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Electrolytes and the Human BodyElectrolyte levels are not something a lot of us pay attention to. In fact, not many of us even know what electrolytes are. Navigation:
How an Electrolyte Imbalance Occurs
Symptoms of an Electrolyte Imbalance
How to Prevent/Treat Electrolyte Imbalance Simply put, electrolytes are minerals commonly found in the body, like potassium, magnesium and sodium. They are also found in many of the foods we eat and the fluids we drink. They’re easy to gain, but they are also easy to lose. What’s worse is that you can develop an electrolyte imbalance, leading to a range of problems. Electrolytes serve key functions in the human body, such as aiding in nerve and muscle function. The more electrolytes we have and the better they’re balanced, the healthier we are. We all lose a good bit of electrolytes during warmer months through sweat, and everyone working out is sure to lose a lot of electrolytes. And there are many other ways in which an imbalance can occur. processed foods, can limit your intake of essential minerals and attribute to an overall imbalance in your system. Exercise is another factor that, while causing you to lose a lot of electrolytes, will not usually be the primary culprit in an imbalance. However, like with the dieting choices, it is not impossible, especially—“only” may be a more correct way to look at it—if you’re not replenishing electrolytes in their proper amount after exercising. Some of the more common causes of an electrolyte imbalance include:
- Bad burns
- Starvation acidosis
- Renal tubular acidosis
- Alcoholic ketoacidosis
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Pancreatic fistula
- Chronic diarrhea
- Heart arrhythmia
There are many different symptoms that can come from this form of imbalance. Here are some examples of the most common:
- Extreme fatigue: feeling tired all day, even after receiving ample sleep and even after eating meals; a weak feeling as if you can’t make it through ordinary tasks.
- Bloating: a feeling of weight gain around the belly area, sometimes visibly noticeable.
- Dizziness/headaches: sudden and recurring headaches, moderate to severe, seeming to persist even after medication; sudden and recurring lightheadedness upon standing or sometimes out of the blue while seated.
- Focusing problems: trouble focusing on any single task; confusion created and the proverbial “lost” feeling.
- Memory problems: short-term memory gaps – i.e. going to the kitchen and then forgetting what you’re there for.
- Irritability: a feeling of bubbling anger; not being able to handle minor annoyances or even everyday occurrences without becoming tetchy.
- Constipation/indigestion: chronic bouts of either or both constipation and indigestion.
- Muscle twitching: excessive muscle twitches even while at complete rest.
- High blood pressure/heartbeat irregularities