Sodium is the main positive ion (cation) in the fluid that surrounds cells in the body. The chemical formula of sodium is Na +. When sodium is mixed with chloride, the resulting substance is a crystal called table salt. Excess dietary sodium is mainly excreted in the urine, but too much salt in the diet tends to raise blood pressure. Too much or too little sodium in the blood (called hypernatremia or hyponatremia, respectively) can lead to malfunctioning of cells, and extremes can be fatal. Normal blood sodium levels are 135’145 milliequivalents / liter (mEq / L) or 135’145 millimoles / liter (mmol / L) in international units.
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