Electrolyte imbalance Overview
An electrolyte imbalance occurs when the various mineral electrolytes in the body are abnormally imbalanced. Levels may be too low or too high. Examples include magnesium, sodium (salt), potassium, and various other types. Incorrect levels of these substances can have serious consequences affecting the heart, breathing, and various other body processes. Electrolyte imbalance often occurs with dehydration (e.g. from vomiting, diarrhea), and can be very serious. Other metabolic disorders can cause electrolyte imbalances to occur, such as diabetes and diabetic ketoacidosis. Mild electrolyte imbalances may be resolved with fluid supplements containing salts and other substances; various sports drinks and over-the-counter electrolyte products are available. However, electrolyte imbalance and dehydration should not be underestimated, as they can be dangerous, especially in children, the elderly and other risk groups. More severe electrolyte imbalances are potentially fatal (e.g. breathing difficulty, risk of heart attack), and require hospitalization with intravenous correction of electrolytes and other treatments.
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- Dehydration: Dehydration is a lack of adequate fluid in the body. Dehydration is a dangerous complication of various infections, and can
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- Metabolic Disorders: Metabolic disorder are disorders or diseases due to an abnormal metabolism. For example, diabetes is a metabolic disorder with an
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- Diabetes: Diabetes is a metabolic disease where the body loses the ability to properly process sugars (glucose). The full medical name
... More on Diabetes »
- Diabetic Ketoacidosis: Diabetic ketoacidosis (also called DKA) is an extremely dangerous complication of undiagnosed or poorly-controlled diabetes. Diabetes causes a build
... More on Diabetic Ketoacidosis »
- Heart Attack: Heart attack, also called Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI), occurs when the heart does not get enough blood supply. It is
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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.