excretion or retention of many other solutes. Thus, for example, diuretics intended to promote sodium excretion may also cause unintentional losses of potassium and magnesium. Similarly, when renal sodium excretion increases appropriately in response to ingestion of excess salt, there may also be unwanted losses of calcium and in postmenopausal women these may contribute to loss of bone mineral.

Bone also contains substantial quantities of sodium but, as yet, its significance is unknown since it does not appear to be mobilized during sodium depletion. Gut fluids contain considerable amounts of sodium, mostly secretory rather than dietary, and mostly reabsorbed in more distal regions of the intestine.

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