Other Conditions & Exposures

Expert reports about Other Conditions & Exposures


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE AN ELECTROLYTE IMBALANCE DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

                                                                                                                                                

What is an electrolyte imbalance during pregnancy?

Electrolytes are ions –atoms and molecules that carry a net positive or negative charge– that are dissolved in your body fluids and that enable body fluids and tissues to conduct electricity. In clinical practice, when doctors order an electrolyte panel, or “lytes,” the laboratory gives them values for the concentrations of four electrolytes: sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), chloride (Cl-) and bicarbonate (HCO3-) in serum (the liquid portion of a blood sample that has clotted). Typically, the four “lytes” are provided as part of a basic metabolic panel (BMP), also known as a “chem-7”, in which concentrations of glucose (blood sugar), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatinine are also provided. Another electrolyte, calcium (Ca2+), can be added to the BMP (“chem-8”) and is automatically included in a larger panel called a comprehensive panel (CMP) or a “chem-14”. Clinically important electrolytes also include magnesium (Mg2+) and phosphate (PO43-).


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