Why Are Electrolytes So Important?

Electrolytes are really important for our body. 

You might have noticed that when you are suffering from any illness that includes the signs of vomiting or diarrhea, doctors usually prescribe you electrolyte water along with the usual medication. 

This is because, during that time, the electrolyte level in your body falls. 

Even after a workout, your gym coach also advises you to have electrolyte drinks, as you sweat a lot, and it reduces the fluid and electrolyte level. 

Now, the question is why electrolytes are so important. Here in this article, we will find that. 

What Are Electrolytes? 

In science, electrolytes are those chemicals that conduct electricity when they are dissolved in water. 

Our body also contains some particular electrolytes. They are responsible for regulating muscle and nerve function, keeping the body hydrated, and balancing blood pressure and acidity. Electrolytes also help in rebuilding damaged tissue. 

You might know that sometimes, neurons and muscles are referred to as the body’s “electric tissues.” The electric tissues or neurons and muscles majorly rely on the movement of electrolytes through the fluid outside, inside, and also between cells. 

Here are the electrolytes that are present in the human body.

  • Calcium.
  • Potassium.
  • Sodium.
  • Magnesium.
  • Phosphate.
  • Chloride.
  • Bicarbonate. 

Muscles require potassium, sodium, and calcium in order to contract. In case any of these substances become unbalanced, the situation might lead to either muscle weakness or excessive contraction of muscles. 

Muscles, nerve cells, and the heart use electrolytes for carrying electrical impulses to other cells. 

What Do Electrolytes Do? 

Now, as you got the proper understanding of electrolytes, now we will talk about what electrolytes do in a more detailed way. Electrolytes are responsible for doing the following. 

  • Enable muscle contractions along with the beating of your heart. 
  • Assist in building new tissue. 
  • Assist blood to clot. 
  • From nerve cells, muscles, and the heart transmit nerve signals to other cells. 
  • Keep the blood’s pH in the normal range that is, between 7.35 and 7.45. 
  • Regulate the levels of fluid in your body and blood plasma.  

What Happens When Electrolyte Imbalance Happens

The electrolytes level in the blood can become too low or too high, which obviously leads to an imbalance. Also, in relation to water levels in the body, the levels of the electrolyte can change along with some other factors. 

When you exercise and are sweating, you lose crucial electrolytes, including potassium and sodium. In case you are suffering from a bout of diarrhea or vomiting, rapid loss of fluids happens, and it can affect the electrolytes’ concentration. 

During these types of situations, the electrolytes’ balance in your body requires to be restored. A number of hormones and the kidneys are responsible for regulating the concentration of each of the electrolytes. 

In case the level of any particular electrolyte from the body is too high, the kidney filters that specific electrolyte from the body, and various hormones act in order to restore a balance. 

When the concentration of a particular electrolyte becomes much higher than the capability of the body to regulate it, an imbalance occurs, and it causes health issues. At the same time, low levels of electrolytes also can affect overall health. In situations when an electrolyte imbalance occurs electrolyte hydration supplements can be used to aid in rapid electrolyte uptake.

Signs Of Electrolyte Imbalance

From the above discussion, you might have understood how important electrolytes are for our body. And what can happen due to the imbalance of the levels of electrolytes? 

Now, the question is, how will you know that there is an electrolyte imbalance? 

For different electrolytes, the signs are usually different, and it also depends on whether the electrolyte level is high or low. Here we will find out some of the major signs

A harmful concentration of potassium, sodium, magnesium, or calcium can come with more than one of the following benefits. 

  • Confusion. 
  • Numbness.
  • Excessive tiredness.
  • Change in blood pressure. 
  • Muscle spasms and twitching. 
  • Weakness.
  • Irregular heartbeat. 
  • Bone disorders. 
  • Seizures.
  • Nervous system disorders. 
  • Convulsions. 

Individuals who are suffering from breast cancer, multiple myeloma, or lung cancer might experience excess calcium. Often due to the destruction of bone tissues, this type of excess is caused. Following are the signs of higher calcium levels. 

  • Stomach pain. 
  • Nausea.
  • Constipation. 
  • Frequent urination.
  • Irregular heartbeat. 
  • Vomiting. 
  • Dry mouth or throat.
  • Thirst.
  • Fatigue.
  • Lethargy.
  • Confusion.
  • Total loss of appetite.
  • Extreme muscle weakness.
  • Irritability and moodiness.
  • Coma. 

Electrolytes Are So Important!

So, now we can conclude that electrolytes are really important for your body to function properly. The functioning of your muscles, heart and nervous system depends on the level of electrolytes in your body. 

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