What Causes Hyperchloremia?

In newborns, hyperchloremia is normal. A study that measured chloride levels in healthy infants, as well as preterm infants and those with health issues, found that chloride levels rose in the week following birth.

This increase was independent of whether the baby was premature or had health problems. This suggests that chloride levels naturally rise in newborns and that this rise is not due to a health problem. Some research supports this but also suggests that babies’ chloride levels are related to their chloride intake.

In children and adults, causes of hyperchloremia include:

  • Gastrointestinal problems, such as vomiting or diarrhea. These issues can cause dehydration.
  • A high fever that causes sweating and dehydration.
  • Dehydration due to medications, intense exercise, heat exposure, or not drinking enough fluids.
  • High sodium levels in the blood. Chloride tends to rise when sodium does.
  • Too much salt intake. Chloride is an ingredient in sodium chloride, which is table salt.
  • Diabetes insipidus, which causes the kidneys to pass large amounts of fluid.
  • Diabetic coma.
  • Some medications, particularly hormones, diuretics, and corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone.
  • Starvation due to eating disorders, severe malnourishment, or problems absorbing nutrients from food.
  • Addison’s disease, a disorder that occurs when the adrenal glands cannot produce enough hormones.
* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.