How do electrolytes affect the heart?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
Electrolytes are substances that help trigger and sustain the heart's electrical impulses. Potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium are necessary electrolytes in the blood that are vital to cell function. Studies show that blood pressure is related to dietary electrolytes. If you consume too much sodium, you can have high blood pressure. You can have high blood pressure if you have too little potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Eating foods high in calcium, potassium, and magnesium from fresh produce is important in keeping your blood pressure normal. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is rich in fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products. This diet is also low in sodium. If your electrolyte levels get too high or too low, it can alter the electrical impulses of your heart and trigger an arrhythmia.

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Heart Health

Heart Health

Treat your heart right by eating healthy, staying active and managing your stress. Although some heart conditions are heredity, you can reduce your risk by keeping your cholesterol and blood pressure at healthy levels, avoiding to...

bacco products and losing some pounds if you are obese or overweight. A diet high in fiber, veggies and fruits is essential for a healthy heart. Vitamins and supplements, such as fish oil, may help reduce your cholesterol, which if too high can cause blockage in your arteries and lead to a heart attack. If you arteries are blocked, you may need a stent or cardiac angioplasty device to open your blood vessels, which can help prevent a heart attack. Because heart disease is the number one killer of adults in the U.S., taking care of your heart is essential for a long life. If you have a family history of heart disease, it is especially important for you to manage your hearts health.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.