Electrolytes have many important functions in the body and are involved in everything from regulating our heartbeat to controlling our nerves and our muscle function. We get electrolytes through different foods and drinks and we lose them, for example, when we sweat and go to the toilet.
Electrolytes are found in body fluids such as urine, blood and sweat and they have been named because they literally have an "electric charge". An electrolyte imbalance can occur as a result of, among other things, poor diet, too much or too little exercise and illness. An electrolyte imbalance can cause a variety of serious symptoms. Most important electrolytes The most important electrolytes are calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphate and chloride.
These nutrients, among other things, help stimulate nerves and balance the fluid level.
- Calcium. Needed for muscle contractions, nerve signals, blood coagulation, cell division as well as maintaining bones and teeth.
- Potassium. Contributes to stable blood pressure and supports muscle function.
- Magnesium. Magnesium is also needed as needed for muscle contractions, stable heart rhythm, nerve function, bone structure and strength, counteracting anxiety and supporting digestion.
- Sodium. Helps maintain fluid balance needed for muscle contractions and helps with nerve signaling.
- Chloride. Maintains fluid balance.
How electrolytes work and causes imbalances An electrolyte imbalance can be caused by a number of different factors such as illness, medication, fluid deficiency and underlying chronic disorders other disorders.
The most common causes are that we lose fluid, but the electrolyte imbalance can occur for several reasons, including.
- Vomiting, diarrhea, sweating and high fever.
- A diet that is low in important nutrients
- Difficulty absorbing nutrition due to intestinal or digestive issues
- Hormone imbalance and endocrine disorders
- Antibiotics, diuretics, chemotherapy and certain medications given in the treatment of cancer, heart disease or hormonal disorders.
- Kidney disease or injury as the kidneys play an important role in the regulation of chloride in the blood.
Eat lots of fruit and vegetables Leave the emphasis on fruits and vegetables that provide potassium and magnesium. Some of the best sources are broccoli, cabbage, sweet potatoes, squash, bananas and avocado. It is also important to get enough calcium in it. Those who do not eat dairy products can get calcium from, for example, green vegetables, beans and legumes.
Keep track of sodium content If the diet contains a lot of sodium, more water is excreted from the kidneys, which can lead to difficulties balancing other electrolytes. Therefore, always check the sodium content when buying, for example, chark products that may contain a lot of sodium and reduce that type of food.
Electrolyte imbalance can occur when the amount of fluid in the body is disrupted. By drinking a sufficient amount of water you can regulate the levels of sodium and potassium and prevent them from getting too high or too low.