Symptoms of Electrolyte Disorders: Recognizing Signs of Imbalance

Iowa's Leading Kidney Doctors

We have twelve outstandingly experienced, compassionate, skilled, and licensed kidney doctors at the Iowa Kidney Physicians in Des Moines and West Des Moines, IA ready to help you with kidney issues and electrolyte disorders.

Specific signs and symptoms are pointing to an electrolyte disorder when you have a kidney issue. Our doctors want to make these symptoms known to everyone so they can recognize when they need to see our doctor.

What Are Electrolytes?

As soon as you recognize that you may have an electrolyte disorder, call us for an appointment immediately at the Iowa Kidney Physicians in Des Moines and West Des Moines. An imbalance in your electrolytes is nothing to ignore and brings with it serious complications if left untreated. 

Electrolyte imbalances happen when levels become too high or too low. Everyone may show different symptoms and levels, and it takes a blood draw for an electrolyte panel to know the levels. If you have never been diagnosed with a kidney issue, your electrolyte levels will tell our doctor if you have a kidney problem. 

The Iowa Kidney Physicians in Des Moines and West Des Moines explain that electrolyte disorders involve seven vital electrolytes you mainly get from foods, drinks, and supplements: sodium-potassium-calcium-chloride-magnesium-phosphate and bicarbonate. 

These seven electrolytes help balance the fluid in your body contained in your blood, tissues, and urine. These electrolytes help your vital organs function at optimum levels and support muscle and nerve function. 

Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Electrolyte Imbalance

  • Confusion/irritability
  • Diarrhea/constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations/irregular heart pattern
  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps/spasms/weakness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Numbness/fingers/toes/arms/legs

This imbalance can happen to anyone at any age, and you may recognize the above symptoms if you,

  • Have burns
  • Cancer and chemotherapy
  • Congestive heart failure or high blood pressure
  • Show signs of dehydration/fatigue-dark-colored urine and low urine output-dry skin-cracked lips-skin tenting-headaches-dizziness-no focus-low BP-irregular heart rate
  • Drink excessive fluids 
  • Kidney disease
  • Eating disorders
  • Liver disease
  • Take specific medications, diuretics, laxatives, steroids

If your electrolytes are out of balance, you can't hesitate to call our doctors at Iowa Kidney Physicians in Des Moines and West Des Moines immediately, as the complications of an untreated electrolyte imbalance are coma, seizures, and sudden cardiac death. 

Treatment involves electrolyte drinks, ORS packets at the pharmacy, IV fluids, IV medications, supplements, and hemodialysis if you have kidney failure. 

Help for Electrolyte Imbalances in Iowa

If your doctor has diagnosed you with a kidney disorder, you undoubtedly have electrolyte disorders as well. Any one of our twelve outstandingly experienced kidney doctors at the Iowa Kidney Physicians in Des Moines and West Des Monies, IA, can help you bring your electrolytes in balance. Please call us at (515) 336-6557 or (515) 243-3161 to schedule your consultation appointment.