At a Glance
Why Get Tested?
To determine if there is a problem with your body’s acid-alkali (pH) balance and to monitor treatment
When to Get Tested?
If your doctor thinks that you have an electrolyte imbalance
A blood sample drawn from a vein in the arm, or a urine sample
Test Preparation Needed?
The Test Sample
What is being tested?
Chloride is an electrolyte. When combined with sodium it is mostly found in nature as ‘salt.’ Chloride is important in maintaining the normal acid-base balance of the body and, along with sodium, in keeping normal levels of water in the body. Chloride generally increases or decreases in direct relationship to sodium, but may change without any change in sodium when there are problems with too much acid or base in your body. Chloride is taken into the body through food. Most of the chloride is absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract, and the excess is excreted in urine. The normal blood level remains steady, with a slight drop after meals (because the stomach produces acid after eating, using chloride from blood).
How is the sample collected for testing?
A blood sample is taken by needle from the arm. Chloride can also be measured in a urine sample.
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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.