The human body depends on the certain amount of the electrolytes. Some of them are vital to our life, and all higher forms of life need them in order to survive.
They are responsible for carrying a charge and producing an electrically conducting solution. The most common electrolytes in our body are magnesium, sodium, calcium, chloride, potassium, bicarbonate, and hydrogen phosphate.
What are their most important functions of the electrolytes in the body?
- Magnesium– supports proper heart rhythm, helps in muscle contraction, promotes bone building and strength, assists the function of the nerves, helps digestion, lowers anxiety, and balances the protein fluid.
- Sodium – assists muscle contraction and the nerve signaling, and maintains a fluid balance
- Calcium– helps with muscle contraction, nerve signaling, prevents blood clots, supports the forming and maintaining bones and teeth,
- Chloride – maintains a fluid balance;
- Potassium– regulates heart contractions, blood pressure, promotes proper function of the muscles;
Electrolytes are located in the body fluids, such as sweat, urine, and blood. When they are dissolved in water, due to their electrical charge, they separate positively and negatively charged ions.
There are numerous things that cause electrolyte imbalance, such as:
- Improper absorption of food nutrients
- Unhealthy diet
- Chemotherapy treatments, which may lead to calcium deficiency, disruption in potassium levels, and other electrolyte deficiencies;
- Kidney damage or disease;
- Antibiotics use;
- Sickness such as diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, or high fevers.
- Endocrine disorders or hormonal imbalance;
- Other medications that treat heart diseases, cancer, hormonal disorders;
The most common symptoms of electrolyte imbalance are:
- Muscle aches, spasms, twitches, and weakness;
- Joint pain and numbness;
- Fluctuations in weight and appetite;
- Irregular blood pressure;
- Irregular heartbeats or heart palpitations;
- Frequent headaches;
- Bones problems;
- Cramps, constipation, or diarrhea;
- Dizziness, especially when standing up suddenly;
- Fatigue (chronic fatigue symptom)
- Difficulties concentrating and an overall confusion;
If any of above symptoms existed, you should seek medical help and do some medical tests.
Electrolyte deficiency is diagnosed if the values are lower or higher than normal,
- Calcium: 5-5.5 mEq/L
- Potassium: 5-5.3 mEq/L
- Chloride: 97-107 mEq/L
- Sodium: 136-145 mEq/L
- Magnesium: 1.5-2.5 mEq/L
Here we present you some complications that are produced by deficiency or higher level of electrolytes:
- Confusion, irritability, and dizziness – in the case of very high sodium amount,
- Anxiety and trouble sleeping – deficiency of magnesium
- Digestive problems – low or high levels of electrolytes may lead to various digestive issues such as constipation, cramps, diarrhea, and hemorrhoids
- Heartbeat changes – too high potassium levels may develop hyperkalemia, which condition can affect the heartbeat, causing anxiety,
- The high calcium levels influence the cardiovascular system and electrical transmission pathways of the heart, bone pain and fractures, vomiting, painful kidney stones, constipation and concentration problems.
- Muscle spasms – In the case of the low magnesium and potassium levels and dehydration
Treatment of electrolyte imbalance
Drink enough water
- Adjust the diet – starting consuming more home-cooked meals, and avoid processed, fried foods, eat more leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, sweet potatoes, cabbage, squash, avocados, bananas, and broccoli.
- When you have a deficiency of calcium levels, eat more leafy greens legumes, high- quality dairy products (raw milk, cultured raw cheese, and probiotic yogurt,), beans and vegetables.
- Check your medications –The certain medications, such as diuretics, antibiotics, hormonal pills, cancer treatments, and blood pressure medications may affect levels of electrolytes in the body.
- The strongest impact belongs to Chemotherapy.
- Some hormonal interactions from anti-diuretic hormone medications, aldosterone, and thyroid hormones can cause electrolyte imbalances.
- Always look for the amount of sodium added in the foods, as they usually contain it in high amounts.
- Hydrate the body properly after exercising
- If you cannot manage the levels of important nutrients after making dietary and lifestyle changes, you should consult your doctor and ask for some proper supplements.
Sources and References: draxe.com — Original Article Source, familylifegoals.com