Electrolyte Imbalances: Cause, Symptoms
Anyone may have an electrolyte imbalances. Just as a nutrient imbalance can trigger health problems, so does an electrolyte imbalance— it can be deadly. Individuals involved in extreme physical activity are often dehydrated and may develop electrolyte disorders at greater danger. If you’ve been looking for natural ways to replenish the lost electrolytes, we’ve got your back. We’re going to talk about the electrolyte imbalance in this article and how you can handle it.
What Is An Electrolyte Imbalance?
Electrolytes are naturally occurring compounds found in your body that are crucial for various significant physiological tasks.
Your body’s five major electrolytes include:
The other two electrolytes in the body are phosphate and bicarbonate. In your blood, urine, and other body fluids, all these electrolytes are discovered. They can also be eaten with food and beverages. These electrolytes must be evenly balanced in order for your body to function optimally.
Causes Of Electrolyte Imbalance
Electrolyte imbalances are most frequently caused by body fluid loss due to prolonged vomiting, diarrhea, or sweating. They may also develop due to burn-related fluid loss.
Some medicines may also cause electrolyte imbalance. In some cases, the responsibility lies with underlying diseases such as acute or chronic kidney disease.
Depending on the particular type of electrolyte disorder, the exact cause may vary.
Types Of Electrolyte Disorders
The prefix “hyper-” indicates high concentrations of an electrolyte. Depleted concentrations of an electrolyte are stated with “hypo-.” Conditions induced by imbalances in the electrolyte level include:
- calcium: hypercalcemia and hypocalcemia
- chloride: hyperchloremia and hypochloremia
- magnesium: hypermagnesemia and hypomagnesemia
- phosphate: hyperphosphatemia or hypophosphatemia
- potassium: hyperkalemia and hypokalemia
- sodium: hypernatremia and hyponatremia
Symptoms Of Electrolyte Imbalance:
Mild types of electrolyte imbalances may not trigger symptoms. Such disorders may go undetected until they are discovered during a routine blood test. Symptoms usually begin to appear once a specific disorder becomes more severe.
Not all electrolyte imbalances trigger the same symptoms, but many have comparable symptoms.
Common electrolyte disorder symptoms include:
- irregular heartbeat
- fast heart rate
- convulsions or seizures
- diarrhea or constipation
- abdominal cramping
- muscle cramping
- muscle weakness
Diagnosis Of Electrolyte Imbalances
Using a simple blood test, which also analyzes your kidney health, you can diagnose an electrolyte imbalance.
Your doctor may also perform a physical exam, depending on the diagnosis.
He/she may request an electrocardiogram (EKG) test to verify your heartbeat, heart rhythm, or other such problems for irregularities.
If you’ve tested positive for an electrolyte imbalance, it’s best to immediately begin making adjustments to your diet and lifestyle.
Treatment Of Electrolyte Imbalance
Treatment varies depending on the type and underlying condition of the electrolyte disorder. Generally speaking, certain treatments are used to restore the body’s proper mineral balance. These include:
Intravenous (IV) fluids:
Intravenous (IV) fluids can help the body to rehydrate, typically sodium chloride. This therapy is frequently used in vomiting or diarrhea-related dehydration cases. Electrolyte supplements may be added to IV fluids to correct deficiencies.
Certain IV medications:
IV medicines can help your body quickly restore the balance of electrolytes. They can also protect you from negative effects while another method is being used to treat you.
The medication you receive depends on the disorder you have with the electrolyte. Calcium gluconate, magnesium chloride, and potassium chloride may be used as medications.
Oral medications and supplements:
Oral medicines and supplements are often used in your body to correct chronic mineral abnormalities. If you have been diagnosed with ongoing kidney disease, this is more common. You may receive medicines or supplements such as: depending on your electrolyte imbalances.
- calcium (gluconate, carbonate, citrate, or lactate
- magnesium oxide
- potassium chloride
- Phosphate binders including Renagel, lanthanum, and calcium-based medicines such as calcium carbonate
Depending on the underlying cause of your illness, they can assist substitute depleted electrolytes on a short or long-term basis. Your physician will treat the underlying cause once the imbalance has been fixed.
While some of the supplements can be bought over the counter, most individuals with electrolyte disorders receive their doctor’s prescription for supplements.
- Before indulging in intense workouts or participating in sports, drink electrolyte-rich fluids.
- Drink water and stay well hydrated when you’re thirsty. Do not drink more than you need, though.
- Limit your intake of fluid to 4-6 ounces for an intense workout or race every 20 minutes.
- If you lose or gain more than 2 percent of your body weight, seek medical advice instantly.
Electrolytes are vital to your health and well-being, so you should not take lightly any imbalance in their concentrations.
Once you frequently follow these tips on diet and prevention, your electrolyte concentrations will bounce back to normal in no moment as long as you have no chronic disease.
Also Read: IVF Diet To Follow For IVF Success