7 Electrolyte Imbalance Symptoms to Watch For
April 28, 2022
You've probably heard of electrolytes, but do you know what they are? Electrolytes are found in everything from sports drinks to flavored beverages. With electrolytes, though, it’s not about the taste. It’s about their function.
Electrolytes are essential minerals that are important for healthy regulation and functioning in the body.
If you prioritize your health and wellness, then hydration needs to be at the top of the list. Whether it’s after a high-intensity workout, a night out with friends, or amidst a busy workday, you must be on the top of your game. Staying hydrated, eating whole foods, and getting adequate exercise are all part of a wellness-oriented lifestyle.
And yet, sometimes it’s hard to bounce back from an intense workout or after a night of celebrating. You’re depleted, exhausted, and can’t seem to get your electrolytes balanced.
Relief comes in many forms, and in the case of electrolyte imbalance, it can come to you in the comfort of your own home with The I.V. Doc, offering in-home intravenous infusions will have you restored, refreshed, and ready for the day ahead.
What Is Electrolyte Imbalance?
Sometimes it’s hard to keep your electrolytes balanced, especially if you live a busy lifestyle. However, electrolyte imbalance is not solely about depletion. An electrolyte imbalance can occur if you have too many or too few electrolytes, which often coincides with your body's imbalance of water in your system.
Electrolytes move throughout your entire system, helping to regulate your muscle functions, maintain healthy regulatory functions, and balance your pH levels. Without a proper balance of electrolytes in your system, many functions may be inhibited, ranging from mild to severe.
What Are The Symptoms of Electrolyte Imbalance?
Before symptoms become severe, the onset of mild electrolyte imbalance is marked by a number of noticeable factors, from a headache to nausea. Read on for seven of the most common symptoms to watch for with electrolyte imbalance.
It may seem obvious, but thirst is a key sign that you are dehydrated and require some much-needed electrolytes. If you are thirsty, it’s your body’s way of letting you know that you need some hydration as soon as possible.
A dry mouth usually precipitates more significant symptoms of dehydration like nausea, fatigue, and disorientation. Thirst is not only a sign that your body needs water but an initial marker that you are probably already dehydrated.
Prioritize getting enough fluids throughout the day and consuming fruits and vegetables with high water content. Bring a water bottle with you to work, make sure that you're drinking before and after exercising, and if you're planning a night out on the town with friends and ensure you’re consuming enough water to feel refreshed in the morning.
Nobody enjoys the feeling of nausea. It’s often accompanied by lightheadedness and dizziness and can onset quickly. If your body has an imbalance of electrolytes, it’s also likely a sign that you are dehydrated.
Nausea is also a symptom of dehydration and if not addressed, can result in more severe symptoms, which could cause further dehydration.
Nausea is a symptom of electrolyte imbalance and dehydration and can cause further imbalance if it leads to vomiting. With or without vomiting, nausea is a symptom of electrolyte imbalance, but if it is accompanied by vomiting, it could cause further dehydration.
Another sign that your body might be in need of some electrolytes is if you are experiencing cramps. Potassium is both a mineral and an electrolyte that, if your body is not getting enough of, can cause cramping.
If you find yourself depleted and cramping after a long workout, or are finding that you are cramping more frequently than normal, prioritize food with potassium in it, in addition to hydrating regularly.
All of the systems in your body are connected, so it’s no surprise that when your body is impacted by electrolyte imbalance, your mind is going to be impacted as well.
Disorientation and confusion are common symptoms of electrolyte imbalance, particularly if the presence of calcium is too low or too high.
If you are feeling disoriented, it’s critical that you rest immediately, hydrate, and prioritize getting the necessary fluids and nutrients into your body as soon as possible. Food like almonds, edamame, and yogurt all contain calcium in addition to the go-to calcium drink, milk.
If you have ever gone an entire workday without eating or drinking regularly, then you are probably familiar with fatigue. Without adequate food, hydration, and sleep, the onset of fatigue can be sudden.
Fatigue is your body's way of letting you know that you are in need of some support and can be considered mild to moderate symptoms that should be addressed immediately.
This Rescue Treatment by The I.V. Doc is the perfect way to revive from fatigue onset by sickness, food poisoning, a hangover, or jet lag.
#6: Irregular Heartbeat
Electrolytes are named as such because they have an electrical charge and help regulate the functions of your body that rely on electricity. One of the essential functions of electrolytes is that they send electrical impulses to your heart.
An irregular heartbeat can be surprising, scary, and the result of an electrolyte imbalance.
If your electrolyte levels are too high or too low, the electrical impulses supported by electrolytes may not fire regularly. Heart arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, can be onset by various factors, including an imbalance in electrolytes, particularly if coupled with exhaustion, dehydration, or sickness.
#7: Constipation and Diarrhea
As previously mentioned, an electrolyte imbalance is caused by too many or too few electrolytes in your body. Without the presence of the required vitamins and minerals to help your body function, of course, the natural flow of your system will also be disrupted.
If you're experiencing chronic constipation or diarrhea, it could be a sign of an electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, or another upset in your system.
Prioritizing regular hydration with a necessary amount of fluids per day and ensuring that you're eating a well-balanced diet of whole foods, fruits, and veggies is critical to maintaining a high-functioning system.
What Causes Electrolyte Imbalance?
As previously discussed, an electrolyte imbalance can result from several different factors. More often than not, electrolyte imbalances result from being dehydrated but can result from too much hydration.
If you are sick, over-exercising and under-hydrating, or hungover, then there is a high likelihood that you may be experiencing electrolyte imbalance. If you aren’t eating enough, getting significant fluids, or experiencing diarrhea or vomiting due to sickness, your body will likely experience an electrolyte imbalance.
While the side effects of imbalanced electrolytes can range from mild to severe, the most important thing to remember is to be as routine as possible when it comes to balance. Prioritize hydration, a healthful diet, and exercise to keep your body as regulated and stable as possible.
Help Manage Electrolyte Imbalance
There are several ways to get your body back in balance with electrolytes, and one of the most effective ways to do so is through hydration. If you are dehydrated, your body requires some serious liquids, and the most effective way to do so is by making sure that you are drinking enough water.
If you do opt for sports drinks that have electrolytes in them, be sure that you're prioritizing electrolytes instead of sugar, which can actually impact your body as it’s trying to hydrate.
If you are struggling to restore balance to your electrolytes, you might need a boost from a professional.
The I.V. Doc has you covered, with its in-home intravenous infusions that can revive you from exercise fatigue, a hangover, sickness, or jet lag.
The Bottom Line
An electrolyte imbalance can result from several activities, including over-exercising, dehydration, or having a hangover.
While older adults and younger children run a higher risk of an electrolyte imbalance due to their age range, anyone can find themselves in a situation where they must restore their body to its regulatory state.
With in-home intravenous infusions that can help with anything from a hangover, athletic performance to anti-aging treatments, The I.V. Doc works with licensed medical professionals to support you as you balance your life.
Keeping your electrolytes balanced is a priority, and having support can be critical for busy and active lifestyles. Continue to prioritize hydration, whole foods, and a healthy routine to keep your mind and body as balanced as possible.