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Can a Loss of Electrolytes Make Your Body Ache?

by
author image Frankie Smith
Frankie Smith brings over 12 years of experience in health care to her positions as a mental health clinician, policy analyst and director in Aboriginal health. Her writing experience has primarily been in the area of strategic planning and policy development. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Winnipeg.
Can a Loss of Electrolytes Make Your Body Ache?
An aching body can impair your quality of life. Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Your body aches, and it prevents you from completing your day-to-day tasks and makes it impossible to relax. Your aches and pains might stem from a number of conditions, including an imbalance in your electrolytes. Your body requires a proper balance of electrolytes in order to maintain the proper functioning of your cells and organs. A visit to the doctor can determine whether electrolyte imbalance is contributing to body aches.

Electrolytes

Electrolytes are minerals and fluids in your body that turn into ions in order to conduct electricity. The proper balance of electrolytes is required to ensure the proper functioning of your body, particularly your cells and organs. Balanced electrolytes are important for you muscle functioning, blood acidity and for regulating the amount of water in your body. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that electrolytes form bases, acids and salts in the body, such as calcium, sodium, potassium, chlorine, bicarbonate and magnesium.

Electrolyte Imbalances

You lose electrolytes when you sweat excessively. During periods of intense exercise, such as distance running, you need to replace electrolytes to ensure that you are not losing more sodium through sweat than you are taking in. Sodium is the primary electrolyte outside of your cells, while potassium is the electrolyte within the cells. An imbalance in these electrolytes can cause a number of life-threatening conditions, such as hyponatremia, as well as a host of symptoms.

Muscle Aches and Electrolytes

A number of conditions contribute to body aches, the most common of which include tension, stress, overuse and minor injury, reports MayoClinic.com. Muscle aches are a common occurrence, and according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, may affect more than one muscle, tendons, ligaments, bones, fascia and your organs. A common cause of muscle aches is electrolyte imbalances. In particular, too little calcium and potassium may contribute to aches and pains.

Other Symptoms

Imbalances in electrolytes might cause a number of other side effects including diarrhea, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and even stroke. Hyponatremia is a condition that occurs when too much sodium is lost, usually through excessive sweating, without replacing it. A lack of sodium causes water to rush to your cells, a symptom of the possibly fatal hyponatremia. You may manage mild electrolyte imbalances at home; however, severe electrolyte imbalances may require medical intervention. MayoClinic.com recommends medical treatment if vomiting, confusion and loss of consciousness develop.

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