The body contains a large variety of ions, or electrolytes, which perform a variety of functions. Electrolytes in living systems include sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, calcium, phosphate, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, manganese, molybdenum, copper, and chromium.
These six ions aid in nerve excitability, endocrine secretion, membrane permeability, buffering body fluids, and controlling the movement of fluids between compartments.
Hyponatremia is a lower-than-normal concentration of sodium, usually associated with excess water accumulation in the body, which dilutes the sodium. A relative decrease in blood sodium can occur because of an imbalance of sodium in one of the body’s other fluid compartments, like IF, or from a dilution of sodium due to water retention related to edema or congestive heart failure. Some insulin-dependent diabetic patients experience a relative reduction of potassium in the blood from the redistribution of potassium. Hyperkalemia, an elevated potassium blood level, also can impair the function of skeletal muscles, the nervous system, and the heart.
Hypochloremia, or lower-than-normal blood chloride levels, can occur because of defective renal tubular absorption. Bicarbonate ions result from a chemical reaction that starts with carbon dioxide (CO2) and water, two molecules that are produced at the end of aerobic metabolism. The bidirectional arrows indicate that the reactions can go in either direction, depending on the concentrations of the reactants and products. About two pounds of calcium in your body are bound up in bone, which provides hardness to the bone and serves as a mineral reserve for calcium and its salts for the rest of the tissues.
Hypocalcemia, or abnormally low calcium blood levels, is seen in hypoparathyroidism, which may follow the removal of the thyroid gland, because the four nodules of the parathyroid gland are embedded in it. Sodium is reabsorbed from the renal filtrate, and potassium is excreted into the filtrate in the renal collecting tubule. Recall that aldosterone increases the excretion of potassium and the reabsorption of sodium in the distal tubule. The Aldosterone Feedback Loop Aldosterone, which is released by the adrenal gland, facilitates reabsorption of Na+ and thus the reabsorption of water. In the distal convoluted tubules and collecting ducts of the kidneys, aldosterone stimulates the synthesis and activation of the sodium-potassium pump ([link]). The Renin-Angiotensin System Angiotensin II stimulates the release of aldosterone from the adrenal cortex. Calcium and phosphate are both regulated through the actions of three hormones: parathyroid hormone (PTH), dihydroxyvitamin D (calcitriol), and calcitonin. Electrolytes serve various purposes, such as helping to conduct electrical impulses along cell membranes in neurons and muscles, stabilizing enzyme structures, and releasing hormones from endocrine glands. Drinking seawater dehydrates the body as the body must pass sodium through the kidneys, and water follows. Explain how the CO2 generated by cells and exhaled in the lungs is carried as bicarbonate in the blood.
How can one have an imbalance in a substance, but not actually have elevated or deficient levels of that substance in the body? Without having an absolute excess or deficiency of a substance, one can have too much or too little of that substance in a given compartment. Thu vi?n H?c li?u M? Vi?t Nam (VOER) du?c tai tr? b?i Vietnam Foundation va v?n hanh tren n?n t?ng Hanoi Spring. Diabetes is a lifelong disease characterized by high levels of the sugar glucose in the blood. Gestational diabetes occurs when a woman without obvious diabetes develops high blood sugar during pregnancy. There is a lot women with gestational diabetes can do to maintain good health through pregnancy and minimize complications. Biochemistry Online by Henry Jakubowski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Some ions assist in the transmission of electrical impulses along cell membranes in neurons and muscles. In terms of body functioning, six electrolytes are most important: sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, calcium, and phosphate. In a clinical setting, sodium, potassium, and chloride are typically analyzed in a routine urine sample. It is responsible for one-half of the osmotic pressure gradient that exists between the interior of cells and their surrounding environment. An absolute loss of sodium may be due to a decreased intake of the ion coupled with its continual excretion in the urine. At the cellular level, hyponatremia results in increased entry of water into cells by osmosis, because the concentration of solutes within the cell exceeds the concentration of solutes in the now-diluted ECF.


It can result from water loss from the blood, resulting in the hemoconcentration of all blood constituents. It helps establish the resting membrane potential in neurons and muscle fibers after membrane depolarization and action potentials.
Similar to the situation with hyponatremia, hypokalemia can occur because of either an absolute reduction of potassium in the body or a relative reduction of potassium in the blood due to the redistribution of potassium. When insulin is administered and glucose is taken up by cells, potassium passes through the cell membrane along with glucose, decreasing the amount of potassium in the blood and IF, which can cause hyperpolarization of the cell membranes of neurons, reducing their responses to stimuli. Chloride is a major contributor to the osmotic pressure gradient between the ICF and ECF, and plays an important role in maintaining proper hydration. Its principal function is to maintain your body’s acid-base balance by being part of buffer systems. A deficiency of vitamin D leads to a decrease in absorbed calcium and, eventually, a depletion of calcium stores from the skeletal system, potentially leading to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, contributing to osteoporosis. Hypercalcemia, or abnormally high calcium blood levels, is seen in primary hyperparathyroidism. Bone and teeth bind up 85 percent of the body’s phosphate as part of calcium-phosphate salts. Aldosterone is released if blood levels of potassium increase, if blood levels of sodium severely decrease, or if blood pressure decreases.
This action increases the glomerular filtration rate, resulting in more material filtered out of the glomerular capillaries and into Bowman’s capsule.
Sodium passes from the filtrate, into and through the cells of the tubules and ducts, into the ECF and then into capillaries. All three are released or synthesized in response to the blood levels of calcium.PTH is released from the parathyroid gland in response to a decrease in the concentration of blood calcium.
The ions in plasma also contribute to the osmotic balance that controls the movement of water between cells and their environment. It is transformed into carbonic acid and then into bicarbonate in order to mix in plasma for transportation to the lungs, where it reverts back to its gaseous form. Such a relative increase or decrease is due to a redistribution of water or the ion in the body’s compartments. Cac tai li?u d?u tuan th? gi?y phep Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 tr? khi ghi chu ro ngo?i l?. High blood sugar is caused by the body’s inability to make insulin or respond to insulin normallyGlucose comes from food and is the main energy source for the body.Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas that is responsible for telling organs such as the liver, muscle, and fat to remove glucose from the blood. This typically happens late in pregnancy, around 28 weeks or later.Gestational diabetes places the mother and baby at risk pregnancy complications such as macrosomia (largebaby), pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure) and birth injury. Percent increase in the odds of each complication was adjusted for potential confounders including, but not limited to, maternal age, BMI, height, smoking status, and family history of diabetes. Healthy meal planning, physical activity, and blood sugar monitoring are important parts of managing gestational diabetes. This panel of tests can be performed during the first and second trimester to screen for gestational diabetes risk before diagnosis is typically made. More than 90 percent of the calcium and phosphate that enters the body is incorporated into bones and teeth, with bone serving as a mineral reserve for these ions. In contrast, calcium and phosphate analysis requires a collection of urine across a 24-hour period, because the output of these ions can vary considerably over the course of a day.
Hormonal imbalances involving ADH and aldosterone may also result in higher-than-normal sodium values. An absolute loss of potassium can arise from decreased intake, frequently related to starvation. In such a situation, potassium from the blood ends up in the ECF in abnormally high concentrations. Chloride functions to balance cations in the ECF, maintaining the electrical neutrality of this fluid.
Hyperchloremia, or higher-than-normal blood chloride levels, can occur due to dehydration, excessive intake of dietary salt (NaCl) or swallowing of sea water, aspirin intoxication, congestive heart failure, and the hereditary, chronic lung disease, cystic fibrosis.
Carbon dioxide is converted into bicarbonate in the cytoplasm of red blood cells through the action of an enzyme called carbonic anhydrase. A little more than one-half of blood calcium is bound to proteins, leaving the rest in its ionized form.
Phosphate is found in phospholipids, such as those that make up the cell membrane, and in ATP, nucleotides, and buffers.Hypophosphatemia, or abnormally low phosphate blood levels, occurs with heavy use of antacids, during alcohol withdrawal, and during malnourishment. Its net effect is to conserve and increase water levels in the plasma by reducing the excretion of sodium, and thus water, from the kidneys.
Angiotensin II also signals an increase in the release of aldosterone from the adrenal cortex.


The hormone activates osteoclasts to break down bone matrix and release inorganic calcium-phosphate salts.
Imbalances of these ions can result in various problems in the body, and their concentrations are tightly regulated.
This may be due to the loss of water in the blood, leading to a hemoconcentration or dilution of the ion in tissues due to edema.
When there is not enough insulin, or these organs can’t respond to insulin, less glucose gets into cells to be stored for energy. In fact, 80 – 90% of women with gestational diabetes can be managed with lifestyle therapy alone.
Identification of gestational diabetes risk allows women to make lifestyle changes earlier to improve health and wellness throughout pregnancy. In the event that calcium and phosphate are needed for other functions, bone tissue can be broken down to supply the blood and other tissues with these minerals. This excess sodium appears to be a major factor in hypertension (high blood pressure) in some people.
The low levels of potassium in blood and CSF are due to the sodium-potassium pumps in cell membranes, which maintain the normal potassium concentration gradients between the ICF and ECF. This can result in a partial depolarization (excitation) of the plasma membrane of skeletal muscle fibers, neurons, and cardiac cells of the heart, and can also lead to an inability of cells to repolarize.
The paths of secretion and reabsorption of chloride ions in the renal system follow the paths of sodium ions. In people who have cystic fibrosis, chloride levels in sweat are two to five times those of normal levels, and analysis of sweat is often used in the diagnosis of the disease. Calcium ions, Ca2+, are necessary for muscle contraction, enzyme activity, and blood coagulation. In the face of phosphate depletion, the kidneys usually conserve phosphate, but during starvation, this conservation is impaired greatly. In a negative feedback loop, increased osmolality of the ECF (which follows aldosterone-stimulated sodium absorption) inhibits the release of the hormone ([link]). PTH also increases the gastrointestinal absorption of dietary calcium by converting vitamin D into dihydroxyvitamin D (calcitriol), an active form of vitamin D that intestinal epithelial cells require to absorb calcium.PTH raises blood calcium levels by inhibiting the loss of calcium through the kidneys.
Aldosterone and angiotensin II control the exchange of sodium and potassium between the renal filtrate and the renal collecting tubule. Women with blood sugar levels that cannot be controlled with lifestyle changes will require insulin injections. All of the ions in plasma contribute to the osmotic balance that controls the movement of water between cells and their environment. Once in the lungs, the reactions reverse direction, and CO2 is regenerated from bicarbonate to be exhaled as metabolic waste. In addition, calcium helps to stabilize cell membranes and is essential for the release of neurotransmitters from neurons and of hormones from endocrine glands. Hyperphosphatemia, or abnormally increased levels of phosphates in the blood, occurs if there is decreased renal function or in cases of acute lymphocytic leukemia. PTH also increases the loss of phosphate through the kidneys.Calcitonin is released from the thyroid gland in response to elevated blood levels of calcium. Sodium is freely filtered through the glomerular capillaries of the kidneys, and although much of the filtered sodium is reabsorbed in the proximal convoluted tubule, some remains in the filtrate and urine, and is normally excreted.
Potassium is excreted, both actively and passively, through the renal tubules, especially the distal convoluted tubule and collecting ducts. Because of such effects on the nervous system, a person with hyperkalemia may also exhibit mental confusion, numbness, and weakened respiratory muscles. Additionally, because phosphate is a major constituent of the ICF, any significant destruction of cells can result in dumping of phosphate into the ECF. The hormone increases the activity of osteoblasts, which remove calcium from the blood and incorporate calcium into the bony matrix.
Potassium participates in the exchange with sodium in the renal tubules under the influence of aldosterone, which also relies on basolateral sodium-potassium pumps. Adjustments in respiratory and renal functions allow the body to regulate the levels of these ions in the ECF.



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