Symptoms Electrolyte Imbalance


By Pharmacist Anusuya Kashi
Symptoms electrolyte imbalance


Electrolytes such as chloride, magnesium, potassium and sodium play a vital role in the human body.

Any situation that causes a loss of these electrolytes can be potentially dangerous and therefore it is imperative to immediately replenish their levels.

Here is some information about what commonly causes an imbalance in electrolyte levels and the symptoms one needs to watch out for.


Causes of electrolyte imbalance

The normal balance of electrolytes in the body may be disturbed in certain situations.

When we lose body fluids, we lose electrolytes. Here are a few ways we lose body fluids.

  • Excessive sweating caused by hot weather or running a fever

  • Excessive sweating caused by rigorous physical activity or intense exercise

  • Certain gastrointestinal problems that result in diarrhea or vomiting 

  • Because of diuretic therapy used to deal with hypertension or edema

In all of these conditions, a lot of body fluid is lost, and along with it, important electrolytes.

Electrolyte imbalance may occur when re-hydrating with water or other fluids that don’t contain a balance of needed electrolytes.


Symptoms of Electrolyte Imbalance

Whatever be the cause, the fact remains that a disturbance in our electrolyte balance can have negative consequences.

It is therefore important to be able to recognize when this imbalance occurs, and to know how to take the needed steps to correct it.

Here are some of the common symptoms of an electrolyte imbalance.


Symptoms of mild electrolyte imbalance

  • Dizziness and trembling

  • A feeling of nausea that may be accompanied by vomiting

  • Unexplained fatigue or excessive tiredness even with minimal physical activity


Symptoms of more advanced electrolyte imbalance

A reduction in the amount of urine that is passed

Twitching, spasms or numbness in certain areas

A darkening in the color of urine

Unmistakable foul breath

Breathing difficulties

Abdominal cramps

Muscular weakness

Muscle cramps

Dry skin, a dry mouth

An inability to sweat

Constipation

Irritability

Symptoms of serious electrolyte imbalance

A quickened heart rate (tachycardia)

Unexplained lethargy and mental confusion

Extreme changes in blood pressure

Delirium and hallucinations

Seizures

How to Correct an Electrolyte Imbalance

As you can see, an electrolyte imbalance is potentially dangerous. It is important to take the needed steps to prevent a more serious electrolyte imbalance from developing when symptoms occur.

Several electrolyte sports drinks are commonly used to replace lost electrolytes.  However, almost all such products are loaded with empty calories from sugars and contain preservatives and artificial ingredients that are better to be avoided.

Fortunately, there is another choice.


A homemade electrolyte solution

A homemade electrolyte drink using all natural low sodium sea minerals can provide a rich buffet of electrolytes.

Such a solution is truly ideal for electrolyte replacement. One tsp. of ionic sea minerals, mixed into 1 or 2 liters of water or lemonade, provides the following:

  • 116 mg potassium

  • 90 mg. sodium 

  • 422 mg magnesium

  • 550 mg chloride

  • Numerous trace mineral electrolytes needed by the body 

For a more concentrated electrolyte solution, mix ½ tsp. ionic sea minerals into 16 ounces of lemonade. Note: Crystal Light Pure Lemonade contains no artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives.


Conclusion, symptoms electrolyte imbalance

There are numerous symptoms that can result from an electrolyte imbalance.

This suggests the importance of recognizing these symptoms and knowing the conditions that cause the imbalance in the first place.

When symptoms appear, it then becomes important to know how to restore proper electrolyte balance.

(Return from Symptoms Electrolyte Imbalance to What is an Electrolyte)

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