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What is an Electrolyte Panel?
An Electrolyte Panel is a blood test used to measure a patient’s levels of electrolytes and carbon dioxide in their blood. Electrolytes are minerals found in the body, including both sodium and potassium, which keep the body’s fluids balanced, and contribute to the normal operation of the body. The processes they are a part of include an individual’s heart rhythm, muscle contraction, and brain function, making electrolytes one of the more important aspects of maintaining health and proper body function.
Who May Need an Electrolyte Panel?
Many physicians use the Electrolyte Panel as part of a patient’s yearly checkup, though it is also sometimes utilized to diagnose certain medical conditions, or as a way of testing for improvements in a person’s health during various types of medical therapies. If a patient is experiencing edema, nausea, general weakness, confusion, or cardiac issues, an Electrolyte Panel can be ordered to determine if there is a significant deficiency or overabundance in these crucial minerals. It is also prescribed in order to monitor the effectiveness of treatments for high blood pressure, heart failure, or liver and kidney disease.
What Should I Expect from My Electrolyte Panel?
Electrolyte Panels begin with a patient having their blood drawn and examined by a medical professional through various testing procedures. The panel will give a physician a clear indication of the overall electrolyte balance in a patient, the amount of water in their body, as well as the amount of electrolytes being excreted by their kidneys. Some disorders may exhibit abnormalities in one or more of the electrolytes being tested, though physicians typically focus on a patient’s sodium and potassium levels, which play a significant role in the body’s processes.
What is an electrolyte panel test?
Electrolytes are minerals that maintain fluid balance in the body and help muscles, nerves, and cells function properly.
An electrolyte panel test measures the number of minerals in your blood, like:
- Carbon dioxide
Doctors order these tests to monitor a patient's condition, diagnose health issues and assess treatment progress.
What does an electrolyte panel test for?
An electrolyte panel can be useful for diagnosing any conditions related to an electrolyte imbalance. It also provides insight into how effectively your kidneys work, which is essential to keeping your heart and other organs in good working order.
This test can also help monitor a treatment effectiveness for a specific condition.
Why would you test an electrolyte panel?
Symptoms that can be indicative of an electrolyte imbalance include:
- Weakness or fatigue
- Muscle twitching
- Irregular heartbeat
- Nausea and/or vomiting
If you're experiencing these symptoms, getting tested and discussing your results with your doctor would be best.
What are the most common electrolyte abnormalities?
Some of the most common electrolyte abnormalities are:
- Hyponatremia (low sodium)
- Hypokalemia (low potassium)
- Hypocalcemia (low calcium)
- Hypernatremia (high sodium)
- Hypercalcemia (high calcium)
These are usually a result of excess fluid loss or abnormal excretion from the kidney.
Do I need to visit a doctor?
Nope. You don't need a doctor's visit to get a test with us.
How do I get my results?
You'll get your results via email as soon as they are available. We will notify you via SMS as well. You can also see them at any time in the future right in your dashboard where you can easily share them with your professional and compare them side by side with future tests.
Does my lab prescription expire?
We're the only lab that honors your lab order forever.