Chloride is one of the most important electrolytes in the human body. It pairs up with other electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and calcium, and they ensure that your body's pH balance remains stable. This means that your blood doesn't become too acidic or alkaline, as these states could damage organs and tissues.
Unfortunately, having too much chloride in the body can also happen to individuals of all ages. This can lead to many health problems, and a reliable way to detect if you have too much chloride is by doing a blood test. Please keep reading to learn more about this substance and its role in the body.
A Brief Introduction to Chloride
As mentioned earlier, chloride is one of the main electrolytes in the body, and it's present in many foods, including common table salt. The average chloride levels in the body should be between 98 and 107 mEq/L of blood. Having too little chloride in the body is rare, but many people experience hyperchloremia, having high levels of chloride in the bloodstream.
The symptoms of having too much chloride are apparent, and if you have some of them, you should act immediately. For example, fatigue and not being in the mood for anything are common symptoms of hyperchloremia. Similarly, you might experience dehydration, loss of muscle coordination, and confusion if you have too much chloride in the body.
What Are the Functions of Chloride?
Chloride is responsible for multiple essential functions in the human body. For example, it helps transmit nerve signals between the body and brain. This allows you to coordinate your muscles properly and perform various daily tasks. Similarly, chloride also ensures that your heart muscles are contracting correctly when pumping out blood throughout the body. Chloride is also responsible for maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Another essential function of chloride consists of the metabolism of substances and nutrients. For example, chloride helps to push nutrients inside your body's cells so that you have energy throughout the day. Chloride also plays a crucial role in digestion as it helps the body release hydrochloric acid, which breaks down the foods you eat.
Lastly, chloride is paramount for the proper oxygenation of the body. It helps with the exchange of gasses inside your lungs so that your body receives enough oxygenated blood to function normally. As you can see, chloride is a vital substance, and that's why your priority should be to have normal levels of it in your bloodstream.
Foods Rich in Chloride
As mentioned earlier, chloride can be found in table salt, and ingesting too much salt is one of the leading causes of hyperchloremia in adults. Other foods also contain chloride, but they are not as addictive as table salt. For example, olives, lettuce, and tomatoes contain high amounts of chloride, and if your levels of this mineral are low, you should eat more of these foods to reestablish electrolyte balance.
Similarly, rye is another type of food that contains a lot of chloride and celery. If you have been diagnosed with high chloride, it's recommended that you reduce the intake of these foods to protect your health.
Drugs That Might Increase Chloride
Certain drugs or medications that you take might increase chloride levels, and it's essential to know this before you do the test. For example, estrogen is the primary female sex hormone, and it can significantly increase chloride levels, so tell your doctor if you take this hormone before testing. Similarly, cortisone which is used to treat pain and inflammation, can also increase chloride levels in people of all ages.
NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or Advil might also raise chloride levels in your bloodstream. Although you might not need to stop taking some of these drugs before doing a chloride test, it's essential to communicate with your doctor and tell them any medications you might take. This will help produce a better diagnosis when it comes to your real chloride levels.
Ways To Reduce Chloride in the Blood
You might be happy to find out that there are many ways you can naturally reduce blood chloride levels. First of all, start by drinking more water. A common symptom of having too much chlorine in your system is dehydration, so if you drink more water, you will maintain a healthy electrolyte balance. Also, by drinking more water, you give your kidneys a chance to flush out more chloride naturally.
Another great way to reduce chloride levels is by eating less table salt. Many people get into the habit of adding more salt to any food or meal they eat. This might improve the taste a little bit, but you will also get high amounts of salt in your bloodstream, increasing chloride levels. Most foods and ingredients already have a lot of salt added to them by manufacturers, so try to kick the habit of adding more salt to each dish.
At the same time, having too little chloride in the body can cause problems. This usually happens to individuals who drink too much caffeine or alcohol. These two substances tend to increase urination, and your body flushes out many electrolytes, including chloride. At the same time, nicotine can also increase chloride excretion, and your levels might drop to unhealthy levels.
Lastly, uncontrolled diabetes might also cause an imbalance in your electrolyte level. This happens because your body gets confused about processing glucose and pushing it inside cells for energy. If you regularly have high blood sugar levels, consider taking medications to control your diabetes. This should be done under the supervision of your primary healthcare provider.
Health Problems Caused by Too Much Chloride
Hyperchloremia can cause a lot of problems in the body, and that's why you should test for this substance regularly. First of all, having too much chloride in your system might be caused by kidneys that don't function properly. If you're diagnosed with renal disease and don't try to reduce chloride levels, these organs will only worsen over time. The complications can lead to complete kidney failure, which can be a life-threatening disease.
Secondly, too much chloride in the bloodstream can also lead to heart and muscle problems. Remember that this electrolyte is responsible for proper signal transmission between your brain and body. Suppose you routinely have too much chloride in the bloodstream. In that case, this will only lead to impaired muscle growth, poor muscle coordination, and cardiovascular complications as your heart muscle doesn't contract properly.
Chloride and the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
You might be happy to find out that the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel is a complex test that checks multiple electrolytes, minerals, and substances in your body at the same time. This test is inexpensive, and it uses a single blood sample to measure your chloride, calcium, sodium, potassium levels, and other substances related to your kidney and liver.
You can order this test online and receive a form to print when you visit a nearby clinic to draw blood. The blood sample is analyzed using state-of-the-art medical equipment that's safe and accurate. You will get the results back in a few days by mail, and you can compare the numbers against reference values. If you have too much chloride in your bloodstream or other electrolytes are unbalanced, you can talk to your doctor to see what treatment options are available for you.
Substances Tested by The CMP Blood Test
In addition to the main electrolytes found in the body, the CMP also checks the health of your vital organs, such as the kidney and liver. For example, this complete panel measures the levels of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, total protein, and other substances your kidneys produce. These vital organs need to eliminate excess creatinine and other substances regularly, so if your levels are high, you might deal with kidney disease. Having elevated levels of these substances might mean that your kidneys are not working properly.
Similarly, the CMP blood test also checks various substances and hormones related to your liver, such as transaminase, bilirubin, and others. Having abnormal levels of these substances might signify a liver problem, and you need to know about it. The good news is that this panel looks at your electrolytes, kidney, and liver in one test. You will save money and time as you don't have to order these tests individually.
Take the Chloride Test Today!
Whether you go for the individual high chloride test or the CMP blood test, you are doing the right thing. These tests provide an accurate snapshot of your mineral and electrolyte levels and based on the results you get, you can take adequate actions to protect and improve your health. Get the CMP panel from Discountedlabs.com today and learn more about your pH balance.