Electrolyte Imbalance - Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Feb 12, 2015

The body relies on important nutrients including calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate, potassium and sodium to maintain effective function. These nutrients, known as electrolytes, are present throughout the body, bodily fluids and urine and are typically ingested through food, drinks and supplements. However, certain disorders offset the balance of these minerals in the body, causing an electrolyte imbalance. Such an imbalance can be detrimental to an individual’s health and cause a number of issues.

While mild electrolyte imbalances or disorders cause few to no symptoms, more severe imbalances cause more extensive electrolyte imbalance symptoms. Typical electrolyte imbalance symptoms include dark urine (signaling dehydration), irregular heartbeat, fatigue, lethargy, seizures and nausea or vomiting. Additional concerns that may arise include bowel irregularities, abdominal cramping muscle weakness and pain, changes in mood, headache, irritability, confusion and depression.


Electrolyte imbalances are caused by several different factors. The most common cause of electrolyte imbalance is medication. Medications including the antibiotics used to fight infection in chemotherapy patients and corticosteroids utilized to reduce inflammation have this effect. Additional causes include trauma, disease such cancer or thyroid disorder, intestinal illness, high fever, excessive sweating, kidney disease and hormone imbalance.

Natural Remedies and Treatment for an Electrolyte Imbalance

Electrolyte imbalance symptoms and disorders can be treated effectively using natural methods. A natural alternative to a typical “sports drink” is a lime mixed with baking soda until the fizzing stops and diluted with water. Drinking this at least three times a day should restore electrolyte balance within just a few days. Likewise, magnesium, sodium and potassium can be used as supplements to support electrolyte balance. Fresh squeezed lemon juice in water daily and castor oil before bed also restore balance to the body’s nutrient levels.



Lime and Baking Soda  

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Posted by Rama (Tamil Nadu, India) on 11/29/2006
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I need a cure for Electrolytic imbalance

Replied by Ted
Bangkok, Thailand
386 posts

Sports drinks have some electrolytes that can correct an imbalance. But a basic cure should be one whole lime and add baking soda until the fizz stops, then add water. To normalize the electrolytes, I think drinking this about 3 times a day minimum should be quite o.k.

It is not necessary to take lime bicarbonate every day if the electrolyte is normal. For me I need to take at least 3-4 times a week to maintain a normal pH, ORP, and electrolyte levels. Amazingly, lemons have most of the the electrolyte I think I need, with possible exception of magnesium which I do take but only once a week in practice. Again my habits tend to change, but this is what I have been doing so far.

Replied by Faithinhealing
Forest Park, Ohio, Usa
02/27/2010

TED, are you saying that the lemon also helps to balance out the electrolytes? I have an electrolyte problem, have candida, and have had insomnia. I noticed since I started doing the liver cleanse which includes lemons and sometimes limes, I'm sleeping better. I've had seizures and when hospitalized was told that my potassium was low so I started upping my potassium but that was making me sleepy. I read somewhere that the sodium and potassium have to be balanced. I've noticed it I eat salty food my feet start to swell which I think is because my sodium level then becomes higher than my potassium.

I squeeze 1/2 lemon in water first thing in the morning and before bed. I also do castor oil packs before bed too.

Replied by Gabrielle
St Lucia
02/12/2015

Good morning, somebody in my family has been diagnosed with electrolyte imbalance. How much castor oil are you taking before going to bed? Thank you, Gabrielle.

Replied by June
San Fran, Ca
02/12/2015

Dear Gabrielle, the person in this thread is not talking about taking castor oil internally, but applying castor oil PACKS.. You can google what that is. Honestly, I doubt castor oil packs would help electrolyte imbalance at all. You can google electrolyte drinks and get recipes.


Vitamin C, Bananas  

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Posted by John (Santa Barbara, Ca) on 12/30/2013
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A simple remedy I use after rigorous hikes in hot California weather for electrolyte imbalance is vitamin c packet that has minerals in it with a pinch of baking soda. If I still feel odd, I eat 2 bananas.