What are the other names for this test?
Chloride blood test, Cl test, Serum Chloride, Chloride urine test, Urinary Chloride test
What is a chloride test?
A chloride blood test helps to determine chloride levels in your blood. Chloride is a form of electrolyte. Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals that maintain fluid amount and acid-base balance (pH balance).
Chloride is often present in table salt as an ingredient. It is a significant mineral that helps your body to balance fluid levels in your blood cells. Abnormal chloride levels may lead to various health problems. The chloride deficiency happens due to diarrhea or vomiting. This test is often conducted with other electrolytes to monitor and diagnose health conditions, including heart problems, liver disease, kidney disease, and high blood pressure.
What is the purpose of this test?
A chloride blood test helps to see abnormal chloride levels in your blood. This test is a routine test often included in an electrolyte panel. A chloride blood or urine test may help your provider if you experience problems in the kidneys, lungs, liver, and other system parts that involve maintaining the acid-base levels in your body. A chloride test may use to:
- Determine the reason for acid-base disorders. This condition may indicate another health problem that leads to an acid-base imbalance in your body.
- Monitor the chloride levels if you are already taking treatment for acid-base imbalance and their root cause, which raises them.
The acid-base balance control by your lungs, kidneys, and chemical body processes, leads to small pH changes. You may have acid-base problems if your body does not adjust to these pH changes. Electrolyte tests, like the chloride test, help to see your body’s response required to control acid-base balance.
When do I need to take this test?
Your healthcare provider may order a chloride blood test if you see symptoms of an acid-base base or fluid imbalance in your body.
Symptoms of acid-base imbalances include:
- Vomiting for a long time
- Difficulty in breath
Your healthcare provider uses this test to see your kidney conditions or other health problems. When you have abnormal chloride levels, you should place a chloride test to identify the hidden health problems.
What is the procedure for this test?
A chloride test is a blood test that often needs your blood sample. The following are the steps for this test after visiting the laboratory.
- Sit in front of your provider. Be relaxed and stay in a fixed position. It is difficult for your provider to collect a blood sample if you do the muscle movement.
- Remove the portion of your cloth from the arm.
- A small needle will inject into a vein in your arm.
- A small amount of blood will collect in a test tube.
- Blood samples will store in the laboratory for examination of an allergy.
- You can go home for regular activities.
- This test usually takes five minutes.
You may also need a urine sample for a chloride test. Your provider may recommend a 24-hour urine or random urine test.
For a 24-hour urine test, the steps include
- Starting urine in a toilet in the morning without collecting it. Note the time of urinating
- Put your urine in the container for the next 24 hours
- Store that urine in a refrigerator or at a cool place
- Give your container with urine to the lab care as per the guidelines
For a random or spot urine sample, your healthcare provider will instruct you to collect all urine at any time.
How do I need to prepare for this test?
You can inform your provider about medicines, vitamins, and supplements you use. Your provider will guide you on when to stop medication for a few days before the test. You do not need preparation if your provider asks for a urine chloride test.
Are there any risks involved in this test?
A chloride test has low risks when you give a blood sample. Vein differs from person to person. Some people or children may have difficulty providing a blood sample compared to others. You may experience low risks when the needle injects into your vein include
- Extreme Bleeding
- Slight pain
- Hematoma (Deposition of blood under the skin)
What do the test results indicate?
The chloride test results depend on many factors, such as age, gender, and medical history. The test results may also slightly differ among laboratories. It is because each lab may use different methods for examination.
The reference range for chloride in adults is about 96 to 106 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L).
The recommended range for chloride in children and newborns is 95 to 108 mEq/L and 96 to 113 mEq/L, respectively.
Discuss here with professional healthcare about what your test results mean.
High chloride levels in the blood, known as hypochloremia, may develop due to the following reasons:
- Lung disease
- Heart failure
- Metabolic alkalosis - a condition of a high base in your blood. This results in muscle cramps, tingling in the fingers and toes, and irritability.
- Addison disease - a condition in which your adrenal glands do not develop specific hormones, may lead to these symptoms, such as weight loss, dehydration, weakness, and dizziness.
- Respiratory acidosis - a condition in which breathing disturbance leads to high acidity in the body.
- Excess sweating
High chloride levels in the blood, known as hyperchloremia, may occur due to the following reasons:
- Kidney disease
- Dehydration - losing high water amounts from the body
- Metabolic acidosis - A condition of excess acid in your blood that may lead to fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.
- Intake of specific medicines
- Respiratory alkalosis - a condition that involves increased breathing and high alkalinity in the blood.
- Renal tubular acidosis - a condition in which your kidneys lose the ability to eliminate enough acid from your blood.
High chloride levels in urine may occur due to the following conditions
- A high amount of salt intake in the diet
- Losing potassium
- Kidney inflammation
- Adrenal glands disorder
- Polyuria - a condition that leads to high urine development.
Low chloride levels in urine may occur due to the following conditions
- Less amount of salt intake in the diet
- Cushing’s syndrome - a condition in which your body produces a high cortisol hormone amount
- Fluid loss due to diarrhea, sweating, or vomiting
What factors may affect the test results?
If your chloride test shows abnormal results, this does not always indicate a medical problem. Test results may change with the amount of fluid intake or loss. You experience low chloride levels when vomiting or losing fluid due to diarrhea. Some drinks that include caffeine may lead to losing water and affect your chloride levels. Specific medicines, like antacids, may also alter your test results.
What additional tests do I need along with this test?
Your healthcare provider may ask for other tests to measure other electrolytes in your blood, such as sodium and potassium. You may also need to order a urine test for chloride to observe your chloride levels and your blood for blood sugar levels. A basic urinalysis macroscopic test may also perform to discover problems in your kidneys or urinary tract. Creatinine and blood urea nitrogen are tests that may also define the conditions of your kidneys.