What Is Electrolyte In Body?

Sodium, Potassium, Chloride

The total body water (TBW) in a 70 kg man is 60% of the body weight i.e. about 40 litres. Two thirds of this resides inside the cells, i.e. the intracellular fluid (ICF), while one third is in the extracellular compartment (ECF) that bathes the cells. A minor portion about 1 litter is present in the intestines and anterior chambers of the eyes.

The most important electrolytes in the ECF are sodium and chloride. The concentration of potassium in the ECF is very low. However, potassium is the predominant action (k+) in the ICF whereas sodium and chloride in the ICF are negligible.

Electrolyte And Their Functions

  • Needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction.
  • Needed for proper fuild balance, stomach acid.
  • Needed for proper fuild balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction

Sources Of Electrolytes

  • The major sources of sodium and chloride is common salt added to our food in the form of sodium chloride.
  • Naturally occurring sources of sodium are milk, meats, eggs and most vegetables.
  • In addition, food additives used in processed foods such as baking powder, preservatives etc.
  • contribute towards dietary sodium intake.

Deficiency And Excess Electrolytes

  • Hypernatremia and Hypernatremia: Serum concentration of Sodium is normally regulated within the range of 135 to 145 mill mole per litre (Mm/l)
  • Hypernatremia is defined as a Na level under 130 MM/L. When plasma Na level falls below 120 Mm/L symptoms such as headache, confusion, seizures and coma can occur.
  • Hypnatremia can arise from shift of water from cells to extracellular compartment.
  • Hypernatremia is also induced by renal failure when kidney’s impaired ability to excrete waste products results in build-up of solutes in plasma.

Hypokalemia And Hyperkalemia

  • Normal serum K range from 3.5-5Mn/L. Hypokalaemia or low plasma K levels can occur with net shift or K from the plasma to the cells.
  • The shift can occur in alkalosis. Overall depletion of body’s K which occurs in vomiting, prolonged fasting can also results in this shift. Mild hypokalaemia results in weakness and muscles cramps and cause arrhythmias in patients with heart diseases.
  • Serves hyperaemia (<2.5Mm /L of K) can results in paralysis.