Medical glossary


Electrolytes are substances that, when dissolved in an aqueous solution, break up into positive- or negative-charged particles (ions) able to carry electrical charges. Sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium are the most important electrolytes for the human body. These minerals play a key role in a number of physiological processes, including the regulation of water balance and blood pH. Electrolyte imbalances can lead to very serious illnesses.