vitamins deficiency symptoms

Electrolyte imbalance

Electrolytes are minerals that dissolve in water and carry electrical charges. Potassium, sodium, and chloride are the electrolyte minerals that play great role for health. Electrolyte Imbalance can cause a variety of health disorder and diseases.

Benefits of Electrolyte Minerals for health

Since human body is made mostly of water, these minerals are found everywhere in our body: inside cells, in the spaces between cells, in blood, in lymph, and everywhere else. Each tiny particle of sodium and potassium in our body has a positive charge; each tiny particle of chloride has a negative one. Because electrolytes have electrical charges, they can move easily back and forth through our cell membranes.

Electrolyte minerals are very important because they carry other nutrients with them and as they move out, they carry out waste products and excess water. Electrolytes also regulate your blood pressure and your heartbeat.
Potassium, sodium, and chloride are very closely linked. To keep the balance, sodium and potassium constantly move back and forth through our cell membranes.

Sodium imbalance

Sodium deficiency (Hyponatremia) does not normally result from inadequate dietary intakes.
In rare cases, excessive water intake can cause low sodium levels in the blood. Hyponatremia can be caused by prolonged, excessive sweating, prolonged vomiting or diarrhea, or the use of some diuretics.
Symptoms of hyponatremia include headache, muscle cramps, fainting, fatigue, and disorientation.
Hyponatremia is something to watch for with intense sport competitions that last for many hours.

Excessive intakes of salt lead to increasing levels of extracellular fluids as the sodium draws the fluids from inside the cells. As long as the kidneys are functioning normally and there is enough water, the extra sodium is flushed out through the kidneys.
High dietary intakes of highly salted food such as pickles, salted fish, and smoked foods have been tentatively linked to increases in stomach cancer. There is an increase in calcium loss with higher salt intakes, making excess salt a risk factor in osteoporosis.

Chloride imbalance

Deficiency of chloride is rare because it is found in most diets. Temporary deficiency of chloride can be induced by heavy sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Deficiency can be relieved by normal food and water. In extreme cases, rehydration therapy may be needed.

Chloride is not toxic. The only noted occurrences of excess chloride were due to water deficiencies. The normal dietary salt excesses of the average American diet contribute to increased risk of high blood pressure. The excessive intake of sodium chloride can lead to an increase in blood volume.

Potassium imbalance

Potassium deficiency (hypokalemia) rarely results from a low dietary intake.
The causes of hypokalemia are related to excessive losses of potassium from the body. This can be caused by prolonged vomiting, certain drugs, and some forms of kidney disease. Large amounts of licorice can lower potassium levels. Licorice contains glycyrrhizic acid, which has effects similar to those of aldosterone. Aldosterone is a hormone that increases urinary excretion of potassium.
The symptoms of potassium deficiency can result from alterations in membrane potential and lack of potassium for energy production. Symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness, bloating, and intestinal sluggishness. Severe hypokalemia can result in muscular paralysis or abnormal heart rhythms that can be fatal.

Toxicity is not found with potassium in food. Toxicity from supplement overdose is possible.
Symptoms of hyperkalemia (excess potassium) include weakness and tingling sensations and can lead to cardiac arrest in extreme cases.
The most common side effects of high doses of potassium supplements are gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is best to take high doses of potassium in a microencapsulated form and with meals to reduce side effects.

An imbalance of electrolytes can often be corrected by eating the right foods. In some cases, an imbalance of electrolyte levels may indicate an allergic reaction to medications or disease. Learn how to identify the symptoms of electrolyte imbalance and treat it with proper diet and supplements.

Electrolyte supplement

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