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Blood Work

Does anyone know why your chloride levels could be low?  Mine was low on the last blood work I had done,
I think the lowest number was a 98 and mine was a 97 which is not bad, but my dr. did not say anything about it so I just wondered if anyone had ever had this problem.
12 Responses
649848 tn?1534637300
Is this a thyroid related question?  

Chloride is an electrolyte.  "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 pH of your body fluids."  

If your level was only one number off, your doctor may not have thought the deficiency to be significant to warrant further investigation.
Avatar universal
I do have Hashimoto's Disease and this was in with the tests he ran for my thyroid bloodwork.  I just wondered what could cause chloride to be low.  The only med I take is synthroid for my thyroid.  I do not have high blood pressure, etc.  I drink plenty of water, in fact that is all I drink other than coffee in the mornings.
1756321 tn?1547098925
Decreased Chloride:

Loop diuretics (furosemide)
Bartter's Syndrome
Salt-losing nephropathies
Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome
Secretory diarrhea
Metabolic alkalosis (primary CO2 excess)
Chronic compensated respiratory acidosis
Congestive Heart Failure
Syndrome of Inappropriate ADH (SIADH)
Adrenal cortical hypofunction (Addison's)
Perspiration (Cystic Fibrosis)
Avatar universal
Woe!  I surely  hope done of these apply to me!  That is a long list. I am going to ask my dr. about it even though it was only 97 and the lower end of the stick was 98.  Don't you think that would be a good idea?  Have you ever heard of anyone with low chloride levels?
1756321 tn?1547098925
My chloride levels decreased with hypoparathyroidism (due to magnesium deficiency). It depends what other symptoms you are exhibiting to help with a diagnosis.
4939681 tn?1361302899
Actually, I just forgot to mention this in a recent message to Red Star, but I have slightly low chloride as well.  My doctors never mentioned it to me (I guess because it's only been slightly under/low 97, 98, 102).  I only noticed it because I was researching causes of stomach tightness, constipation, cold after eating, etc...  It turns out that I have hypochlorhydria, which is common with Hashimoto's and diagnosis is most easily made based upon low levels of chloride.
Significant info:
Avatar universal
Thanks for the comment.  I am going to look hypochlorhydria up and see what it says.  Like you I have Hashimoto's and the same problems you mentioned with constipation etc.  Did the dr. suggest doing anything or is it because we do not have an extreme low level they never mention it?
1756321 tn?1547098925
I can't access that link. It would be a rare doctor to consider low stomach acid. This info from Betaine Hydrochloride (HCL) With Pepsin by David Schlesinger looks a very good reason why...

"The pharmaceutical firms with their considerable influence on the medical profession have, through advertising, incentives to doctors and various other forms of indoctrination, made it an almost reflex reaction on the part of most physicians, even many gastro-enterologists, to jump to the conclusion that a majority of gastric problems can be easily treated by the use of acid blocking medications.

Because the American public over-consumes unhealthy food at an alarming rate, the routine use of acid blockers is highly profitable for pharmaceutical firms, provides instant relief for many sufferers, but can bring about long-term health problems for many misdiagnosed users."
4939681 tn?1361302899
"Did the dr. suggest doing anything or is it because we do not have an extreme low level they never mention it? "
LOL!!!  Apparently, I have had the misfortune of walking in to the offices of some of the most ill-educated doctors.  I had googled my digestive symptoms and, as always, made sure that it included Hashimoto's in the search.  Hypochlorhydria popped up and it all clicked.  I didn't want to go through more extensive testing, so when it mentioned low levels of chloride, I checked mine and low and behold... it also mentions other levels being out of whack, but this was significant enough to bring it to the attention of my GI.  I printed out the info and brought it into his office. Dr.s do tend to get a little pissed off when patients research on their own, so he barely glanced at my printouts and scoffed and said, "you don't have that.  You complain of constipation.  That causes diarrhea."  When I started to shuffle through my pages in confusion, because I had clearly read "constipation and stomach tightness" the exact thing that I had been seeing him for for over 4 months now, he hurriedly said "I'm prescribing you some Miralax.  Let's hope that helps.  [Secretary] will schedule you for you next appt."  And then he shook my hand and walked out of the room. Very frustrating!!!!  Idiot!
So, I've decided to officially diagnose and treat myself, since less severe cases should be able to homeopathicly (sp?).  Anyway, I almost jumped the gun and was going to start HCL supplementing, but I found another website that suggests the following:  a shot of olive oil and lemon juice first thing in the morning; eat more raw leafy greens; have cinnamon with every meal (this will also help your blood sugar, which most of us Hashi suffers have problems with as well); and drink a big glass of water 15-20 minutes before every meal.  Also, suggested: fenugreek tea, but I haven't tried that, yet.  I started this program 2 days ago and it has helped a little with the constipation, so we'll see;)  If it doesn't work, then I will give HCL supplements a go and see what happens.
Hopefully, you have better luck with your doctor and if so... PLEASE, let me know what he/she says:)
4939681 tn?1361302899
Pooh, sorry the links aren't opening.  I'm not the best with computers, so I double checked and they are opening on my end.  I don't know???
Significant info:

"Most people with heartburn, GERD, acid reflux, abdominal bloating and cramping have no idea that their symptoms may be the result of a lack of stomach acid, and not an excess of stomach acid. And yet these same people may be taking over-the-counter antacids or prescription acid blockers such as proton pump inhibitors (PPI's) for the purpose of reducing their stomach acid. This choice of reducing stomach acid can and likely will have devastating consequences to your health and to your entire digestive terrain."
"In addition, much emerging evidence suggests that hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) can also induce mineral deficiencies. Numerous medical studies clearly show a link between hypochlorhydria and iron-deficient anemia."
"If too much hydrogen is lost through the kidney, consider this a cause of low stomach acidity. Also, in order for the stomach to produce adequate levels of stomach acid (HCL), there must be sufficient chloride, sodium and zinc."
"Major Symptoms of Hypochlorhydria

There can be many digestive symptoms associated with a lack of stomach acid:

    Gas, especially after meals
    Abdominal tightness
    Heartburn, indigestion
    Undigested food in stools
    Abdominal cramping"

"Identifying HCL Insufficiency
The most definitive way to assess hypochlorhydria is through the Heidelberg pH test. This method is quite invasive. Hypochlorhydria can be assessed indirectly through a correlation of symptoms and through laboratory factors such as blood chemistry, urinary indican, as well as Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA).
On a blood test, one of the most obvious signs of hypochlohydria is a Chloride score less than 100. It should be pointed out that other factors should be evaluated, including: Total Globulin, Bicarbonate, BUN, Anion Gap and Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCV).

Correcting Hypochlorhydria
Many people resort to HCL nutritional supplements. This may induce some positive reduction in symptoms for some people, however an intelligent strategy would be to support an entire person's health. Its important to address that not everyone with chronic hypochlorhydria experiences relief from HCL supplementation. This may be due to the fact that the amount of hydrogen in HCL is insignificant compared to what should reside in the stomach. HCL only contains roughly 1-2% hydrogen."

"Conditions related to hypochlorhydria

    Autoimmune disease
    Food allergy and sensitivity
    Hashimoto's thyroiditis
    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
    Rheumatoid arthritis
    Small intestine bacterial overgrowth
    Candida yeast infection
    Adrenal fatigue"
1756321 tn?1547098925
I live in Australia and i do have issues with some links from other countries. Not sure why. But, yes i've read very similar articles. As i mentioned, my mother is free of severe GERD and LPR. But when i say severe i mean burning stomach acid pouring out of her mouth standing up severe! So she is doing extremely well with betaine HCL with pepsin and digestive enzyme supplements.

The unexpected bonus was also healing her gastritis - 25 years of pain on and off and the last 6 of in severe pain.  I had a look online and found proteases (enzymes that digest proteins) help reduce inflammation, clean out debris and infection, and stimulate healing.  Impressive. :)
Avatar universal
I did ask my dr. about the low chloride level.  He said this did not have anything to do with stomach acid because this was just chloride serum test. I do eat very healthy, drink lemon water (distilled w/fresh lemon juice), do not take antacids.  I do not have a problem with acid reflux (maybe occasionally) my biggest complaint is the constipation.  My dr. told me to take 3 to 5 stool softeners at night.  Not with laxative just plain softener.  She said that is what she does and it works great.  Still not sure about the stomach acid problem.  May try the baking soda test and see if I burp within 5 mins.  Read that @ that test on the internet.  If it takes you more than 5 mins. to burp you probably have low stomach acid.  Wouldn't it be nice to go to a dr. who explains everything!
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649848 tn?1534637300
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1756321 tn?1547098925
Queensland, Australia
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