What is Chloride?
Chloride is an electrolyte that helps control fluid balance between the interior and exterior of cells. Electrolytes also affect blood pressure, blood volume and the acid/base of bodily fluids. When blood tests are ordered, electrolytes like potassium, chloride and sodium are often combined to give the doctor a complete look at electrolyte function. Patients who report muscle twitching and/or weakness, confusion or fatigue could be suffering from unhealthy levels of chloride in blood. High blood pH can also be a sign of electrolyte imbalance, including chloride. The electrolyte imbalance can be associated with something as simple as diarrhea or vomiting, but it could also be an indication of an underlying condition.
Normal Value Range
- Negative Pregnancy Adult: 102 to 109 mEq/L or 102 to 109 µmol/L
- Pregnancy Trimester One: 101 to 105 mEq/L or 101 to 105 µmol/L
- Pregnancy Trimester Two: 97 to 109 mEq/L or 97 to 109 µmol/L
- Pregnancy Trimester Three: 97 to 109 mEq/L or 97 to 109 µmol/L
Increased chloride values could be a sign of prolonged diarrhea, dehydration, renal tubular acidosis, hypernatremia, acidosis (metabolic) or hyperparathyroidism. Some medications can also alter levels, including cortisone, acetazolamide, estrogen, methyldopa, anti-inflammatories (non-steroidal) and bromide (in excessive amounts).
Low levels could mean the patient is experiencing vomiting, congestive heart failure, alkalosis (metabolic), Addison’s disease, overhydration, gastric suctioning, nephritis (salt-losing), burns or diuretic therapies (some not all).