Electrolytes refer to the salt and minerals such as potassium, sodium, chloride, and bicarbonate in the bloodstream. It helps to regulate the functioning of muscles and nerves, balance blood acidity and pressure, hydrate the body and also help to rebuild the damaged tissue.
The low or high level of electrolytes in the body may lead to an electrolyte imbalance. The level of electrolytes in the body may vary because of the water level and several other factors.
It may be lost by the body in various ways. Potassium and sodium are usually lost through sweat. The electrolytes may also be eliminated because of the rapid loss of fluids due to vomiting or a bout of diarrhea. The concentration of each electrolyte is regulated by the kidney and several hormones in the body.
If the level of electrolytes increases in the body, the kidneys eliminate them and balance the level of electrolytes to the normal. Different hormones also act to maintain these levels.
An electrolyte test is done to diagnose the electrolyte imbalance in the body. It is very useful for the assessment of acid-base balance in a number of health conditions. An electrolyte affects various functions of the body in many ways, including the amount of water in the body, the acidity or alkalinity of the blood, and various muscle functions.
Why get tested?
The doctor may advise a person to undergo an electrolytes test to measure the level of electrolytes in the body or as a part of a regular health check-up. The test may also be asked to diagnose the medical condition associated with electrolyte imbalance in the blood.
This test includes
There are certain medicines that may affect the level of electrolytes in the blood. Therefore, it is necessary to inform the doctor about any medications a patient has been taking before the test.
Restrict the consumption of alcohol at least 10-12 hours before the test.