Q:

What can cause high chloride levels in your blood work?

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Quick Answer

Elevated chloride levels in blood work may be caused by bromide poisoning, diarrhea or certain medications used to treat glaucoma, according to MedlinePlus. High levels of sodium in the blood, kidney problems and diabetes insipidus may also contribute to high chloride levels, states Chemocare.com.

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Full Answer

A normal chloride level ranges from 96 to 106 milliequivalents per liter. Chloride is an electrolyte in the body that works with potassium, sodium and carbon dioxide to help maintain an acid and base balance, notes MedlinePlus. The kidneys are largely responsible for controlling the chloride levels, according to Chemocare.com.

High levels of chloride, also called hyperchloremia, generally do not produce symptoms, according to Chemocare.com. Patients who have elevated chloride levels should provide their physician with an accurate list of their medications and health history. It's best for patients with hyperchloremia to stay hydrated and avoid caffeine and alcohol. In general, treatment for hyperchloremia is guided by the cause of the condition.

Patients with high chloride levels are advised to contact their doctor if they experience severe or unrelieved diarrhea, constipation, nausea or vomiting, explains Chemocare.com. Muscle twitching, increased urination, confusion, excessive sleepiness or persistent loss of appetite should also be promptly reported to a health care provider.

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