Endocrine disorders: causes of hyponatremia not to neglect

Ann Med. 2011 May;43(3):179-87. doi: 10.3109/07853890.2010.530680. Epub 2010 Oct 22.


Hyponatremia is a common electrolyte abnormality with the potential for significant morbidity and mortality. Endocrine disorders, including adrenal deficiency and hypothyroidism, are uncommon causes of hyponatremia. Primary adrenal insufficiency (i.e. Addison's disease) may well be recognized by clear hall-marks of the disease, such as pigmentation, salt craving, hypotension, and concomitant hyperkalemia. Addison's disease is an important diagnosis not to be missed since the consequences can be grave. On the other hand, hypothyroidism and secondary adrenocortical insufficiency originating from diseases of the hypothalamus and/or pituitary (hypopituitarism) require a high index of suspicion, because the clinical signs can be quite subtle. This review focuses on clinical and pathophysiological aspects of hyponatremia due to endocrine disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Addison Disease / complications
  • Addison Disease / diagnosis
  • Adrenal Insufficiency / complications*
  • Adrenal Insufficiency / diagnosis
  • Animals
  • Endocrine System Diseases / complications*
  • Endocrine System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Hyponatremia / diagnosis
  • Hyponatremia / etiology*
  • Hyponatremia / physiopathology
  • Hypopituitarism / complications
  • Hypopituitarism / diagnosis
  • Hypothyroidism / complications
  • Hypothyroidism / diagnosis