Low electrolyte imbalance may be caused by decreased fluid levels in the body, vomiting, excessive diarrhea or a certain deficiency, according to Healthgrades. Other causes include failure of the body to absorb specific minerals and severe illnesses.
Electrolytes are minerals that the body needs for proper muscle and nerve function, the balance of body fluids and other important processes, as stated by Healthgrades. Examples of electrolytes are sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphate, chlorine and calcium. These particles transmit electronic charges and are found in human blood and urine.
When an athlete sweats during exercises, for example, he loses some of these essential electrolytes, according to Healthgrades. At the same time, a patient who has excessive diarrhea and vomiting has a low electrolyte imbalance. In this regard, each person is required to replenish the lost electrolytes by drinking water and other fluids such as juice.
The failure to replenish excessively lost electrolytes leads to dehydration, as explained by Healthgrades. On the other hand, high electrolyte imbalances are caused by conditions such as hypercalcemia or excess calcium and hyperkalemia or excess potassium. Anyone suffering from electrolyte imbalance may experience rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, confusion, sunken eyes and loss of consciousness. When these symptoms occur, a person is advised to call a doctor immediately.