Electrolyte PanelWednesday, March 23, 2011
Has your doctor ever ordered an electrolyte panel for you and you werent quite sure what it was? Dr. Edward Hill explains in this 60 Second Housecall.
An electrolyte panel is a test that measures several substances in your blood.
Electrolytes are minerals, such as sodium and potassium, that are found naturally in the body. They keep the bodys balance of fluids at the proper level and help maintain normal functions, such as heart rhythm, muscle contraction and brain function.
The level of blood carbon dioxide is also measured in an electrolyte panel. Carbon dioxide is a waste product made when the body breaks down food for energy. It takes the form of bicarbonate when dissolved in the blood, so this test is sometimes referred to as bicarbonate level.
Your health professional may order an electrolyte panel for routine health screening or to help detect and monitor certain conditions. An electrolyte panel may be done to confirm a suspected electrolyte imbalance, which may occur after taking certain medications. For example, ACE inhibitors may increase potassium in the body, while certain diuretics may decrease potassium in the body.
For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.