Electrolytes (part 1): basic overview

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Lots of people recommend taking electrolyte supplements or drinking electrolyte rehydration solutions to manage conditions such as dysautonomia.

But what exactly are electrolytes? How do you know if you are dealing with an electrolyte imbalance? Are there potential side effects?

This is part 1 of my attempt to provide some answers to the above, in a way that is hopefully easy to understand with brain fog. This is not a substitute for medical advice. However, learning the stuff described below has definitely helped me have more productive conversations with my doctors.

This post includes an overview of why electrolytes are important and how the body uses electrolytes. The next post in this series will cover more specific details about electrolytes and POTS.

Electrolyte, n., physiology “Any of various ions, such as sodium, potassium, or chloride, required by cells to regulate the electric charge and flow of water molecules across the cell membrane.”

Electrolytes in humans include:

Where do electrolytes come from?

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