Hypokalemia - What It Is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatmentscondition. In additionHypokalemiaoccurs when blood potassium levels are very low. Potassium is an important electrolyte for the functioning of nerve and muscle cells, especially for muscle cells in the heart. Your kidneys control your body's potassium levels, allowing excess potassium to leave the body through urine or sweat.
THEHypokalemiais also called:
- Hypokalemic syndrome
- Low syndrome
- Hypopasemia syndrome
TheHypokalemiamild does not cause symptoms. In some cases, low potassium levels can cause arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythms, as well as severe muscle weakness. But these symptoms usually recur after treatment. Find out what it means to haveHypokalemiaand how to treat this condition ...
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Causes of Hypokalemia:You may lose potassium through urine, sweat, or bowel movements. Inadequate potassium intake and low magnesium levels mayHypokalemia. Most of the time, theHypokalemiais a symptom or side effect of other conditions and medications.
- Bartter's syndrome, a rare genetic kidney disease that causes salt and potassium imbalance
- Gitelman syndrome, a rare genetic kidney disease that causes an imbalance of ions in the body
- Liddle's syndrome, a rare disease that causes increased blood pressure andHypokalemia
- Cushing's syndrome, a rare condition due to long-term exposure to cortisol
- Consuming substances such as bentonite (clay) or glycyrrhizin (in natural licorice and chewing tobacco)
- Diuretics with loss of potassium, such as thiazide diuretics, loop and osmotic dióticos
- Prolonged use of laxatives
- High doses of penicillin
- diabetic ketoacidosis
- Dilution due to fluid administration IV
- Magnesium deficiency
- Adrenal gland problems
- Renal tubular acidosis types I and 2
- Catecholamine peak, as with a heart attack
- Drugs like insulin and beta 2 agonists used for COPD and asthma
- Barium poisoning
Symptoms of Hypokalemia:Patients are often asymptomatic, particularly those withHypokalemiaLight. The symptoms that are present are often the underlying cause ofHypokalemiainstead ofHypokalemiain itself. Symptoms ofHypokalemiaare non-specific and predominantly related to muscle or heart function. Complaints may include the following:.
- weakness and fatigue (more common)
- Muscle cramps and pain (severe cases)
- Worsens control of diabetes or polyuria
Psychological symptoms (eg, psychosis, delirium, hallucinations, depression)
Physical findings are generally within the reference range. Abnormal findings may reflect the underlying disorder. THEHypokalemiamay manifest as bradycardia with cardiovascular collapse. Cardiac arrhythmias and acute respiratory distress due to muscle paralysis are life-threatening complications that require immediate diagnosis.
Diagnoses of Hypokalemia:In most cases, the cause ofHypokalemiais evident from the history and physical examination. First-line studies include potassium urine measurement, a serum magnesium test, and an electrocardiogram (ECG)..
Treatments for Hypokalemia:Someone who hasHypokalemiaand shows symptoms will require hospitalization. They will also need heart monitoring to make sure your heart rate is normal. Treat theHypokalemiain the hospital requires a multi-step approach:
Remove Causes:After identifying the underlying cause, your doctor will prescribe the appropriate treatment. For example, your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce diarrhea or vomiting or change your medication.
Restore Potassium Levels:you can take potassium supplements to restore low levels of potassium. But correcting potassium levels too quickly can cause unwanted side effects like abnormal heart rhythms. In cases of dangerous levels of potassium, you may need an IV drip for controlled potassium intake..
Monitor Levels During Hospitalization:in the hospital, a doctor or nurse will check your levels to make sure that potassium levels do not reverse and cause hyperkalemia. High levels of potassium can also cause serious complications..
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After you leave the hospital, your doctor may recommend a diet rich in potassium. If you need to take potassium supplements, take them with plenty of fluids and with or after your meals. You may also need magnesium supplements because the loss of magnesium can occur with loss of potassium..
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