The Importance of Electrolyte Balance

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Maintaining proper levels of anything in your body is important for your body to function appropriately. Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals, negative or positive, and run throughout the body’s fluids, blood, and urine. The major electrolytes of the body are Na+ (sodium), K+ (potassium), Cl– (chloride), Ca2+ (calcium), H+ (hydrogen), HCO3– (bicarbonate), and phosphates; these electrolytes can be found in the food and drinks we consume everyday. They are responsible for many body processes such as the transport of water and other fluids within the body, muscle activity, and even metabolism to name a few. If one were to fail to balance their electrolyte levels whether the amount is too high or too low, with any of the electrolytes that the body uses, it can create problems for any individual’s functionality. With that being said electrolyte levels inside the body are amongst one of the many things in ones body that are important to keep balanced on a day-to-day basis. Electrolytes affect the osmolarity of the body’s fluids, which is the amount of mineral content present in the fluid itself. Directly related to water balance, electrolytes work with the water in the body to carry out its processes and aid in transportation and distribution across membranes due to the positive or negative charges that have resulted from the solutions. This makes the two, water and electrolytes, dependent on each other meaning that if water levels are insufficient or there is excess it would affect the osmolarity that would throw off the balance causing solutions around the body to be more dilute or concentrated. Similar complications would occur if the electrolyte levels were too low or high. When this happens the electrolytes are incapable ... ... middle of paper ... ...ine. Imbalances in phosphate levels do not really occur because the body can handle a wide range of phosphate concentrations and whether high or low it does not have a huge affect on the body. But to maintain a balance the parathyroid and renal tubules act to increase or decrease the concentration in the fluids. Works Cited Fluid and electrolyte balance. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/fluidandelectrolytebalance.html Patton, K. T., & Thibodeau, G. A. (2010). Anatomy & physiology. (7th ed., pp. 980-999). St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier. Saladin, K. S. (2011). Lecture outine - chapter 24. (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill Higher Education. Retrieved from http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/ap/saladin/outline24.mhtml Updegraff, E. (2014, March 09). What is resting membrane potential?. Retrieved from http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-resting-membrane-potential.htm

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