Electrolyte Imbalances, Its Types, Symptoms & More, As Per Expert

Electrolyte imbalance is a condition when our bodies have too much or too little of a certain mineral. 

Ishaan Arora
Written by: Ishaan AroraUpdated at: Feb 28, 2023 16:57 IST
Electrolyte Imbalances, Its Types, Symptoms & More, As Per Expert

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If you're eating well, exercising regularly, and sleeping well but still experiencing cramps, weakness, and fatigue throughout the day, it's possible that your electrolytes are out of balance. Electrolytes are essential for normal human function. Failure to maintain a normal electrolyte balance can result in various health issues. 

What exactly are electrolytes? The primary electrolytes in the body are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, phosphate, and bicarbonate. Electrolyte imbalances are most commonly caused by fluid loss from the body. Fluid loss can take many forms, including diarrhoea, vomiting, and excessive sweating during exercise. 

We spoke to Dt Priya Bansal, clinical dietitian and nutritionist, who explained electrolyte imbalance, its types, symptoms, and more.

What Is Electrolyte Imbalance?

According to Bansal, electrolyte imbalance is a condition in which our bodies have too much or too little of a certain mineral. "This can also be an indicator of disease onset or symptom," she adds.

How Electrolyte Imbalance Happens?

1) You are dehydrated

2) Your salt and sugar intake is low

3) You are consuming spicy food

4) Overeating or frequent bingeing

5) Fasting on a regular basis

6) You are skipping meals and starving to lose weight 

Also Read: Expert Explains Harmful Effects Of Using Gym Supplements

What Are Different Types Of Electrolyte Imbalance?

Bansal advocates that when there is an excess of a particular mineral in the body, it is denoted by hyper-as-prefix. For example, if there is an abundance of calcium, the condition is known as hypercalcemia. In contrast, hypo-as-prefix denotes a mineral deficiency. As an example, hypomagnesemia is caused by a lack of magnesium.

What Are The Symptoms Of Electrolyte Imbalance?

Electrolyte imbalance symptoms vary from person to person. This means that there are no distinct symptoms; rather, they are mixed. "No one could determine a mineral deficiency by its symptoms, which vary depending on the severity and electrolyte type," Bansal explains. "A minor electrolyte imbalance may be undetectable," she adds.

Commonly Occurring Symptoms Include: 

1) Mood Swings or restlessness

2) Diarrhoea or constipation

3) Fatigue or dizziness

4) Headaches

5) Irregular heart rate (ARRHYTHMIA)

6) Muscle cramps, muscle spasms or weakness

7) Nausea and vomiting

Also Read: Struggling With A Sports Injury? 4 Kinds Of Therapy To Help You Recover Faster

How Can You Manage Your Electrolytes?


Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to maintain your body's electrolytes. Make it a point to include ors (oral rehydration salt solution) twice a day or around your training, to prevent water loss. 

Pro Tip

The colour of your urine can be used to determine your body's hydration level. If it's crystal clear, you're fine; if it's dark or yellow, you're not drinking enough water.

Count Your Salt Intake

Sweating causes sodium loss, which is one of the most important electrolytes to be lost. As a result, it is critical that your salt intake is adequate; however, if you have high blood pressure, consult your doctor before consuming.

Consult A Expert

The best way to deal with mineral imbalance is to get a blood test done and consult with an expert, as this will allow you to identify and treat the problem from its root. 

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