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Why You Need to Replenish Electrolytes After a Gluten Exposure with Celiac Disease

Electrolytes are minerals that carry an electric charge when dissolved in water. They are essential for many bodily functions, such as nerve and muscle activity, fluid balance, and pH regulation. Some of the most important electrolytes in your body are sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

How Do Electrolytes Work?

Electrolytes work by creating electrical currents and gradients across cell membranes, which allow cells to communicate and perform various tasks. For example, sodium and potassium are involved in generating nerve impulses and muscle contractions, calcium is needed for blood clotting and bone formation, and chloride helps maintain fluid and acid-base balance.

Electrolytes also help regulate the amount and distribution of water in your body. Water tends to move from areas with low electrolyte concentration to areas with high electrolyte concentration, in a process called osmosis.

What Causes Electrolyte Imbalance?

Electrolyte imbalance occurs when the levels of one or more electrolytes in your body are too high or too low. This can affect your health and well-being, causing symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, confusion, nausea, muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat, and even seizures.

Some of the common causes of electrolyte imbalance are:

  • Dehydration: Losing too much water through sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever can reduce the amount of electrolytes in your body. If you suffer from vomiting or diarrhea after accidental gluten exposure, your electrolyte balance will be affected.

  • Overhydration: Drinking too much water or fluids with low electrolyte content can dilute the electrolytes in your body and cause them to move out of your cells.

  • Kidney problems: The kidneys are responsible for filtering and excreting excess electrolytes from your body. If they are not functioning properly, they can cause electrolyte accumulation or loss.

  • Medications: Some drugs, such as diuretics, antibiotics, steroids, and chemotherapy, can affect how your body absorbs, retains, or eliminates electrolytes.

  • Diet: Eating too much or too little of certain foods can alter your electrolyte intake and balance. For example, eating too much salt can increase your sodium levels, while eating too little potassium-rich foods can lower your potassium levels.

How Can You Prevent and Treat Electrolyte Imbalance?

The best way to prevent and treat electrolyte imbalance is to monitor your fluid and electrolyte intake and output and adjust them according to your needs and medical conditions. Some general tips are:

  • Drink enough water and fluids to stay hydrated, but not too much to avoid overhydration.

  • Eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods that provide electrolytes, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, nuts, seeds, and gluten free grains. You can also use salt or electrolyte supplements to enhance your electrolyte intake, but I recommend doing so under the guidance of your doctor.

  • Avoid too much of the foods and drinks that can deplete your electrolytes, such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and processed foods. These can increase your urine output and cause dehydration and electrolyte loss.

  • Check your electrolyte levels regularly, especially if you have a chronic condition that affects your electrolyte balance, such as kidney disease, diabetes, or heart failure. You can do this by getting blood tests or using home test kits that measure your electrolyte levels in your urine or saliva.

  • Seek medical attention if you experience any signs or symptoms of electrolyte imbalance, such as dizziness, headache, muscle weakness, cramps, or irregular heartbeat. You may need intravenous fluids or medications to restore your electrolyte balance and prevent complications.

Make Your Own Electrolyte Drink

You Will Need

2 Oranges

1 Lemon

2 Tbsp Honey

1/8 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt

2 Cups of Water or Coconut Water

To Make

Juice the citrus and add all ingredients to a blender or shaker bottle. Blend until combined and drink.


Electrolytes are vital for your health and well-being, as they help your body perform many essential functions. To maintain a healthy electrolyte balance, you need to drink enough water and fluids, eat a balanced diet, avoid electrolyte-depleting substances, and monitor your electrolyte levels. If you have any questions or concerns about your electrolyte status, consult your doctor for advice and guidance.

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Hi Belinda

Please recommend best of brands for the coconut water and Himalayan pink salt. I’m searching but there is some much to navigate. Thank you Nicolle

Replying to

Hi Nicolle. Great question. When it comes to Coconut Water it's best to look for one that is natural (pesticide free)100% Coconut Water as some brands will add extra ingredients that aren't necessary. eg they will water them down with plain water or add sugars and flavors. I like the Cocobella brand as there's no added nasties and the coconuts are grown chemical free. As for the salt, I buy a brand called G-Fresh (available online) as it's unrefined, but you should be able to find plenty of brands that are unrefined and full of minerals. Hope this helps? X Belinda

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