Case Study Summary

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Clinical Case Study Summary of Hyponatremia
The drug MDMA, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamin, commonly known as ecstasy leads to feelings of euphoria, emotional empathy, and increased energy. Hyponatremia is an electrolyte disturbance in which the sodium ion concentration in the plasma is lower than normal. Sodium is the dominant extracellular cation (positive ion) and cannot freely cross from the interstitial space into the cell, because charged sodium ions attract up to 25 water molecules around them, creating a large polar structure that is too large to pass through the cell membrane. In this study we looked at the case of one young college student who passed away from using ecstasy, as well as two other different examples from a marathon runner and a post surgical patient. One of the most serious medical complications of ecstasy abuse is related to symptomatic hyponatremia. The cause of hyponatremia seen with ecstasy is dilutional in nature and likely due to several interacting effects. Excessive water intake has been directly associated with ecstasy use. For partygoers the effects of amphetamines induce dry mouth and the sensation of thirst causing the user to over hydrate especially after a long night of dancing. For marathon runners, excess antidiuretic hormone (ADH, also known as vasopressin) can be released from the result of strenuous physical activity.
The treatment of hyponatremia depends on the underlying cause and whether the patient's blood volume status is hypervolemic, euvolemic, or hypovolemic. The movement of water and electrolytes between fluid compartments takes place by a variety of processes. Movement of water and electrolytes occurs through membranes and cell walls. In the setting of hypovolemia, intravenous administration of normal saline is usual. Euvolemic hyponatremia is usually managed by fluid restriction and treatment to abolish any…...

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