Electrolytes are minerals and salts that conduct electricity in the body as they become ions in solution. They are helpful in generating electrical signals and communications, regulating heartbeat and functions of the muscles besides maintaining fluid and acid-base balance in the blood.
Thus, electrolyte balance is essential for normal functioning of cells and organs in the body. Potassium, sodium, and chloride are the common electrolytes measured in the blood.
Why is the test performed?
A physician may prescribe an electrolyte test to diagnose electrolyte imbalance or fluid imbalance which may occur due to certain conditions. The test may also be recommended to monitor the treatment of certain conditions, including heart disease, kidney disease, lung disease, dehydration, high blood pressure or when an individual is taking medicines that may cause electrolyte imbalance.
How to prepare for the test?
No special preparation is needed for this test.
How is the sample collected?
A blood sample is collected from the vein in the arm of the individual using a needle.