Electrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge.
Electrolytes affect how your body functions in many ways, including:
· The amount of water in your body
· The acidity of your blood (pH)
· Your muscle function
· Other important processes
You lose electrolytes when you sweat. You must replace them by drinking fluids that contain electrolytes. Water does not contain electrolytes.
Common electrolytes include:
Electrolytes can be acids, bases, or salts. They can be measured by different blood tests. Each electrolyte can be measured separately, such as:
· Ionized calcium
· Serum calcium
· Serum chloride
· Serum magnesium
· Serum phosphorus
· Serum potassium
· Serum sodium
Note: Serum is the part of blood that doesn't contain cells.
Sodium, potassium, and chloride levels can also be measured as part of a basic metabolic panel. A more complete test, called comprehensive metabolic panel, can test for these several more electrolytes.
The electrolytes - urine test measures electrolytes in urine. It test the levels of calcium, chloride, potassium, sodium, and other electrolytes.