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We do not report on sodium levels in fingerprick samples. This is because there is a small chance of a lower than expected result.

Sodium is both an electrolyte and a mineral. It helps to regulate the water and electrolyte balance of the body, and is therefore an important factor in blood pressure and pH. It also plays an important role in the function of nerves and muscles. Sodium levels in the blood are regulated by the kidneys.

What might a low result mean?

Too little sodium is often caused by fluid retention (oedema) or reflects loss due to vomiting, diarrhoea or excessive sweating.

Low levels of sodium can also be caused by a reduction in hormones such as aldosterone, which normally act to increase sodium levels in the blood. A condition in which insufficient aldosterone is produced is Addison's disease, where the adrenal glands are not functioning efficiently.

What might a high result mean?

Elevated levels of sodium in the blood is usually due to dehydration. This is because a reduced amount of water in the body makes blood and fluids far too concentrated with sodium.

Raised levels of sodium in the blood can also indicate that the kidneys are not working properly.