Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Electrolytes Loss And Replacement


Dijukno if your body becomes deprived of water and electrolytes, your muscles may cramp, you may get dizzy and weak, and perspiration may no longer cool you?  Your core body temperature may also
begin to rise progressing to heat cramps, to heat exhaustion, then to heat stroke which is potentially fatal.

Sodium, potassium, and chloride are electrolyte nutrients found in so many foods that a dietary deficiency is a rarity.  Sometimes you may actually need extra water and electrolytes.  

The adequate intake for sodium, potassium, and chloride are averages for a healthy adult age 19–50 weighing 150 pounds:

Sodium: 1,500 milligrams, Potassium: 4,700 milligrams, Chloride: 2,300 milligrams

When you lose enough water to become dangerously dehydrated, you also lose the electrolytes you need to maintain fluid balance, regulate body temperature, and trigger dozens of biochemical reactions.  Plain water doesn’t replace those electrolytes.

When you’re exercising or working hard in a hot environment, your body perspires, and moisture evaporates cooling your skin.  If you don’t cool your body down, you continue losing water.  If you don’t replace the lost water, you are losing water and electrolytes.

If you’re on a high protein diet, you need extra water to eliminate the nitrogen compounds in protein.

If you’re taking certain medications, some medications interact with water and electrolytes.  Always ask your doctor if you need extra water, and electrolytes. 

Diuretics increase the loss of sodium, potassium, and chloride.
Neomycin is an antibiotic that binds sodium into insoluble compounds, making it less available to your body.

Colchicine is an anti-gout drug that lowers your absorption of sodium.

Serious dehydration medicine, such as the World Health Organization’s electrolyte replacement formula:  In one glass mix, 8 ounces orange juice, a pinch of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon sweetener (honey, corn syrup). In a second glass mix 8 ounces boiled or bottled or distilled water, with 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.  Take a sip from one glass, then the another, and continue until finished.  If diarrhea continues, contact your doctor.

Electrolytes are essential minerals in your body that are necessary for nerve and muscle function, the body fluid balance, and other critical processes.  They are particles that can carry an electrical charge and are present in your blood, plasma, urine, and other fluids.  Electrolytes exist in the form of calcium, chlorine, magnesium, phosphate, potassium, and sodium that can be obtained from fluids, supplements, and foods.  For example, bananas are excellent sources of potassium.


Electrolyte Imbalance Highlight

The balance of electrolytes is constantly shifting due to fluctuating fluid levels in your body. For example, when you sweat as a result of exercise, hot weather, or illness, some electrolyte levels may be low. Vomiting and diarrhea are other causes of electrolyte imbalances, as they result in excessive fluid loss. You must replenish these fluids and electrolytes in order to prevent dehydration, a potentially life-threatening condition.
Vomiting and diarrhea, excessive heat, and severe illness are causes of electrolyte imbalance that can lead to dehydration. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms, such as low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, sunken eyes, confusion or loss of consciousness for even a brief moment, and poor skin elasticity.

The average adult male and female need about 1.5 grams of sodium (found in table salt and many common foods) a day.  This is needed for maintenance of normal fluid balance inside and outside of cell walls, muscular contraction, and nerve transmission

Both adult males and females need about 4.7 grams of potassium(found in bananas, citrus fruits like oranges, dairy products, peas, beans, nuts, and potatoes) a day which maintains fluid volume inside and outside of cells, and helps normal cell function.

Too much potassium may cause nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness, or tingling sensations.

Usually symptoms of low potassium are mild. At times the effects of low potassium can be vague. There may be more than one symptom involving the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, muscles, heart, and nerves.

Too little potassium may cause weakness, tiredness, or cramping in arm or leg muscles(sometimes severe enough to cause inability to move arms or legs due to weakness much like a paralysis), tingling or numbness, nausea or vomiting, abdominal cramping, bloating, constipation, irregular heartbeat, passing large amounts of urine or feeling very thirsty most of the time, fainting due to low blood pressure, abnormal psychological behavior: depression, psychosis, delirium, confusion, or hallucinations.

The average adult male and female need about 2.3 grams of chloride(found in table salt, kelp, and rye flour)a day.  This mineral is necessary for regulation if intercellular pressure and causes fluid to flow in and out of cells.

Too much chloride intake is sometimes associated with excess fluid loss such as vomiting and diarrhea.  If the sufferer were to be a diabetic, excessive chloride intake could lead to poor control of blood sugar concentration, which could cause it to become elevated.  It may also result in labored breathing, weakness, and intense thirst.

Too little chloride intake is sometimes associated with dehydration, fluid loss, or high levels of blood sodium.  Other forms of fluid loss, such as diarrhea, or vomiting may be experienced.

Are you getting the right amount of electrolytes?

Most people receive the electrolytes they need through food alone. However if you are in a hot climate and sweating due to temperature or if you are exercising then you run a higher risk factor for becoming dehydrated. Electrolytes may then need to be replaced.

Over the years sports drinks have lured many people in because they promise to provide electrolytes. In reality, some sports drinks do provide electrolytes, but most don't provide nearly the amount needed.
The best sources of electrolytes are actually from food.  Water hydrates, but doesn’t contain electrolytes unless you were to add a pinch of salt, sugar, and flour.  The best way to get electrolytes into your diet is to eat fruits and vegetables such as potatoes, corn, beans, citrus fruits, and bananas.

Food is also a good source of potassium. One whole banana has up to 470 milligrams , one cup of dates 1,160 milligrams, and one cup of raisins 1,240 milligrams of potassium.

Try to include calcium rich foods like kale, broccoli, bread, and dairy products.

Also understand that you don't need to start adding table salt to everything to replenish your electrolytes:  there are electrolytes in table salt, but most foods already have salt in them.


If you do want a quick drink that will restore electrolytes, try using fruit juice, pediasure®, or ensure® instead. Those have much higher concentrations of electrolytes than “sports drinks”.




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