Fatigue and Electrolytes
Fatigue could be a result of chemical imbalance.
Fatigue involves a lack of energy. It has a variety of physical and mental causes and may be accompanied by malnutrition. Fatigue that is the result of a chemical imbalance, such as low levels of electrolytes, can be remedied by eating more foods or drinking more fluids with electrolytes. If you experience fatigue that is not alleviated by rest, consult your doctor to determine the cause and proper treatment if necessary.
Electrolytes are minerals in the body that conduct electricity. Sodium, potassium, phosphate, chloride, calcium and magnesium are all electrolytes. Electrolytes are lost when fluid leaves your body through perspiration, urine, vomit and diarrhoea. If there are too much or too little electrolytes in your body, the chemical imbalance can cause adverse health conditions. For example, insufficient potassium in your diet can cause your muscles to weaken and make you feel tired, according to the book "Nutrition Almanac." Additionally, a lack of magnesium can result in fatigue.
Electrolytes are needed in order for your nerves and muscles to function properly. They maintain the balance of fluids within cells, around cells and in your blood. Electrolyte levels can be tested via blood or urine samples. The levels of minerals in these samples determine whether or not you have an electrolyte imbalance. Your body tries to maintain a consistent level of electrolytes, but it is dependent upon proper nutrition. If your body has to constantly make efforts to regulate your electrolyte levels, it can take a toll on your body and result in fatigue.
Dehydration is the result of insufficient water in your body. In general, it occurs when you release more fluids from your body than you replace. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of dehydration. Water alone is insufficient to rehydrate your body adequately enough to alleviate fatigue. Both fluids and electrolytes need to be restored. Electrolytes can be replaced by drinking sports drinks such as Lucozade, Gatorade or Powerade. Such drinks can also prevent dehydration and associated fatigue. In severe cases of dehydration, intravenous fluids may be required to make up for lost electrolytes.
Electrolyte imbalances and the associated fatigue can be prevented by making some dietary changes. For instance, you can increase your calcium intake by adding more milk, meat, fruits and vegetables to your diet. Milk is also a good source of potassium as are melons, potatoes, beans and leafy green vegetables. Beans and leafy green vegetables also contain magnesium. Magnesium can also be found in cereal grains and nuts, as can phosphorous. Sodium and chloride can be found in salt, beef, pork, cheese and crisps.