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Electrolyte Imbalance

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Electrolytes are minerals that are normally in your body. Each one carries a very tiny electrical charge. Electrolytes are in your blood, urine, and other body fluids. Having the right balance of electrolytes helps your body keep fluids at proper levels. Sodium, potassium, chloride, and calcium are all electrolytes. You get electrolytes from the foods you eat and the fluids you drink, and you lose electrolytes when you sweat.

The symptoms of an electrolyte imbalance can include:

Chemotherapy can cause your electrolyte levels to become too low or too high. Changes to the amount of water in your body because of side effects such as vomiting or diarrhea also can cause an electrolyte imbalance. Kadcyla (chemical name: T-DM1 or ado-trastuzumab emtansine), a targeted therapy, can also cause an electrolyte imbalance.

Managing an electrolyte imbalance

If you think you may have an electrolyte imbalance, talk to your doctor. Your electrolyte levels can be checked with a blood or urine test. If you do have an imbalance your doctor may advise you to eat foods rich in that electrolyte or perhaps take a supplement. Be sure to check with your doctor before you take any supplements or vitamins because some may interfere with breast cancer treatments.

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