Electrolytes are usually measured as part of a renal profile, which measures sodium, potassium, creatinine and urea. Most of the body's sodium is found in the extracellular fluid, outside of the body’s cells, where it helps to regulate the amount of water in the body. Dietary intake of sodium, potassium and chloride is regulated by renal excretion as a function of hormonal control (ADH, natriuretic peptides, aldosterone, etc.). Electrolyte disturbances may reflect hormonal imbalances (eg. SIADH, diabetes insipidus), impaired renal function (eg. peripheral vascular disease, chronic kidney disease etc.) or they may exist as sequelae to other primary conditions, such as liver cirrhosis or congestive cardiac failure (CCF).
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