Concept

Electrolyte imbalance

Summary
Electrolyte imbalance, or water-electrolyte imbalance, is an abnormality in the concentration of electrolytes in the body. Electrolytes play a vital role in maintaining homeostasis in the body. They help to regulate heart and neurological function, fluid balance, oxygen delivery, acid–base balance and much more. Electrolyte imbalances can develop by consuming too little or too much electrolyte as well as excreting too little or too much electrolyte. Examples of electrolytes include: calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate, potassium, and sodium. Electrolyte disturbances are involved in many disease processes, and are an important part of patient management in medicine. The causes, severity, treatment, and outcomes of these disturbances can differ greatly depending on the implicated electrolyte. The most serious electrolyte disturbances involve abnormalities in the levels of sodium, potassium or calcium. Other electrolyte imbalances are less common and often occur in conjunction with m
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