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6 Common Causes of Electrolyte Imbalance

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Medical experts deem electrolytes “essential” for good reason. These major nutrients (calcium, sodium, magnesium, chloride, potassium, and phosphate) aid numerous vital bodily functions—such muscle function; blood pressure stability, blood clotting; maintenance of fluids, bones and teeth; nerve signalling; and heart beat regulation. However, an electrolyte imbalance can trigger a domino effect of negative and even deadly responses.

Electrolyte stores typically deplete through fluid loss (i.e., urination and sweating), however, an electrolyte imbalance can also be caused by diet shortfalls, an illness, medications, or a physical disease, or hormonal imbalance…

1. Prescription and Non-Prescription Medications

According to Healthline.com certain seemingly innocent over-the-counter medications can wreak havoc on your electrolyte levels. For instance, certain drugs that cause excessive sweating or dehydration to occur such as diuretics can leave electrolytes depleted.

Certain prescription drugs–such as prescription antibiotics, corticosteroid hormones (hydrocortisone), and immunosuppressant drugs (i.e., cyclosporine) used to prevent organ transplant rejection can also cause electrolyte imbalance. Perhaps more commonly, chemotherapy or heart disease drugs can also upset electrolyte stores.

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