Electrolyte Cheat Sheet

As a nurse you are expected to know about electrolytes, their normal levels, and what effect they have on the body if they fall outside of their usual range. Here are a few key electrolytes you’ll want to memorize!


Normal Level:

Total: 2.2-2.6 mmol/L or 8.5 to 10.2 mg/dL

Ionized: 4.8 to 5.6 mg/dL

High Level Effects: bone pain, muscle weakness, excessive thirst, lethargy, nausea

Low Level Effects: numbness and tingling in digits, muscle cramps, wheezing, fatigue


Normal level: 95-105 mEq/L

High Level Effects: diarrhea, vomiting

Low Level Effects: diarrhea, vomiting


Normal Level: 1.5-2 mEq/L

High Level Effects: diminished deep tendon reflexes, flushing, headache, nausea, drowsiness

Low Level Effects: muscle weakness, twitches, or tremors; irritability, insomnia, drowsiness


Normal Level: 2.5 to 4.5 mg/dL

High Level Effects: osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease

Low Level Effects: changes in mental state, bone pain/fragility, fatigue, weight loss, weakness


Normal Level: 3.5-5 mEq/L

High Level Effects: heart arrhythmias, numbness and tingling, breathing problems

Low Level Effects: muscle weakness, fatigue, heart arrhythmias


Normal Level: 135-145 mEq/L

High Level Effects: lethargy, myoclonic jerks, confusion, nystagmus, tachycardia

Low Level Effects: nausea and vomiting, lethargy, seizure, neurological deficits

Electrolyte Cheat Sheet

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