Blood Chloride Test: About This Test

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What is it?

A chloride test measures the level of chloride in your blood. Chloride is one of the most important electrolytes in the blood. It helps keep the amount of fluid inside and outside of your cells in balance. It also helps maintain proper blood volume, blood pressure, and the pH of your body fluids. Most of the chloride in your body comes from the salt (sodium chloride) you eat.

Why is this test done?

A test for chloride may be done to:

  • Check your chloride level if you are having symptoms such as muscle twitching or spasms, breathing problems, weakness, or confusion.
  • Find out whether you have kidney or adrenal gland problems.

How can you prepare for the test?

You do not need to do anything before you have this test.

What happens during the test?

A health professional takes a sample of your blood.

What else should you know about the test?

  • The test results may be affected by the amount of water in your body. If you are dehydrated or overhydrated, your chloride levels can change.
  • Tests for sodium, potassium, and bicarbonate usually are done at the same time as a blood test for chloride.

What happens after the test?

  • You will probably be able to go home right away.
  • You can go back to your usual activities right away.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: October 14, 2016