The chloride blood test is used to estimate levels of chloride in the blood. This test is usually a part of the basic metabolic panel or a routine blood test. It is used to diagnose a condition relating to an imbalance of acids and bases in the body called as acidosis and alkalosis. Acidosis is a condition in which high levels of acid is seen in blood. Alkalosis is a condition in which blood is too alkaline or basic.
What is Chloride?
Chloride is an important mineral and a type of electrolyte which works with other electrolytes like potassium and sodium. Chloride is an electrically charged mineral and helps balance acids and bases in the body. It also moves fluid in and out of the cells. Hence low levels of chloride may lead to dehydration and high levels indicate improper functioning of kidneys.
Why this test is performed?
This test may be recommended to you if you experience certain symptoms like tiredness, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea or dehydration. This test may also be recommended to check certain conditions like hyperchloremia or hypochloremia, hyperventilation, metabolic acidosis, respiratory acidosis, etc. Sometimes diabetes can also elevate the levels of chloride. Other electrolyte tests may be ordered to see the acid-base imbalance.
Some medications may interfere with your test results such as diuretics (thiazide, furosemide, torsemide, etc), NSAIDs (acetaminophen, naproxen, ibuprofen, etc) and certain hormones. Intake of large quantities of baking soda and overdose of antacids may cause low levels of chloride in blood. Hence inform your doctor or technician about all your current medications and medical conditions prior to the test.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Chloride. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Chloride.
No specific preparation is required for a chloride blood test.
The test results may vary depending on gender, age, health history, etc.
If your test results are higher than the normal range then it may indicate a condition called hyperchloremia (high levels of chloride in the blood). Hyperchloremia condition is a result of dehydration but may also occur with high levels of sodium in some conditions like kidney disease or Cushing's syndrome. Hyperchloremia condition is seen when high amounts of the base are lost from the body leading to metabolic acidosis or it is also due to hyperventilation.
If your test results are lower than the normal range then it may indicate a condition called hypochloremia (low level of blood chloride). This condition may occur due to any disorders relating to low levels of blood sodium. This condition is also seen with congestive heart failure, lung diseases causing respiratory acidosis, many episodes of vomiting or prolonged gastric suction, due to losing acid from the body (metabolic alkalosis), Addison’s disease (where adrenal glands do not release enough hormones).
If you get abnormal test results does not always mean you have a medical condition. Consult your doctor with your test results. Your doctor may recommend other tests depending on your results.
|OTHER||All age groups||96 - 106mEq/L|