Electrolyte imbalance occurs when your body does not have enough of the important minerals it needs for normal bodily function. Without sufficient electrolytes, your body cannot perform at its best. Keeping them balanced is essential. Learn the symptoms, causes, and how to treat electrolyte imbalance with our expert guide.
Table of Contents:
- What Are Electrolytes Good For?
- 6 Symptoms of Electrolyte Imbalance
- What Causes Electrolyte Imbalance?
- How to Support Electrolyte Balance
What Are Electrolytes Good For?
Electrolytes are naturally occurring types of minerals found in your bodily fluids. Electrolytes regulate muscle contractions, balance your pH levels, support the nervous system, and help to keep you hydrated. These minerals include chloride, phosphate, potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium. Essential minerals such as these have important benefits to your body. Some of the key benefits of electrolytes include:
- Supporting immunity
- Promoting sleep
- Improving muscle function
- Balancing your blood pH
- Regulating blood pressure
- Maintaining nervous system function
These key benefits of electrolytes make it clear how pivotal it is to have the proper levels. Without these useful minerals, in the correct levels, you may experience vitamin or mineral deficiencies. This means your levels are too low, and your body cannot function at its best. Electrolyte imbalance can cause harmful side effects, and knowing the signs can help you identify your level of risk.
6 Symptoms of Electrolyte Imbalance
Electrolyte imbalance can lead to unwanted symptoms which affect how your body functions. It is important to know these signs to identify whether you are in electrolyte imbalance. The signs of electrolyte imbalance include:
- Muscle tension - Losing important minerals, such as magnesium, can cause muscle issues. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant, so if your body experiences electrolyte imbalance, your muscles could feel tense.
- Low energy - Nutrient imbalances cause a lack of energy, because the minerals depleted contribute to your natural energy supply. Magnesium supports your energy levels by helping you sleep. Without enough of these vital minerals, you may feel like you have no energy. Replenishing your levels of electrolytes may be a way for you to boost your energy naturally.
- Changes in Blood Pressure - Sodium and potassium have impacts on your blood pressure. Too much sodium can cause high blood pressure, while too little potassium can lower blood pressure. Therefore, electrolyte imbalance may result in your blood pressure changing. Vitamin K benefits normal blood function, and works to ensure calcium is deposited in your bones, not your blood vessels.
- Fatigue - Due to the nature of electrolyte imbalance being connected to dehydration, a side effect is fatigue. Without enough water and essential electrolytes, you may feel sapped of energy. Naturally, the minerals which aid in your sleep cycle may be missing in electrolyte imbalance. Sleep supplements are designed to restore these minerals, helping you drift off peacefully.
- Headache - Similarly, a common side effect of electrolyte imbalance is headaches. Often caused by dehydration, which comes hand in hand with a loss of electrolyte. A headache can be a common sign of needing more water.
- Nausea - Not only can electrolyte imbalance be caused by vomiting, but it can in turn make you feel nauseous.
Electrolyte imbalance can cause these unwanted side effects which are detrimental to your health and wellbeing. Identifying the signs, and restoring your levels is essential to see the benefits of these vital minerals.
What Causes Electrolyte Imbalance?
You lose electrolytes through your sweat and urine, as well as vomit or diarrhoea. Electrolyte imbalance occurs when you lose large amounts of bodily fluids. Identifying the causes can help you replenish, and keep on track of when you may be most at risk. Here are some common causes of electrolyte imbalance:
- Exercise - When you exercise, the body works up a sweat to keep you cool. When you sweat, you lose water from your body, which can cause dehydration. Sweating also reduces the salts in your body, and may leave you in a state of electrolyte imbalance. Many sports drinks and informed sport supplements are catered to restoring these minerals and water to your body.
- Alcohol - Alcohol can cause electrolyte imbalance because it is a diuretic. This means it makes you urinate more frequently. Electrolyte imbalance can be caused by this frequent urination from drinking alcohol, as well as if you experience vomiting or diarrhoea. Drinking alcohol can contribute to low energy levels, therefore, replenishing your electrolytes is essential after drinking.
- Certain medications - Certain medications may cause electrolyte imbalance, such as steroids, or those which have a laxative effect or make you urinate more frequently. This is because you may lose more of your body’s water and fluids, and therefore electrolytes too.
Electrolyte imbalances are caused by these key factors, so identifying the level of risk, and knowing how to treat it is essential to your overall health and wellbeing.
How to Support Electrolyte Balance
We source electrolytes from our diets, so eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential. You can support electrolyte balance with nutrients and supplements which can aid their regulation.
Magnesium supplements can encourage your recovery from sports and exercise. This is because magnesium contributes to electrolyte balance. With BetterYou, improving your magnesium intake is easier than ever with our pill-free formulas.
The benefits of magnesium include its availability in a transdermal form. This means it can be applied to the skin in magnesium creams, as well as magnesium body sprays. For those wanting to wind down before bed, magnesium bath flakes are a relaxing way to encourage your magnesium levels. The mineral contributes to electrolyte balance, and helps you prepare to drift off peacefully.
Calcium is another important electrolyte mineral which your body needs. Calcium and magnesium work alongside each other to support your bone health. BetterYou’s Magnesium + Calcium Lotion is a hassle-free way to supplement both minerals together. This helps to support your body and avoid electrolyte imbalance.
To counteract the lack of energy which occurs when you are in a state of electrolyte imbalance, energy supplements can help to restore your levels to put a spring in your step.
Because we source electrolytes from our diets, those with eating restrictions may miss out on key nutrients. Vegan supplements, vegetarian supplements, and gluten-free supplements can help you to bridge the gap. That way, no one has to miss out on balanced nutrition.