Common electrolytes include potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate, and calcium. Given the essential of electrolytes in the body, it is understandable why having too many or too few could become a problem.
What is an Electrolyte Imbalance?
An electrolyte imbalance, as the name implies, is when the level of electrolytes is too high or too low in your body. An excess or a in certain electrolytes is more dangerous than others. For example, having too much in your body can cause a rise in , while having too little can make it difficult to contract your properly.
Our bodies are essentially filled with an electrolyte solution that fills the space between ourand allows those millions of messages and to be sent in the body where they are intended to go. One of the other critical functions of electrolytes is to act as gateways for passage between cells and the surrounding space. Maintaining the correct fluid in the cells is critical for many different bodily functions, from conduction and muscle movement to blood pH and your level of overall .
The levels of electrolytes in your body are regulated by the the levels of electrolytes. The kidneys have specialized sensors that monitor how much potassium and sodium you have in your , for example, and when those levels are off, the hormone swoops in to remedy the situation.. Many don’t know this, but the kidneys produce quite a few , as do the , and it is these hormones that control
In some cases, however, electrolyte stores are depleted or too many electrolytes are being stored in the body, which can be caused by a number of factors and can lead to various unpleasant side effects.
There are many different causes of a general electrolyte imbalance, including the following:
- Rapid loss
- Blood loss
- Loss of fluids from burns
- Deficiency of the electrolytes
Deficiency in each of the electrolytes can also be caused by various unique factors. Let us look at some of them in detail below:
- Calcium: Hypercalcemia and hypocalcemia are both serious conditions, as caused by disorders, kidney diseases, , and breast cancer, and high levels of vitamin D. Hypocalcemia is caused by prostate cancer, vitamin D deficiency, and kidney failure. is needed for muscle contraction and regulating blood pressure. Hypercalcemia is
- Potassium: Hyperkalemia and hypocalcemia occur when there is an imbalance in the levels of potassium. This element is needed for blood pressure regulation and system . Hyperkalemia is caused by diabetic ketoacidosis, excessive use of potassium and low levels. occurs when you have an eating disorder, severe vomiting or , or are from .
- Sodium: Hypernatremia and hyponatremia mean your sodium balance is off, which impacts fluid balance and muscle contraction. Hypernatremia is caused by diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration and some medications, such as occurs when you suffer from , consume too much water, have a thyroid or adrenal disorder, or are on . . Hyponatremia
- Chloride: Hyperchloremia and hypochloremia are serious because chloride regulates fluid levels throughout the body. Diarrhea, dehydration, and vomiting can lead to hyperchloremia, as well as or kidney failure. Hypochloremia occurs when you have an eating disorder or kidney injury, making it impossible to process out the chloride from the body.
- Phosphate: Hyperphosphatemia can be caused by difficulties, muscle injuries, low levels of calcium and the use of . Hypophosphatemia is caused by abuse, a lack of D, severe or a complete lack of intake.
- Magnesium: Hypermagnesemia occurs when people have end-stage kidney , but it is quite rare. A deficiency in , hypomagnesemia, is caused by , excessive sweating, failure, and alcoholism.
The most commonof an electrolyte imbalance include the following:
- Muscle weakness or
- or in the extremities
The most dangerous thing about an electrolyte imbalance is that the symptoms often do not appear until there is a serious problem. A chronic, but minor, electrolyte imbalance may put a on your system for months of years, but not manifest in obvious symptoms that you to see a . A blood test is a simple way to measure electrolyte levels, but a deficiency in any one of these electrolytes will result in slightly different symptoms, and can thus be diagnosed with various methods. However, if any of the above symptoms appear and do not pass quickly, it is a good idea to visit your doctor as soon as possible.