What is the role of electrolyte measurement in the diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder (manic-depressive illness)?

Updated: May 06, 2018
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Serum electrolyte concentrations are measured to help diagnose electrolyte problems, especially with sodium, that are related to depression. Treatment with lithium can lead to renal problems and electrolyte problems, and low sodium levels can lead to higher lithium levels and lithium toxicity. Hence, in screening candidates for lithium therapy as well as those on lithium therapy, checking electrolytes is indicated.


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