This content does not have an Arabic version. The first step to correcting an electrolyte imbalance is to identify how it developed … Magnesium is a critical mineral that regulates many important functions, such as: Hypermagnesemia means excess amounts of magnesium. Hyponatremia and hypernatremia. Severe electrolyte imbalances can cause serious problems such as coma, seizures, and cardiac arrest. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. See our safe care and visitor guidelines, plus trusted coronavirus information. For example, when you sweat as a result of exercise, hot weather, or illness, levels of certain electrolytes may be low. Kengne FG, et al. Potassium. All rights reserved. Your body needs the minerals calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium to conduct normal biochemical functions and they also serve a dual role as electrolytes. Potassium helps control how your muscles, heart, and digestive system work. Premenopausal women appear to be at the greatest risk of hyponatremia-related brain damage. A normal blood sodium level is between 135 and 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). 7th ed. These include: Intravenous (IV) fluids, typically sodium chloride, can help rehydrate the body. Your doctor can perform a pinch test to determine whether dehydration is affecting you. Electrolyte disturbances can become life-threatening if left untreated. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. This condition can be fatal if left undiagnosed and untreated. Although calcium is important for bone health and normal functioning in…, Hyperchloremia is an electrolyte imbalance that occurs when there's too much chloride in the blood. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 18, 2018. The balance of electrolytes is constantly shifting due to fluctuating fluids in your body. An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), an electrical tracing of your heart, may also be useful to check for any irregular heartbeats, rhythms, or ECG or EKG changes brought on by electrolyte problems. Hyponatremia occurs when the concentration of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. Make a donation. It’s also used to build strong bones and teeth. An electrolyte disorder occurs when the levels of electrolytes in your body are either too high or too low. Symptoms usually start to appear once a particular disorder becomes more severe. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Vomiting and diarrhea are other causes of electrolyte imbalances, as they … This article takes a detailed look at electrolytes, their functions, the risk of imbalance and more. In other cases of hyponatremia, you may need intravenous electrolyte solutions and medications. This may be related to the effect of women's sex hormones on the body's ability to balance sodium levels. Hyponatremia occurs when the concentration of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. Hypomagnesemia means having too little magnesium in the body. Abnormally high levels of sodium may be caused by: Hyponatremia develops when there’s too little sodium. Though it’s normal for electrolyte levels to…, Traditional sports drinks provide easy-to-digest carbohydrates to help athletes to fuel longer-duration exercises and replace electrolyte lost in…, Magnesium is an essential mineral lacking in many people's diets. When this happens, your body's water levels rise, and your cells begin to swell. Accessed April 6, 2018. In hyponatremia, one or more factors — ranging from an underlying medical condition to drinking too much water — cause the sodium in your body to become diluted. Elevated levels of an electrolyte are indicated with the prefix “hyper-.” Depleted levels of an electrolyte are indicated with “hypo-.”. Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. The following measures may help you prevent hyponatremia: Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. One way to get the blood to flow to this artificial kidney is for your doctor to surgically create a vascular access, or an entrance point, into your blood vessels. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. This article looks at the benefits, side effects, and recommended dosages of…, Low blood sodium, or hyponatremia, occurs when water and sodium are out of balance in your body. Hyperchloremia occurs when there’s too much chloride in the body. Electrolytes are minerals that are involved in many essential processes in your body. Low magnesium levels cause your potassium and calcium levels to drop. Hypokalemia is a low level of potassium in your blood. Medications that may be administered include calcium gluconate, magnesium chloride, and potassium chloride. Jameson JL, et al., eds. For example, hypernatremia (too much sodium) can cause loss of elasticity in the skin due to significant dehydration. This swelling can cause many health problems, from mild to life-threatening. Once the imbalance has been corrected, your doctor will treat the underlying cause. FREE book offer – Mayo Clinic Health Letter. Not all electrolyte imbalances cause the same symptoms, but many share similar symptoms. Electrolyte disorders are most often caused by a loss of bodily fluids through prolonged vomiting, diarrhea, or sweating. Hyponatremia occurs when the sodium in your blood falls below 135 mEq/L. Potassium and other electrolytes--including sodium, phosphate, calcium and chlorine--are present in your blood and other bodily fluids. These 12 foods high in phosphorous can help ensure you're getting…, Metabolic alkalosis is a type of alkalosis that occurs when your blood becomes overly alkaline. Too low or too high potassium can cause muscle spasms, cramps, constipation, and sleep disturbances. Call your doctor if you know you are at risk of hyponatremia and are experiencing nausea, headaches, cramping or weakness.