An electrolyte is a substance that produces an electrically conductive solution when dissolved in water. Electrolytes are a burden and are essential for life. All higher life forms need to survive electrolytes.
In our bodies, electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, chloride and hydrogen phosphate.
key roles electrolyte:
- Calcium – helps with muscle contraction, nerve signals, blood clotting, build and maintain bones and teeth, and cell division;
- chloride – maintains fluid balance;
- Sodium – maintains fluid balance, helps with nerve signals and helps with muscle contractions;
- Potassium – regulates blood pressure, heart contractions, helps with muscle function;
- Magnesium -. Help for muscle contraction, adequate heart rate, bone strength and construction, functioning of nerves, reduce anxiety, digestion and maintain a stable balance of fluid proteins
how they actually work electrolytes and what causes the imbalance?
Electrolytes can be found in all body fluids such as blood, sweat and urine. They have an electrical charge, the separation of positive ions and negatively charged when dissolved in water. Nerves point to other nerves through chemical exchanges depends on oppositely charged ions in and out of cells.
The causes of electrolyte imbalance are:
- Chemotherapy treatments (causing side effects of low blood calcium or calcium deficiency, changes potassium levels, electrolytes and other deficiencies);
- The kidney damage or disease (which play a vital role in regulating chloride in the blood and washing potassium, magnesium and sodium);
- to take antibiotics (drugs and diuretics over-the-counter, or corticosteroid hormones);
- Taking some drugs (for treatment of cancer, hormonal disorders or heart disease);
- endocrine disorders or hormonal imbalance;
- not be able to absorb nutrients from food (malabsorption – because of digestive or intestinal problems);
- Poor diet (especially low in nutrients from whole foods);
- Being sick (including symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, sweating or high fevers that cause dehydration and fluid loss).
What are the signs and symptoms of electrolyte imbalance?
- Feeling of thirst;
- frequent headaches;
- muscle aches, spasms, twitching, and weakness;
- Changes in body weight and appetite;
- Changes in blood pressure;
- Joint pain;
- bone disorder;
- difficulty concentrating and confusion;
- cramps, constipation or diarrhea;
- irregular heartbeat or heart palpitations;
- Dizziness, especially when rising suddenly;
- The joint pain and numbness;
- fatigue (including chronic fatigue symptoms).
The doctor should perform a couple of different tests to determine the levels of electrolytes. He will discuss your medical history, and you will have to provide urine and blood samples to identify any abnormalities. EKG tests are sometimes necessary, as well as ultrasound and x-rays of the kidneys to check serious electrolyte imbalances. All significant changes in electrolyte optimal levels will be examined by your doctor. Their levels are measured per liter of blood, and the imbalance is being diagnosed when values are higher or lower than normal ranges.
- Calcium: 5-5.5 mEq / L
- Chloride: 97-107 mEq / L
- Potassium: 5-5.3 mEq / L
- Magnesium: 1.5-2.5 mEq / L
- sodium: 136-145 mEq / L
common symptoms of electrolyte imbalance experience
- heartbeat changes – hyperkalemia develops when potassium levels rise very high. The condition interferes with normal signs of nerves and muscles, resulting in muscles, tingling, numbness or weak. high potassium impacts heartbeat, making you feel anxious, while high calcium levels affect cardiovascular system and electrical transmission pathways of the heart, causing heart rate changes.
- anxiety and sleep problems – having muscle spasms, night sweats, or rapid heartbeat, it is very difficult to sleep. Low levels of magnesium make them tired, while high levels of potassium can cause problems getting a break due to ongoing pain and mental disorders.
- digestive problems – high or low levels of electrolytes can cause diarrhea, constipation, cramps and hemorrhoids. Low levels of sodium can cause nausea, headaches, followed by, disorientation, and breathing problems when it left unresolved.
- Muscle spasms – when the body is dehydrated, potassium and magnesium fall, causing muscle weakness and spasms. Low levels of potassium can cause cramps and constipation, while low calcium levels cause muscle spasms, cramps, abdominal muscle pain and seizures.
- Confusion, dizziness and irritability – when sodium levels are too high, can become weak and dizzy. If this condition worsens, it may be more delusional, suffering a seizure, or coma.
- Bone pain – very high levels of calcium can lead to bone fractures, painful kidney stones, constipation and vomiting. This will feel tired, and have difficulty concentrating.
ways to solve electrolyte imbalance
- Adjust your diet – First you need to identify how it has developed electrolyte imbalance is. Poor diet high in processed foods with lots of sodium, however, if the diet is low in magnesium and potassium, which can lead to a dangerous imbalance. Dietary changes can improve the imbalance of cooking fresh food at home, and cut out junk food, takeaways and restaurant meals. You should eat more green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, bananas and avocados. You can also direct the water coconut, cucumber, watermelon, celery, pineapple, Amasai, kefir, yogurt, carrots, citrus fruits, peppers and kiwi to prevent dehydration.
You can get calcium through high-quality dairy products (probiotic yogurt, cheese cultivated raw, raw milk), and through green leafy vegetables, beans and legumes.
- Control your sodium intake – check sodium levels by consuming canned or processed foods. Sodium retains or releases the water, so if your diet is high in this electrolyte, more water is excreted by the kidneys, causing complications with other electrolytes balance. If you monitor your sodium intake could hold off symptoms such as bloating, lethargy, dehydration, weakness, irritability, and muscle tremors. It is recommended to drink more water, eat whole foods, and get other important electrolytes.
- drink enough water – when the amount of water in your body changes, changes electrolyte imbalance. This can cause dehydration, so if you drink water undiluted excess levels of their cells sodium and potassium will stop raising too high or too low. Depends on age, diet, physical activity level, and body size in order to determine the amount of water should be consumed. The recommended dose for each person is drinking enough water so they can urinate every 3-4 hours, which makes 10 glasses per day. If you exercise vigorously, they have been ill, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as adolescents grow and develop faster, need to consume more water than the recommended dose. Excess moisture is rare, but it is possible. The kidneys are unable to excrete high levels of excess water, so this may mean electrolytes in the blood can become diluted. The result could be low levels of sodium, which is more common among endurance athletes.
- review your medications – electrolyte levels may be affected by antibiotics, diuretics, hormone pills, blood pressure medications and cancer treatments. Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy have the most serious imbalance. Laxatives and diuretics change the levels of potassium and sodium in the blood and urine. There are certain diuretics can cause potassium levels remain very high, while other electrolytes very low, resulting in anxiety, rapid heartbeat, digestive problems and trouble sleeping. hormonal drug interactions antidiuretic hormone, aldosterone, and thyroid hormones can develop electrolyte imbalances, too.
- refuel after exercise – drink enough water before, during and after exercise to keep your body hydrated. If you are training for a longer period of time, then you should replenish their electrolytes as some of them can be lost through sweat.
- consider supplementing – high levels of stress, genetic factors, and some medical conditions can lead to chronic deficiency in some electrolytes, having thus magnesium supplements can help replenish reserves and prevent magnesium deficiency. Potassium and magnesium are present in multivitamins