Test Detail
Understanding the Test
Test Measures
Interpreting Results
Other Tests
Content created by
Written by
Dr. Betina Chandolia
BDS, MDS - Oral Pathology and Microbiology
Reviewed by
Dr. Ashish Ranjan
MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)
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Electrolytes Profile

Electrolytes Profile Includes 3 testsView All
You need to provide
Blood
This test is for
Male, Female

Understanding Electrolytes Profile


What is Electrolytes Profile?

An electrolyte profile consists of the evaluation of levels of sodium, potassium, and chloride in the blood. It may be suggested as part of a routine screening or as a diagnostic aid in case of symptoms that might suggest an electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes are minerals that are found in body tissues and blood in the form of dissolved salts. These are electrically charged particles that help move nutrients into and wastes out of the body’s cells, maintain a healthy water balance, and helps in stabilizing the body’s pH levels.


This test is prescribed by the doctor In case of signs or symptoms suggesting an electrolyte imbalance like edema, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and irregular heartbeat and to monitor treatment of conditions like high blood pressure, heart failure, kidney disease, or lung disease.

To maintain the electrolyte level stay hydrated and eat a healthy balanced diet.

What is Electrolytes Profile used for?

  1. If you have signs or symptoms suggesting an electrolyte imbalance like edema, nausea, vomiting, confusion, irregolar heart beat
  2. If you are hospitalized for severe acute or chronic illness
  3. It is frequently ordered at regolar intervals to monitor treatment of conditions like high blood pressure, heart failure, kidney disease or lung disease
  4. As a part of basic metabolic panel or electrolyte panel

What does Electrolytes Profile measure?

Contains 3 tests
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Sodium

A Sodium test measures the amount of sodium in your body. Sodium is present in all body fluids and is found in the highest concentration in the extracellular fluid. The body absorbs the required amount of sodium through dietary salts, and the kidneys eliminate the remaining sodium. The body keeps your blood sodium within a regular and steady range by following three mechanisms:

  • By producing hormones that control the elimination of sodium through urine, such as natriuretic peptides and aldosterone.

  • By producing hormones that prevent water loss, such as antidiuretic hormone (ADH).

  • By controlling thirst (an increase in blood sodium level can make you thirsty and cause you to drink water, returning your sodium to normal).

These mechanisms regulate the amount of water and sodium in the body and control blood pressure by keeping the amount of water in check. When the sodium level in the blood changes, the water content in your body changes. These changes can be associated with dehydration, edema, and changes in blood pressure.

Know more about Sodium

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Chloride

The Chloride test measures the amount of chloride in your body. Chloride is present in all body fluids and is found in the highest concentration in the blood and extracellular fluid (fluid present outside the cells). The body gets most of the chloride through dietary salt (sodium chloride or NaCl) and a small amount through other food items. The required amount of chloride is absorbed in the body and the excess amount is excreted by the kidneys through urine. When the chloride is combined with sodium it is mostly found in nature as salt. Chloride generally increases or decreases in direct relationship to sodium but may also change without any changes in sodium levels when there are problems with the body's pH. Usually, the normal blood chloride level remains steady with a slight fall after meals (because the stomach produces hydrochloric acid using chloride from the blood after we eat food).

Know more about Chloride

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Potassium

A Potassium test measures the levels of potassium in your body. Potassium is one of the key electrolytes that helps in the functioning of the kidneys, heart, nerves, and muscles. It also balances the effect of sodium and helps keep your blood pressure normal. The body absorbs the required amount of potassium from the dietary sources and eliminates the remaining quantity through urine. Potassium level is typically maintained by the hormone aldosterone. Aldosterone acts on the nephrons present in the kidneys and activates the sodium-potassium pump that helps the body reabsorb sodium and excrete potassium. This aids in maintaining a regular and steady potassium level in the blood.

Know more about Potassium

Interpreting Electrolytes Profile results


Interpretations

  • Low levels of sodium (hyponatremia) may be due to loosing too much sodium such as in diarrhea, vomiting, excessive sweating, heart failure or kidney disease while the most common cause of high sodium level (hypernatremia) is dehydration
  • Low levels of potassium (hypokalemia) is usually due to diarrhea and vomiting while high potassium level (hyperkalemia) may be seen in kidney disease, Addison disease, dehydration 
  • Low levels of chloride can be seen in Cushing syndrome or congestive heart failure while high levels may be seen dehydration, kidney disease

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