An electrolyte imbalance occurs when the concentration of important minerals in the body becomes too high or too low. These minerals include sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate, and bicarbonate. These minerals produce an electrical charge when dissolved in urine and blood.
An imbalance of any of these minerals may cause a variety of symptoms like confusion and irritability, headache, fatigue, diarrhea, muscle cramps, and much more.
If you have these symptoms or other symptoms and suspect an electrolyte balance, this article is for you. Here are some ways to cope with electrolyte imbalance.
#1 Identify the Cause of Your Electrolyte Imbalance
More than half of the weight of our body is made up of water, which is mostly present in the form of blood or fluid in and around cells (fluid compartments).
Our kidney, along with other organs and tissues, continuously works to adjust the fluid level within our fluid compartments by pushing the electrolytes in and out of the cells.
Certain health conditions, such as kidney disease, can affect the body’s ability to move electrolytes in and out of the cells, causing electrolyte imbalance. In addition to kidney disease, lung disease, and heart disorders can also contribute to an imbalance in the level of minerals in the body. Burns and certain medications like diuretics that help the body get rid of salt and water also cause electrolyte imbalance.
One good way to identify the electrolyte that is imbalanced and the cause of your electrolyte imbalance, is to see a medical doctor. Your doctor will do some tests to identify the cause of your electrolyte imbalance.
#2 Address the Cause of Your Electrolyte Imbalance
The best way to cope with electrolyte imbalance is to treat its cause. For example, if kidney disease is the cause of your electrolyte imbalance symptoms, see a nephrologist who may treat your kidney disease andcorrect electrolyte imbalance through hemodialysis.
They may also recommend IV fluids like sodium chloride to replenish electrolyte imbalance.
#2 Replenish Your Electrolytes
Another good way to cope with electrolyte imbalance is to replenish your electrolyte. Maintaining a balance of certain minerals in your body is relatively easy. You can replenish the electrolyte inthe following ways:
- Drink lots of water, particularly before and after a physical activity
- Drink sports drinks and oral rehydration salt (ORS) solution to make up for your lost electrolytes.
- Eat electrolyte-rich foods like potatoes, avocadoes, oranges, bananas, spinach, etc.
- Take electrolyte supplements.
Electrolyte Disorder in Brockton & Taunton, MA
People with kidney disorders are at higher risk of developing electrolyte disorders like hyponatremia (too little sodium) and hyperkalemia (too much potassium). So, if you have kidney disease, make sure that you visit your kidney specialist regularly and prevent common electrolyte disorders.
At Associates in Nephrology, in our highly experienced team, we have three board-certified nephrologists who offer highly personalized and comprehensive care for kidney disorders and related disorders. We also offer dialysis and kidney transplantation.