How does hypothyroidism and adrenal insufficiency cause hyponatremia?

Updated: Jun 17, 2019
  • Author: Eric E Simon, MD; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Severe hypothyroidism (unknown mechanism, possibly secondary to low cardiac output and glomerular filtration rate) and adrenal insufficiency are also associated with nonosmotic vasopressin release and impaired sodium reabsorption, leading to hypotonic hyponatremia. Hyponatremia associated with cortisol deficiency, such as primary or secondary hypoadrenalism, commonly presents subtly and may go undiagnosed. A random cortisol level check, especially in acute illness, can be misleading if the level is normal (when it should be high). Testing for adrenal insufficiency and hypothyroidism should be part of the hyponatremic workup, as the disorders respond promptly to hormone replacement. Depending on the etiology, mineralocorticoid will also need replacement.


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