What is the major extracellular cation?


Quick Answer

The major extracellular cation in extracellular fluids is sodium, while the major anion is chloride. In the intracellular fluid, potassium is the major cation.

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Full Answer

The major cation is an electrolyte found in the extracellular or intracellular fluids. The three major electrolytes are sodium, potassium, and chloride, and they play a role in maintaining homeostasis.

Electrolytes are substances that dissociate in solutions. They also have the ability to conduct electrical currents, according to NCBI.

Sodium is the major extracellular cation, and it plays an important role in the body. The body's sodium concentration describes the amount of sodium relative to the amount of water in extracellular fluids. The sodium levels in a body can indicate the hydration levels of the body, and it changes as the free water in the extracellular fluid increases or decreases.

When too much sodium is lost, a patient may suffer from hyponatremia, which is a retention of water or excess loss of sodium. There may be signs of this problem in the central nervous system, and severe hyponatremia has to be corrected gradually to prevent fatal complications.

Hypernatremia is also possible with too much sodium in the body due to excess water loss or a mass increase in sodium in the body. There may be CNS signs due to cellular dehydration during this process.

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