Sodium plays a key role in your body. Hyponatremia and hypernatremia. Premenopausal women appear to be at the greatest risk of hyponatremia-related brain damage. Hypomagnesemia means having too little magnesium in the body. Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Hyponatremia treatment is aimed at resolving the underlying condition. An imbalance in your body… Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (SIADH), Thirst Quencher: Homemade Electrolyte Drink, Magnesium Supplements: Benefits, Side Effects, and Dosage. This article takes a detailed look at electrolytes, their functions, the risk of imbalance and more. © 1998-2020 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Potassium is a mineral your body uses as an electrolyte, which means it carries an electrical charge. Electrolytes are certain nutrients (or chemicals) present in your body that have many important functions — from regulating your heartbeat to allowing your muscles to contract so you can move. Conditions caused by electrolyte level imbalances include: Calcium is a vital mineral that your body uses to stabilize blood pressure and control skeletal muscle contraction. This may be related to the effect of women's sex hormones on the body's ability to balance sodium levels. Certain people are at an increased risk because of their medical history. It also helps to regulate nerve function and muscle contraction. This is more common in if you’ve been diagnosed with ongoing kidney disease. Sodium is an electrolyte, and it helps regulate the amount of water that's in and around your cells. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. It’s often caused by sodium or potassium problems. Potassium and other electrolytes--including sodium, phosphate, calcium and chlorine--are present in your blood and other bodily fluids. Accessed April 6, 2018. They may also develop due to fluid loss related to burns. This will help prevent future electrolyte imbalances. This swelling can cause many health problems, from mild to life-threatening. Low magnesium levels cause your potassium and calcium levels to drop. Hyponatremia signs and symptoms may include: Seek emergency care for anyone who develops severe signs and symptoms of hyponatremia, such as nausea and vomiting, confusion, seizures, or lost consciousness. The things that most commonly cause an electrolyte imbalance are: vomiting diarrhea not drinking enough fluids not eating enough excessive sweating certain medications, such as laxatives and diuretics eating disorders liver or kidney problems cancer treatment congestive heart failure For example, when you sweat as a result of exercise, hot weather, or illness, levels of certain electrolytes may be low. These substances are present in your blood, bodily fluids, and urine. It can happen as a result of: Hypochloremia develops when there’s too little chloride in the body. Vomiting and diarrhea are other causes of electrolyte imbalances, as they … Your doctor may also decide on hemodialysis treatment if the electrolyte problem has become life-threatening. Mild forms of electrolyte disorders may not cause any symptoms. See our safe care and visitor guidelines, plus trusted coronavirus information. Merck Manual Professional Version. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 18, 2018. In general, certain treatments are used to restore the proper balance of minerals in the body. When this happens, your body's water levels rise, and your cells begin to swell. The medication you receive will depend on the electrolyte disorder you have. Low levels of phosphate, or hypophosphatemia, can be seen in: Potassium is particularly important for regulating heart function. They’re also ingested with food, drinks, and supplements. Find out what causes it and how it’s treated, Phosphorous is an essential mineral used to build bones, create energy and more. They control important physiologic functions. Hypokalemia is a low level of potassium in your blood. 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. This content does not have an English version. Hyponatremia occurs when the concentration of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. Your body needs the minerals calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium to conduct normal biochemical functions and they also serve a dual role as electrolytes. Electrolytes need to be maintained in an even balance for your body to function properly. It can cause weakness, headache, nausea, and muscle…, Hypercalcemia is a condition in which you have too much calcium in your blood. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Hyponatremia occurs when the concentration of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. Depending on your electrolyte disorder, you may receive medications or supplements such as: They can help replace depleted electrolytes on a short- or long-term basis, depending on the underlying cause of your disorder. Potassium helps control how your muscles, heart, and digestive system work. The balance of electrolytes is constantly shifting due to fluctuating fluids in your body. Learn how mineral deficiency occurs and how it’s treated. Your body requires many minerals to function properly. This is usually caused by: Hypocalcemia occurs due to a lack of adequate calcium in the bloodstream. Kidney International Reports. 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. It also helps maintain healthy nerves and muscles. Once the imbalance has been corrected, your doctor will treat the underlying cause. The first step to correcting an electrolyte imbalance is to identify how it developed … Make a donation. Hypokalemia occurs when your body loses too much potassium … Common causes of low sodium levels include: A simple blood test can measure the levels of electrolytes in your body. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All rights reserved. Oral medications and supplements are often used to correct chronic mineral abnormalities in your body. Otherwise, vital body systems can be affected. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. The major electrolytes found within the body include calcium, magnesium, potassium… Call your doctor if you know you are at risk of hyponatremia and are experiencing nausea, headaches, cramping or weakness.