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.
Excretion of ions occurs mainly through the kidneys, with lesser amounts lost in sweat and in feces.
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.
Hypophosphatemia, or abnormally low phosphate blood levels, occurs with heavy use of antacids, during alcohol withdrawal, and during malnourishment. 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. In the distal convoluted tubules and collecting ducts of the kidneys, aldosterone stimulates the synthesis and activation of the sodium-potassium pump ([link]).
Calcium and phosphate are both regulated through the actions of three hormones: parathyroid hormone (PTH), dihydroxyvitamin D (calcitriol), and calcitonin. PTH is released from the parathyroid gland in response to a decrease in the concentration of blood calcium. Calcitonin is released from the thyroid gland in response to elevated blood levels of calcium. 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. Numbness is one of the early symptoms of diabetic neuropathy and it worsens to weakness when the condition is unchecked. In worst cases, these complications can worsen to loss of reflex, foot sores and amputation.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is the prerequisite of keeping diabetic neuropathy at bay. Regular physical activity not only maintains your body weight but also improves health of the heart and flow of blood. Diabetics are also highly prone to amputation caused by infection in blisters and sores on feet. Diabetics should wash their feet daily and pat dry them as rubbing harshly on the skin can leave abrasions and cause infection. Some of the commonly used supplements to reduce symptoms of diabetic neuropathy and pain associated with it are alpha-lipolic acid and acetyl-L-cartinine. Taking control of your weight is the first step in warding off chances of developing diabetes. Trans-fats lower the body’s capability to absorb protein, withholding insulin secretion in the body. Avoid white rice, pasta, popcorn, rice-puffs and white flour, if you wish to control your blood-sugar levels. Smoking increases chances of contracting diabetes, since it begins to affect cardiovascular health and hormonal secretions in the long run.
Natural fruit sugars are the best options, as dietary supplements, since they provide all the necessary vitamins and minerals required. Fresh vegetables are rich sources of iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and other essential nutrients. Although caffeine has been known to increase chances of cardiovascular ailments, a moderate consumption tends to curb the increase of blood sugar levels. High metabolic rates are highly conducive in maintaining blood-sugar levels and nothing keeps metabolism more fired up than consuming small portions, frequently. When consumed in excess, the polyphenols in red meat tend to raise blood cholesterol levels. Powdered cinnamon, apart from spicing up your foods, has the ability to lower blood sugar levels, as well.
Oxytocin and serotonin are responsible for keeping the nerves functioning on optimum levels. A diet high in protein is extremely conducive in maintaining energy levels in the body, since people with risks of diabetes are recommended to stay off diets with complex carbohydrates and high fat content. Keeping tab on your blood sugar levels is an excellent way to monitor your chances of contracting diabetes. In diabetes, the immune system of the body is rendered weak, which means that minor injuries don’t tend to heal easily. Water tends to mobilize the high sugar content in blood and thereby helps in preventing aggravation. Consuming optimum amounts of calcium, whether in supplement form or in diet, can reduce chances of contracting diabetes.
Vinegar is an excellent dietary compound responsible for diluting concentrated sugar-levels in the blood. Colas and other aerated beverages are replete with excessively high sugar content, which is detrimental to the existing blood-sugar levels.
Studies have shown that moderate exposure to sunlight boosts the physical synthesis of vitamin D, which is essential for doing away with insulin resistance in the body.

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. In the face of phosphate depletion, the kidneys usually conserve phosphate, but during starvation, this conservation is impaired greatly.
The control of this exchange is governed principally by two hormones—aldosterone and angiotensin II.
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. The hormone activates osteoclasts to break down bone matrix and release inorganic calcium-phosphate salts. The hormone increases the activity of osteoblasts, which remove calcium from the blood and incorporate calcium into the bony matrix. 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. Patients with diabetic neuropathy also lose reflexes and hence cannot feel hotness or coldness and even pain. There are a number of home remedies that help in relieving the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Diabetes when accompanied with high blood pressure poses greater risk to the person as both the conditions have a damaging effect on the blood vessels and blood flow. Swimming or bicycling is recommended for patients with severe diabetic neuropathy that leads to loss of sensation in their legs.
After carefully washing the feet, some moisturizer should be applied on them to prevent further cracks.
A controlled weight not only helps to keep blood-sugar levels in check, but also maintains overall well-being. Studies have shown that exercise improves the blood flow and clears sugar levels in the blood. However, rampant consumption of unnaturally sweetened processed foods will inhibit insulin production and result in the onset of diabetes.
During diabetes, the body loses its ability to assimilate complex carbohydrates, causing a rampant sugar deposition in blood as sugar. The absorbed fibre tends to absorb the sugar in the blood and facilitate insulin secretion to normalize diabetes. Studies have shown that an adequate intake of Vitamin A and C maintains blood and bone health. Consuming a cup of unsweetened green tea regularly will rid the body of free radicals and let the antioxidants, contained within, normalize the blood sugar levels.
Caffeine has been known to suppress hunger pangs, which in the long run can curb an unruly sweet-tooth syndrome, from loading up the body with unnecessary calories. Studies have shown that frequent meals result in greater absorption of nutrients and lesser deposition of fat.
The release of adrenaline under great stress, on the other hand, tends to disrupt insulin secretions.
Not only does it aid in normalizing the wear-and-tear of the body, but also maintains a high metabolic rate. Not only are they replete in excessive salt, processed sugars and complex carbohydrates but are also steeped in unhealthy oils containing trans-fats.
Studies have shown that adults sleeping for 7-8 hours every night have experienced lesser chances of contracting diabetes in the long run, than those who sleep for fewer hours. Salt is responsible for tempering the osmotic balance of the body, which when upset, tends to give rise to various hormonal anomalies.
Drinking 2.5 litres of water, on a daily basis, will not only regulate physical functions but will also lower chances of cardiovascular and diabetic ailments. The high protein content is essential to sustain physical well-being, since fats and high-carbohydrate diets are out of the question. Studies have shown that people consuming 500 mg in supplement form have experienced 25% less chances of developing Type-2 diabetes. Studies have shown that two spoonfuls of vinegar before a meal can reduce the glucose influx. Its sugar content is also a rampant source of empty calories, which hinders the physical ability to assimilate nutrients.
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.

The excess water causes swelling of the cells; the swelling of red blood cells—decreasing their oxygen-carrying efficiency and making them potentially too large to fit through capillaries—along with the swelling of neurons in the brain can result in brain damage or even death. 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. Hyperphosphatemia, or abnormally increased levels of phosphates in the blood, occurs if there is decreased renal function or in cases of acute lymphocytic leukemia. 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.
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. 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. Results of such nerve damage are numbness, burning sensation, tingling and pain in the feet.
Also, it is advised that the shoes should be properly fitting to avoid rubbing on the skin. Avoiding the above-mentioned complex carbohydrates will ensure that your insulin production stays unaffected. Include fresh citrus fruits like oranges, apples, pineapples, grapes and lemons in your diet. In order to keep their diabetes in check, they need to monitor their cholesterol levels closely. Thus, consuming red meat tends to bring down the metabolic rate and hinder insulin secretion. Doing away with stress is, therefore, the most potent way of minimizing the harmful effects of high-blood sugar.
These devices require a small sample of blood to determine if your sugar levels are within control or not.
Since monthly check-ups and blood tests will determine the appropriate dosage to cure one of diabetes, setting up regular consultations with your doctor will be the best option to resort to. The science behind it claims that sleep calms the brain and facilitates the normal hormone secretion. While soaking up the sun might sound like an excellent yet easy remedy, to reduce diabetes levels, one must pay attention not to overexpose themselves to avoid risks of skin cancer. 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. Adjustments in respiratory and renal functions allow the body to regulate the levels of these ions in the ECF. 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.
Additionally, because phosphate is a major constituent of the ICF, any significant destruction of cells can result in dumping of phosphate into the ECF. In a negative feedback loop, increased osmolality of the ECF (which follows aldosterone-stimulated sodium absorption) inhibits the release of the hormone ([link]). Aldosterone and angiotensin II control the exchange of sodium and potassium between the renal filtrate and the renal collecting tubule. Consume bananas in moderation, since their sugar structure is more complex than that of citrus fruits.
All of the ions in plasma contribute to the osmotic balance that controls the movement of water between cells and their environment. Phosphate is a normal constituent of nucleic acids; hence, blood levels of phosphate will increase whenever nucleic acids are broken down. Bicarbonate is the one ion that is not normally excreted in urine; instead, it is conserved by the kidneys for use in the body’s buffering systems.
For the heart, this means that it won’t relax after a contraction, and will effectively “seize” and stop pumping blood, which is fatal within minutes. 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.
Aldosterone’s effect on potassium is the reverse of that of sodium; under its influence, excess potassium is pumped into the renal filtrate for excretion from the body. 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. Potassium participates in the exchange with sodium in the renal tubules under the influence of aldosterone, which also relies on basolateral sodium-potassium pumps.

Sugar gives diabetes
Effects of low sugar level in human body organs
Foods to eat to avoid high blood sugar
How to regulate blood sugar after eating sweets


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