How much chloride does the blood have? One way to find out is a chloride blood test. This measures the amount of electrolytes in your blood. Electrolytes provide your body with electricity so they’re important for providing you with the energy you need during the day. It’s critical to know the basics about chloride blood test including normal cl levels. Chloride is technically a chemical compound that’s made by adding chlorine with another element and especially salt. There are many factors that determine good health. Chloride is one and can help with areas like blood volume and blood pressure.
When you get a chloride blood test it’s also important to know what “normal” levels are. In a sense, this varies based on different factors like your age. For example, the average range for adults is 97 to 107 mEq. It’s important to know the normal ranges for other groups like babies, kids, and teenagers. This will help to determine whether or not a person’s readings are lower or higher for their particular age. In fact, you might not experience any symptoms unless your blood’s chloride levels are greatly higher or lower than normal. You also might experience different symptoms like throwing up.
What Is Chloride?
There’s chlorine in swimming pools but what exactly is chloride? This is one of the electrolytes found in human blood and urine. In fact, it’s one of the most important ones in our bodies.
Chloride has various roles. For example, it helps to keep the proper amount of fluid inside/outside cells.it also helps your body maintain the correct blood pressure, blood volume, and pH level for body fluids. Other tests are often run along with chloride tests including potassium and sodium.
The majority of the chloride in the human body originates from the amount of salt the person eats. When you digest food the intestines absorb the chloride. Any extra chloride exists in the body through urine.
How do you know if you’re getting enough chloride? If you’re between 14 to 50 years old it’s recommended you get 2.3 grams/day of chloride. However, it’s based on various factors like age and gender.
High sodium intake has become a worldwide problem due to fast food and junk food in particular. Besides prepared foods, people get more sodium from table salt.
You can also get chloride in different kinds of foods. They include tomatoes, celery, olives, lettuce, and salted meats. It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough chloride in your diet but not too much.
There are different ways chloride from blood is measured. Sometimes it’s collected during a 24-hour period. This is done to find out the amount of chloride is leaving the body via urine.
The amount of chloride in your body can also be measured in skin sweat. This tests for something called cystic fibrosis. It’s a genetic disorder that affects a particular gland.
It’s important to know the signs of high or low chloride levels. If you experience them you should consider getting a chloride test done to determine whether or not your levels are normal or above/below average.
What Are Normal CL Levels?
The normal range for adults is 97 to 107 mEq. It’s important to know whether or not your body’s chloride levels are normal. This highlights the need to undergo tests like blood tests.
An X-factor is it can be difficult to detect the symptoms. A blood test is the most common way to test for this electrolyte. It might be part of other blood work done to test a person’s electrolyte levels.
There are particular cases when a doctor might order a chloride blood test including for the following conditions:
- Heart failure
- Nutrition problems
- Kidney disease
- High blood pressure
- Liver disease
Other tests might be ordered. If a chloride test is done then other electrolytes might get tested including potassium and sodium. The doctor might also order a urine test if he/she thinks the patient also might have diabetes.
You won’t have to do any special prep before the test. However, you should talk to your doctor about any issues or concerns you have. This will help the process go smoothly.
Here’s how the test is done. Blood is usually drawn from a vein in the arm or hand. This chloride blood test usually takes a maximum of 10 minutes and you shouldn’t experience anything except maybe a little bruising or pain.
After the blood is collected it’s then evaluated at a lab. The doctor usually gets the results within a couple of days later.
1. High chloride results
This is known as “hyperchloremia.” This happens based on different factors like:
- Kidney disease
- Low blood pH
Newborns often have this condition since the chloride levels rise within one week following birth. That said, this shouldn’t be a problem since they’ll rise over time.
2. Low chloride results
This is known as hypochloremia as results form:
- High blood pH
- Some medicines
- Addison’s Disease
- Low salt intake
Treatment and Prevention
If you have chloride levels that are higher or lower than normal then you’ll need to get treatments. Usually, this involves lifestyle changes. Here are some helpful tips for maintaining a healthy chloride level:
Eat a healthy diet
It’s important to eat a healthy and balanced diet. This includes lean meats, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. There’s a lot of talk about “superfoods” but it’s important to eat a wide variety of natural/organic foods so you get all the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants you need in your diet.
If your diuretic you should also avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks. These substances promote something called “diuresis” that’s an increase in urine.
You should do this anyway but it’s especially important if you have high chloride levels. Sometimes this can result in dehydration. So, it’s important to make sure you’re drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily.
Reduce salt intake
This is a critical step to take in order to lower your chloride levels. It’s important to consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium in one day. There are various ways you can do this.
You can also make your own meals. This allows you to control how much-added salt is in your meals. Make sure to minimize how much table salt you add and watch out for “hidden” sodium in certain products like mixes and sauces.
Another good step to take is to rinse canned food like tuna, beans, and other veggies. That’s because these foods are often high in sodium used as a flavoring or a preservative.
Make sure to read food labels. Look for labels that say “sodium-free” or “no salt added.” Keep in mind that there are different terms used based on the specific amount of sodium. Watching the labels can help to maintain normal cl levels.