Electrolytes Panel (ELEC)
The Electrolytes Panel (ELEC) is a blood test that measures the levels of important minerals in the blood, including sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. These minerals, known as electrolytes, are essential for many bodily functions, including regulating fluid balance, transmitting nerve impulses, and supporting muscle function.
The ELEC test is commonly used to evaluate patients with symptoms of electrolyte imbalances, such as dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, or kidney disease. It is also used to monitor patients who are receiving treatment for electrolyte imbalances or who are taking medications that may affect electrolyte levels.
The test results are typically reported as the levels of each electrolyte in milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L) of blood. Normal ranges for each electrolyte vary depending on age, sex, and other factors, but generally fall within the following ranges:
Sodium (Na+): 135-145 mEq/L
Potassium (K+): 3.5-5.0 mEq/L
Calcium (Ca2+): 8.5-10.5 mg/dL
Magnesium (Mg2+): 1.7-2.2 mg/dL
Abnormal levels of any electrolyte can indicate an underlying medical condition. For example, low sodium levels (hyponatremia) can be caused by excessive sweating, diuretic medications, or kidney disease, while high potassium levels (hyperkalemia) can be caused by kidney failure or certain medications. Abnormal calcium or magnesium levels can be caused by a variety of conditions, including parathyroid disorders or malabsorption syndromes.
In summary, the Electrolytes Panel (ELEC) is a useful tool in evaluating and monitoring electrolyte imbalances in a variety of medical conditions, and can help guide appropriate treatment and management.
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