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Electrolyte Disorders

Kingwood Kidney Associates

Board Certified Internal Medicine & Nephrology located in Humble, TX

Electrolytes are charged particles throughout your body that play an important role in many essential body functions. If your electrolyte levels are too high or too low, you may have an electrolyte disorder, which may affect these essential functions. At Kingwood Kidney Associates in Humble, Texas, the board-certified Nephrologists, Sowmya Puthalapattu, MD, and Chinonye Ogbonnaya-Odor, MD, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of electrolyte disorders. To schedule a consultation, call the office most convenient to you or book online today.

Electrolyte Disorders Q & A

What are electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals that carry an electric charge and include sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and chloride. These electrolytes are throughout your body and perform many functions, such as:

  • Maintaining fluid balance
  • Maintaining acid/base balance
  • Moving nutrients into your cells 
  • Removing waste from your cells
  • Ensuring the proper function of your nerves, muscles, heart, and brain

Your diet serves as the primary source of these electrolytes. However, your kidneys are responsible for keeping the electrolyte levels in your body in balance. 

What are electrolyte disorders?

Electrolyte disorders occur when your electrolyte levels are either too high (hyper) or too low (hypo). Types of electrolyte disorders include:

  • Hyponatremia (low sodium)
  • Hypernatremia (high sodium)
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium)
  • Hyperkalemia (high potassium)
  • Hypocalcemia (low calcium)
  • Hypercalcemia (high calcium)
  • Hypophosphatemia (low phosphorus)
  • Hyperphosphatemia (high phosphorus)
  • Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium)
  • Hypermagnesemia (high magnesium)

You can develop an electrolyte disorder from many causes, including medication, excessive vomiting or diarrhea, dehydration, or conditions that affect your liver or kidneys.

An imbalance in sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium are often related to problems with kidney function.

What are the symptoms of electrolyte disorders?

Symptoms of an electrolyte disorder vary in type and severity depending on the electrolyte affected and the underlying cause of the imbalance. In some cases, you may not experience any symptoms at all.

Symptoms of an electrolyte disorder may include:

  • Muscle cramping or weakness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Fluid retention

Your kidneys are responsible for not only helping to maintain proper electrolyte balance but also fluid balance. If your kidneys aren’t functioning properly and it’s affecting your electrolyte levels, then you may also experience changes in fluid balance that lead to edema or fluid overload. 

How are electrolyte disorders treated?

Treatment for your electrolyte disorder depends on the type of electrolyte disorder you have and the underlying cause. 

The experienced team at Kingwood Kidney Associates specializes in taking care of patients with hyponatremia and fluid-related disorders, including those suffering from hard to control edema and fluid overload issues.

Your treatment plan may include:

Electrolyte disorders may develop from many causes, but may also be related to changes in kidney health and function. For comprehensive care from an experienced team who specializes in kidney disease, call Kingwood Kidney Associates, or request an appointment online today.