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The human body is a complex mechanism coupled with various bodily procedures. Various elements in the body do their task for perfect body performance- electrolytes are a staple for standard body function. Imbalance in these electrolytes may lead to body dysfunction, organ complication, and endangering overall human survival. The electrolytes panel is popular and necessary for assessing one’s health condition.

However, what is an electrolyte panel vs BMP? That’s the question we will uncover in this piece. So, let’s brush up on some basics first to understand their contrast.

What Is An Electrolyte Panel?

Electrolytes are minerals responsible for the balance of the human body. These electrolytes control the number of acids, bases, salts and their bodily concentration.

Moreover, they also help control muscle movements and physical capabilities, the heart rhythm, and several integral functions of the body. 

The electrolyte panel is also called a serum electrolyte test, a blood test used to measure the electrolyte levels in the body. Here are the main minerals and their primary function in the body:


Sodium regulates the total amount of fluid in the body and the function of nerves, ensuring your muscles work well.


Chloride helps maintain the fluid levels in the body and adds healthy blood volume and blood pressure.


Potassium helps the muscles and the heart function properly, making this element necessary for overall body movement.


Bicarbonate maintains the acid and base balance within the body and mobilizes carbon dioxide in the bloodstream.

Abnormal levels of any of these electrolytes can provoke severe health problems, such as kidney disease, high blood pressure, and a life-threatening heart rhythm irregularity.

While these electrolytes have their function and concentration within the body, there are a few others. The ideal concentrations include the following:

Serum electrolyte test

  • Potassium (K): 3.6 to 5.2 moles/L
  • Sodium (Na): <2300mcg
  • Chloride (Cl): 96 to 106mEq/L
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2): 23 to 29 mEq/L

What Is an Electrolyte Blood Panel Used For?

The electrolyte panel test is mainly part of the routine blood work process. It is a detailed metabolic panel and provides comprehensive information on the body’s internal conditions. It can help detect various issues within the human body, such as fluid imbalance or an imbalance of acids and bases concentrations in the body.

You can measure electrolytes together as part of the comprehensive test panel in most cases, but in others, you can also get tested separately. Health care providers might opt for the individual test if they suspect an issue with a specific electrolyte in the body and need to test its imbalance.

Why Do I Need An Electrolyte Panel?

Individuals exhibiting signs where their bodies face functional issues because of electrolytes require a blood test for an electrolyte panel. Some of the most common symptoms of this electrolyte panel imbalance include the following:

  • Weakness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
  • Confusion

What Is A Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)?

Like the Electrolyte Panel, BMP is another testing option one can opt for. It provides a comprehensive body image via a basic metabolic panel (BMP). The procedure tests the body for eight different substances within the blood. It helps identify various issues connected to metabolism and electrolyte function. 

The metabolic panel results indicate how one’s body uses food and its nutrients, making it a necessary test for those facing medical complications of any nature. The BMP tests, called metabolic panel comprehensive, cover a variety of different tests, these include:


The primary source of energy in the body is a form of sugar.


Calcium assists with overall nerve, muscle, and bone health.

Carbon Dioxide, Potassium, Sodium, and Chloride

These are common electrolytes that help the body function in the human system.

Creatine and Blood Urea Nitrogen

The kidneys work to purify the blood flowing through the body. These test for the waste products excreted from the body.

A comprehensive metabolic panel is necessary because imbalances in these nutrients and compounds can lead to severe health issues. For instance, calcium deficiency can weaken the bones and the nerves, hindering the body from proper function.

Since it’s a popular testing option for professionals working in the healthcare sector. A few other names used for the test include:

  • Chem 7
  • Chemistry panel
  • Chemistry screen
  • Electrolyte panel

What is BMP used for?

The BMP test is a commonly requested blood work that helps test and identify issues with various body functions. These include the following:

  • Metabolism
  • Kidney function
  • Fluid and electrolyte balance
  • Blood sugar levels
  • Acid and base balance

Why do I need a basic metabolic panel (BMP)?

The BMP helps professionals check for general health. There are additional cases where the doctors might recommend the BMP test, apart from generic checkups. You may get the BMP test if you are:

  • Getting treatment in the emergency room
  • If you have chronic health issues, such as kidney disease and hypertension, and are under strict observation

The code electrolyte panel and BMP tests can provide comprehensive results for these tests. The only difference is the number of compounds they test for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the electrolyte panel the same as the metabolic panel?

The electrolyte panel only tests the electrolyte levels in the body, while the metabolic panel tests eight different compounds.

What tests are in a BMP panel?

  • Glucose
  •  Creatinine and Blood Urea Nitrogen
  • Creatinine and Blood Urea Nitrogen
  • Carbon dioxide, Potassium, Sodium, and Chloride
  • Calcium

What does an electrolyte blood test show?

The electrolyte blood test checks for any electrolyte imbalance in the body.

Why do doctors check for an electrolyte imbalance?

Doctors might check for electrolyte balance if there’s a fluid imbalance or acid/base imbalance.

What is the normal range for electrolytes in the body?

  • Bicarbonate: 22 to 30 mmol/L
  • Calcium: In adults, 8.5 to 10.2 mg/dL
  • Chloride: 97 and 105 mmol/L
  • Magnesium: 1.7 to 2.2 mg/dL
  • Phosphate: 2.5 to 4.8 mg/dL
  • Potassium: 3.7 and 5.1 mmol/L
  • Sodium: 136 and 144 mmol/L

What do electrolytes help with?

  • Supporting nerve
  • Stabilizing blood pressure
  • Rhythm checks
  • Promoting bone
  • Muscle function
  • Dental health
  • Controlling your heart rate
  • Balancing fluids 

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