Hypochloremia is an imbalance of electrolyte in the body. When the chloride electrolyte amount in the body becomes low it leads to a condition called Hypochloremia. Chloride functions with electrolytes like potassium and sodium, in the body, to regulate pH balance and the fluid amount in the body. Sodium chloride is consumed as table salt most commonly.
Symptoms of Hypochloremia include vomiting, loss of fluid, diarrhea, fatigue, weakness and dehydration. Hypochloremia can also accompany hyponatremia which involves low levels of sodium in the blood.
The work of the kidneys is to regulate electrolyte levels in the blood. A problem with kidneys may indicate a condition called Hypochloremia.
Other causes of Hypochloremia can be prolonged vomiting, metabolic alkalosis, prolonged diarrhea, congestive heart failure or chronic lung disease. Drugs like bicarbonates, laxatives, corticosteroids, diuretics, and even chemotherapy treatment could also cause Hypochloremia.
Diagnosis of Hypochloremia is done by performing a blood test to check the amount of chloride in mEq – milliequivalents per liter (L) in the blood. A normal range for adults: 98–106 mEq/L, children: 90–110 mEq/L, newborn babies: 96–106 mEq/L and premature babies: 95–110 mEq/L. A urine sodium test and urine chloride test may be ordered by the doctor if metabolic alkalosis is suspected.
Hypochloremia treatment includes giving a saline solution so that electrolytes are restored to normal levels. An adjustment in a diet is made in case the disease is in the mild form. The doctor can advise the patient to consume more salt also called sodium chloride.
Hypochloremia can be best avoided by making the doctor aware of medical history, all medications taken, staying hydrated and avoiding both alcohol and caffeine.
Hypochloremia occurs when there’s a low level of chloride in your body. It can be caused by fluid loss through nausea or vomiting or by existing conditions, diseases, or medications.
Your doctor may use a blood test to confirm hypochloremia. In mild cases, replenishing the chloride in your body can treat hypochloremia. This can be accomplished either by consuming more salt or through receiving IV fluids.
If your low chloride levels are due to a medication or an existing condition, your doctor may adjust the dosage of your medication or refer you to the appropriate specialist.