then the drop in such levels could have lead to a local brain cell swelling in some region of the brain, which is more susceptible (due to previous damage).

I hope this helps.

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