Why this test?
- To detect various disorders as part of a standard laboratory study.
- To identify the cause of prolonged vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, breathing disorders.
- To evaluate the effectiveness of the disorders treatment in the balance of electrolytes.
In what cases is it prescribed?
- When studying electrolytes or biochemical analysis.
- If acidosis or alkalosis is suspected, with a possible worsening of the condition, accompanied by prolonged vomiting, weakness, disorientation in space, breathing and heart rhythm disturbances.
- After certain periods of time, when disease or therapy can cause a violation of the composition of electrolytes.
- If necessary, monitoring the results of treatment of liver and kidney diseases, heart failure, arterial hypertension.
Chlorine is an electrolyte, a negatively charged molecule that interacts with other electrolytes, such as potassium and sodium, and thereby participates in regulating the amount of fluid in the body and maintaining acid-base balance. This anion is found in all body fluids, but in the greatest concentration - in the blood and in the extracellular fluid. As a rule, changes in chlorine concentration are similar to changes in sodium content in the body: increases and decreases occur for similar reasons. With disturbances in the acid-alkaline balance, the chlorine concentration can change independently of the sodium concentration, acting as an independent buffer system. This helps maintain the constancy of the bioelectric potential at the cellular level due to the movement of charged molecules.
Chlorine enters the body with food and table salt (NaCl). Part of the chlorine absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract is excreted in the urine. Chlorine is released with other cations during increased diuresis and is lost from the gastrointestinal tract during vomiting, diarrhea, or the appearance of intestinal fistulas. The level of chlorine in the body is usually constant, although it decreases slightly after eating (in response to the increased release of hydrochloric acid during meals, which is partly composed of chlorine).
In metabolic acidosis, when the chlorine concentration is raised, the bicarbonate level decreases. Similarly, the production of aldosterone directly causes an increase in the reabsorption of sodium and indirectly affects the absorption of chlorine.