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Dr. Anupriya Nautiyal
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Serum Electrolytes

Also known as Electrolyte panel, S. Electrolytes
Serum Electrolytes Test Includes 3 testsView All
You need to provide
This test is for
Male, Female
Test Preparation
  1. No special preparation is required.

Understanding Serum Electrolytes

What is Serum Electrolytes?

A Serum Electrolytes test measures the levels of 3 significant electrolytes, namely sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), and chloride (Cl-), in the body. This test evaluates your overall health and detects or monitors issues with the kidneys, nerves, or heart. It may be done as part of routine health checkups or if symptoms of electrolyte imbalance are present.

Electrolytes are the minerals found in the blood, tissues, urine, and extracellular fluids. They perform various vital functions and maintain the body's overall balance and functioning. A Serum Electrolytes test measures the levels of electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, and chloride in the blood. 

Sodium is an electrolyte that regulates fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contraction. Abnormal sodium levels can impact blood pressure and neurological function and indicate conditions such as dehydration, kidney problems, hormonal imbalances, or certain medications. 

Potassium is vital for nerve, heart, and muscle cell function. It is also important for regulating fluid balance. Abnormal potassium levels can affect heart rhythm and lead to muscle weakness. They may also be associated with kidney disorders, certain medications, or hormonal imbalances.

Chloride helps maintain electrolyte and fluid balance, regulates blood pH, and is essential for proper digestion. Abnormal chloride levels can indicate kidney dysfunction, dehydration, and certain metabolic disorders.

You may get a Serum Electrolytes test done if you experience symptoms suggestive of electrolyte imbalance in your body, such as extreme fatigue, weakness, difficulty in breathing, irregular heartbeat, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, muscle weakness, confusion, or seizures. Your doctor may also use this test to monitor treatment response for high blood pressure or as a follow-up if you are undergoing dialysis. 

Usually, no special preparation is required for an electrolyte test; eat and drink as per your daily routine. A Serum Electrolytes test is generally safe and well-tolerated. However, as with any blood test, minimal discomfort or bruising may rarely occur at the site where the blood sample is drawn.

Test result ranges are approximate and may differ slightly between labs depending on the methodology and laboratory guidelines. Talk to your doctor about your specific test results. Narrate your complete medical history to help the doctor correlate your clinical and laboratory findings. The test results will help them determine your medical condition and formulate your treatment plan.

What is Serum Electrolytes used for?

A Serum Electrolytes test is done:

  • As part of routine health checkups.
  • If you experience symptoms suggestive of electrolyte imbalance, such as weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps, or changes in heart rate.
  • To monitor the progress of the condition and treatment response in Individuals with chronic kidney disease, heart conditions, or other chronic illnesses.
  • To monitor and adjust dosages of medications that can impact electrolyte levels, such as diuretics or certain heart medications.
  • To monitor patients who are receiving intravenous fluids or are on dialysis.

What does Serum Electrolytes measure?

Contains 3 tests

A Serum Electrolytes test measures three important electrolytes in the body: sodium, potassium, and chloride. Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals that move fluid in and out of the cells. They transport the nutrients into the cells and flush out the waste products. They also help maintain water balance and pH levels by keeping the acids and bases in your blood balanced. Hence, the body must maintain an optimal balance of fluids and electrolytes for proper functioning.

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A Sodium test is used to measure 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 remaining is eliminated through the kidneys. The body keeps your blood sodium within a normal 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) or vasopressin.

  • 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 level of sodium in the blood changes, the water content in your body changes. These changes can be associated with dehydration, edema, and change in blood pressure.

Know more about Sodium

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A 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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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 Serum Electrolytes results


The normal range of serum electrolytes may vary from lab to lab.

Sodium (Na+)

Normal range: 135 to 145 mmol/L

Hyponatremia: Below 135 mmol/L

Hypernatremia: Above 145 mmol/L

Sodium concentration in the body is maintained within a narrow normal range between 135 mmol/L and 145 mmol/L.

Hyponatremia or low blood sodium indicates that sodium concentration lies below the normal range.

Hypernatremia or high blood sodium indicates that sodium concentration lies above the normal range.

Potassium (K+)

Normal range: 3.5 to 5.0mmol/L (136.5 to 195μg/ml approx.)

Hypokalemia: Below 3.5mmol/L (Less than 136.5μg/ml approx.)

Hyperkalemia: Above 5.0mmol/L (Above 195μg/ml approx.)

Potassium concentration in the body is maintained within a narrow normal range between 3.5mmol/L and 5.0mmol/L.

Hypokalemia or low blood potassium indicates that potassium concentration lies below the normal range.

Hyperkalemia or high blood potassium indicates that potassium concentration lies above the normal range.

Chloride (Cl-)

Normal reference range:

  • Adults: 98 to 106 mEq/L (milliequivalents per liter)

  • Children: 90 to 110 mEq/L

  • Newborn: 96 to 106 mEq/L

A chloride level higher than normal is called hyperchloremia.

A chloride level that is lower than normal is called hypochloremia.

Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Serum Electrolytes

Frequently Asked Questions about Serum Electrolytes

Q. Why is a Serum Electrolytes test performed?

A serum electrolyte test measures the quantity of electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and chloride. They are responsible for performing various metabolic functions; therefore, their availability in adequate quantities is necessary.

Q. When can a Serum Electrolytes test be advised?

A Serum Electrolytes test can be advised when you show symptoms suggestive of electrolyte disbalance, such as extreme fatigue and weakness, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, seizures, muscle weakness, or confusion. This test is also suggested to monitor treatment response for high blood pressure or as a follow-up test in people undergoing dialysis.

Q. What are the major electrolytes and their importance in our body?

Sodium, potassium, and chloride are three major electrolytes in our body. They help maintain the body's fluid balance, balance the body's pH levels, regulate blood pressure, control heart rate, maintain nerve function, and facilitate muscle contraction.

Q. What are the signs and symptoms of electrolyte imbalance?

The signs and symptoms that might indicate electrolyte imbalance in your body are headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps, numbness or tingling in fingers and toes, irritability, and confusion.

Q. What causes an electrolyte imbalance in the body?

Sudden fluid loss due to persistent diarrhea, vomiting or sweating, not drinking enough water, higher-than-normal body pH level, and the effects of certain medicines, such as diuretics, steroids, and laxatives, are some of the common causes that may lead to an electrolyte imbalance.

Q. What fruits are high in electrolyte content?

Fruits such as bananas, apricots, kiwi, peaches, dried figs, oranges, strawberries, mangoes, and cherries are high in electrolyte content. Consider adding these to your diet to improve your electrolyte levels naturally.

Q. Is there anything else I need to know about a Serum Electrolytes test?

Depending on the imbalance of electrolytes in your body, treatment may involve diet changes, such as altering salt or fluid intake or modifying the dose or frequency of certain medications, such as diuretics and painkillers. Once the treatment has started, regular tests may be advised to monitor treatment response and maintain the electrolyte balance.
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Serum Electrolytes test price for other cities

Price inBangaloreRs. 409
Price inMumbaiRs. 409
Price inHyderabadRs. 409
Price inPuneRs. 409
Price inKolkataRs. 409
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