Electrolytes are naturally occurring chemical compounds in the body that are responsible for the proper functioning of the body, the major electrolytes constitute
The blood, body fluids, and urine all constitute these electrolytes. They’re also consumed through food, beverages, and supplements.
Any fluctuations in the level of electrolytes be it the case of electrolytes becoming excess or deficient, both of the cases result in an electrolytic disbalance. Electrolytes must be kept in a balanced state in order for the body to function effectively. Vital systems of the body will receive a direct impact if the electrolyte levels are not maintained.
What are the types of electrolytic disorders?
The prefix “hyper-” denotes an electrolyte that is excess in amount, and “hypo-” denotes electrolyte levels that are deficient. The main electrolytes and their imbalances are as follows.
Calcium is a mineral necessary for blood pressure regulation and skeletal muscle contraction control. It’s also employed in the development of healthy bones and teeth.
Whenever the level of calcium goes above the normal level, it causes Hypercalcemia
The major causes of hypercalcemia include kidney disease, thyroid disorder, diseases of the lungs, overconsumption of vitamin supplements, etc.
In a similar manner, whenever the level of calcium in the body drops below the normal level, it results in hypocalcemia. The most common causes of hypocalcemia are kidney failure, hypoparathyroidism, deficiency of vitamin D, and certain medications like heparin, an osteoporosis drug.
Chloride is a mineral necessary for the regulations of body fluids.
Whenever the level of chloride goes above the normal level, it causes Hyperchloremia
The major causes of hyperchloremia include severe dehydration, kidney failure, and dialysis
In a similar manner, whenever the level of chlorine in the body drops below the normal level, it results in hypochloremia. The most common causes of hypochloremia are scorpion sting, eating disorders, cystic fibrosis, etc.
Magnesium is a critically important mineral for the body as it helps in muscle contraction and proper functioning of the heart and nervous system. Hypermagnesemia, that is magnesium reaching dangerously high levels is usually seen in people afflicted with Addison’s disease or the final stage of kidney failure.
In a similar manner, whenever the level of magnesium in the body drops below the normal level, it results in Hypomagnesemia. The most common causes of hypomagnesemia are excess consumption of alcohol, malnutrition, excessive sweating, etc.
Phosphate, along with calcium performs a wide spectrum of functions in the body. The level of phosphate in the body is maintained by the kidneys, intestines, and bones. When the level of phosphate goes beyond normal levels it’s referred to as Hyperphosphatemia, this can occur due to low calcium levels, breathing problems, kidney disease, or an overdose of phosphate laxatives.
In a similar manner, whenever the level of phosphate in the body drops below the normal level, it results in Hypophosphatemia. The most common causes of hypophosphatemia are excess consumption of alcohol, malnutrition, Vitamin D deficiency, etc.
Potassium is also responsible for the proper functioning of the heart and nervous system. When the level of phosphate goes beyond normal levels it’s referred to as Hyperkalemia, this condition can be life-threatening if not treated properly. Hyperkalemia can occur due to severe dehydration, hypertension medications, and problems in the kidneys.
In a similar manner, whenever the level of phosphate in the body drops below the normal level, it results in Hypokalemia. The most common causes of hypokalemia are eating disorders, dehydration, an overdose of laxatives and diuretics, severe vomiting, and diarrhea.
Sodium is necessary for the maintenance of proper fluid balance, and some critical functions of the body. When the level of sodium goes beyond normal levels it’s referred to as Hypernatremia, this condition can occur due to inadequate water consumption, extreme dehydration due to vomiting or diarrhea, and consumption of medications like corticosteroids.
In a similar manner, whenever the level of sodium in the body drops below the normal level, it results in Hyponatremia. The most common causes of hyponatremia are poor nutrition, problems in the kidney and liver, medications including diuretics, and seizure prevention.
Method of diagnosis of an electrolytic disorder
Electrolyte levels in the body may be measured with a simple blood test. A blood test to assess the overall functioning of the kidneys is also required. In order to pinpoint the electrolytic disorder, the doctor may do a physical assessment or prescribe further testing. These extra tests will differ based on the condition at hand. For instance, too much salt also referred to as hypernatremia can cause skin elasticity loss owing to dehydration. A pinch test can be performed by the doctor to assess whether dehydration is harming. The doctor may also assess the reflexes since electrolyte levels can be affected by both increased and decreased levels.
Method of treatment of an electrolytic disorder
Treatment differs based on the kind of electrolyte problem and the underlying illness.
Certain therapies are utilized in general to restore the right mineral balance in the body. These are some examples:
Intravenous (IV) Fluids – Intravenous (IV) fluids, usually sodium chloride, can assist the body to rehydrate. This medication is widely used to alleviate dehydration caused by vomiting or diarrhea. To address electrolyte shortages, supplements for electrolytes can be administered to IV fluids.
IV Medication – IV medicines can help the body swiftly restore electrolyte balance. They can also shield the person from unpleasant side effects while one is being treated with another approach.
Oral medications – Oral drugs and supplements are frequently used to treat persistent mineral imbalances in the body. This method can provide short-term relief and after the initial condition has been dealt with, the doctor starts the treatment of the underlying condition.
What can you do to prevent electrolytic disorders?
To help avoid electrolyte imbalances, follow these steps:
– Keep yourself properly hydrated if you have persistent vomiting, diarrhea, or sweating
– Check with the doctor if you are having common electrolyte imbalance symptoms. During the course of diagnosis If the electrolyte issue is caused by medicine or an underlying ailment, your doctor will alter your prescription and treat the underlying condition. This will aid in the prevention of future electrolyte abnormalities.