Fluid and Electrolyte Disorders

Fluid and Electrolyte Disorders

A range of factors can compromise the kidneys’ ability to perform their vital work. These include illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure, inflammation and a range of inherited conditions. Deficiency or excess in key minerals like calcium and phosphorous, electrolyte imbalances like sodium and potassium, dehydration and fluid retention can all have their genesis in the kidneys. At the University of Michigan, patients with these issues are evaluated and treated within the General Nephrology Clinic. Here, an expert team provides diagnostic evaluation and treatment planning to help manage these disorders.


  • Changes in the body’s levels of minerals including potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium—and the corresponding impact these have on the body’s function, muscle strength and heart rhythm can be associated with disorders of kidney or endocrine glands.
  • Unrelated to diabetes mellitus, Diabetes Insipidus can arise from a deficit in antidiuretic hormone (ADH), or by the kidneys’ inability to react to ADH. This results in the formation of large quantities of dilute urine regardless of fluid intake and development of thirst.
  • Fluid imbalances on both ends of the spectrum may be a manifestation of poor kidney health. Edema, which occurs when the body retains too much fluid, commonly causes swelling and pain in the face, arms, legs, hands and feet. Dehydration, which happens when the body loses more fluids than it consumes, can cause a range of symptoms including thirst, weakness, light headedness, fainting and decreases in urine output or increases in its concentration (darker colored urine).
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