More than half of the body’s weight is made up of water and for it to function normally it should keep up the fluid levels. Microminerals are needed in huge amounts for the body to maintain the fluid balance. Electrolytes are basically mineral particles in the body that carry electric charge in the blood, urine, tissue and various other body fluids.
The blood electrolytes comprise sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate which maintain acid-base and water balance in the body. When these minerals dissolve in the fluid, they make up the electrolytes -the positive and negative charged ions during the metabolic processes. Our body can replenish the electrolyte reserves from the food and fluids that we consume.
Electrolytes play a pivotal role in several bodily functions which include:
- Conducting the nerve impulses
- Maintaining muscle contractions
- Regulating the body pH balance (acid-base balance)
- Keeping the body hydrated and balance the amount of water in the body.
- Transport nutrients into the cells and excretes wastes out of the cells
- Maintain the healthy and normal functioning of the nerves, muscles, brain and heart.
In certain situations, there is an imbalance in the electrolyte’s levels in the blood, where it becomes too high or low. An imbalance in the electrolyte levels can disturb the health and at times can be fatal too. Some of the reasons for electrolyte imbalances are dehydration due to vomiting or diarrhea, excess body heat when the climate is very hot or down with fever. Kidney problems, eating disorder and injuries like severe burns can also cause electrolyte imbalance. Also Read: Dehydration: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Some of the symptoms associated with severe electrolyte imbalance include:
- Confusion or anxiety
- Trouble Sleeping
- Rapid heartbeat
- Muscle cramping
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Foray through this infographic to know about the role of 5 essential minerals which play a vital role in maintaining the electrolyte balance.