Electrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge.
Electrolyte disorders result in an imbalance of minerals in the body. For the body to function properly, certain minerals need to be maintained in an even balance. Otherwise, vital body systems, such as the muscles and brain, can be negatively affected.Electrolytes affect the amount of water in your body, the acidity of your blood (pH), your muscles function, and other important processes. You lose electrolytes when you sweat. You must replace them by drinking fluids that contain electrolytes. Water does not contain electrolytes.
Electrolytes refer to minerals that include calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate, potassium, and sodium. They are present in your blood, body fluids and urine. They are ingested with food, drink, and medicines and supplements.
Each electrolyte disorder may be caused by several conditions. The most common is medication. They can also be caused by trauma from burns or broken bones. Diseases such as cancer and thyroid disorders are also sometimes to blame.
A test that measures whether the electrolyte is not attached to the proteins in your blood is called free or ionized electrolyte. Ex: Ionized calcium is calcium in your blood that is not attached to proteins. It is also called free calcium. Most of the time, blood tests measure your total calcium level. This looks at both ionized calcium and calcium attached to proteins. You may need to have a separate ionized calcium test if you have factors that increase or decrease total calcium levels. These may include abnormal blood levels or albumin or immunoglobulins. All cells need calcium in order to work. Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth. It is important for heart function, and helps with muscle contraction, nerve signaling, and blood clotting.
Electrolytes can be acids, bases, and salts.
Electrolytes can be measured by laboratory studies of the blood in different ways. Each electrolyte can be ordered as a separate test, such as:
- Ionized calcium
- Serum calcium
- Serum chloride
- Serum magnesium
- Serum phosphorus
- Serum potassium
- Serum sodium
Note: serum is the part of the blood that doesn't contain cells.
Sodium potassium and chloride can also be ordered as part of an electrolyte panel, as basic metabolic panel or a comprehensive metabolic panel.
The electrolytes-urine test measures electrolytes in urine. It usually measures the levels of calcium, chloride, potassium, or sodium.
Electrolytes are essentially at the core of what we are made of and who we are as to our personalities, gifts, and thought process. Just one electrolyte that is out of balance will change our health rapidly and manifest itself in a very aggressive manner. It was once said that, "minerals are at the very heart of whom we are and whom we wish to become". Oh if only they had the science now they had back then. Monitor these electrolytes closely and your health will say thank you. Most importantly it will prevent you from drastic treatments for your minor and sometimes major ailments.Magnesium is needed for nearly all chemical process in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function and keeps the bones strong. Magnesium is also needed for the heart to function normally and to help regulate blood pressure. Magnesium also helps the body control blood sugar level and helps support the body's defense (immune) system.