Electrolyte Disorders Specialist

Kidney360

Internal Medicine & Nephrology located in Montrose & East Houston, Houston, TX

If you experience fatigue, irregular heartbeats, seizures, cramping, nausea, or vomiting, you could be suffering from an electrolyte disorder. At Kidney360 in Houston, Texas, Uday Khosla, MD, and his highly trained team diagnose electrolyte disorders and treat them to reduce your risk of life-threatening conditions. Call the Kidney 360 office to schedule an appointment or book one online today.

Electrolyte Disorders Q&A

What are electrolyte disorders?

Electrolytes are natural elements or compounds normally found in your body. They control important body functions. Calcium, chloride, potassium, sodium, phosphate, and magnesium are common electrolytes. They’re present in your urine, blood, and other bodily fluids, as well as foods, dietary supplements, and some drinks.

Electrolyte disorders happen when electrolyte levels in your body are too low or too high. Electrolytes must stay balanced for your body to function the way it should. Electrolyte imbalances are harmful and dangerous in many cases.

What are the symptoms of electrolyte disorders?

Common symptoms of electrolyte disorders include:

  • Fast and irregular heartbeats
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Muscle cramping
  • Muscle weakness
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Headaches
  • Tingling
  • Numbness

Imbalanced electrolytes can cause serious medical problems like coma and heart attack. That’s why it’s essential to see your doctor at the first sign of electrolyte abnormalities.

What causes electrolyte disorders?

Many conditions can lead to electrolyte disorders when left untreated. Examples include:

  • Prolonged vomiting, sweating, and diarrhea
  • Severe burns or broken bones
  • Medications
  • Acute or chronic kidney disease
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Adrenal gland disorders

Ways to reduce your risk of electrolyte disorders include living a healthy lifestyle, drinking a lot of fluids, properly managing chronic diseases, and seeing your doctor at the first sign of a problem.

How does my doctor diagnose electrolyte disorders?

To find out if you have an electrolyte disorder, your Kidney360 specialist uses a simple blood test to assess your kidney function and the electrolyte levels in your body. They also test your reflexes and complete a physical exam, including a pinch test to determine if you’re dehydrated.

Your provider might order additional blood tests, urine tests, or an electrocardiogram (EKG) to evaluate your heart’s function.

What are my treatment options?

Depending on how severe your electrolyte disorder is and what’s causing it, your Kidney360 specialist will recommend:

  • Intravenous (IV) fluids
  • IV medications
  • Oral medications
  • Dietary supplements
  • Diet changes
  • Dialysis

If your doctor determines that dialysis is the proper way to treat your kidney problems, you’re hooked up to a machine. This machine acts as an artificial kidney, removing the waste products from your blood. Your filtered blood is returned to your body while you relax in a comfortable, reclining chair.

Don’t let electrolyte imbalances become serious medical problems when simple treatments are within reach at Kidney360. Call the office to schedule an appointment or book one online today.