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Hypokalemia

Overview

Hypokalemia, as the name suggests, is a diseased condition where the potassium level in the blood of the patient is lower than the normal levels. Potassium is needed for the proper functioning of the nerves and muscle cells. Potassium is observed from food and excreted by urine. This disease can be fatal if not treated in time


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Causes

The main cause hypokalemia is improper metabolism of the body. Administration of certain drugs such as carbenicillin, amphoteracin B, gentamicin may lead to this disease. Excessive output of urine due to intake of diuretics may also lead to this disease. Diarrhea or bulimia may also lead to this disease. Patients who tend to sweat excessively may also suffer from this disease. Kidney disorder due to underlying of certain diseases, such as Bartter syndrome, hyperaldosteronism, Liddle syndrome, etc may lead to this disease


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Signs & Symptoms

The patient suffering from hypokalemia has the following symptoms:-

  • The patient may tend to suffer from dysrhythmias.
  • The muscle fibres may break down easily.
  • The patient may also suffer from constipation.
  • There may be fatigue and paralysis
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Prevention

Hypokalemia can be prevented by eating potassium rich diets such as peas and beans, milk, bananas, oranges, tomatoes, etc. potassium can also be gathered by peanut butter, granola, Brussels sprouts, etc


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Treatments
Supplements of potassium Modern Medicine

Mild cases of hypokalemia can be treated by oral supplements of potassium. And more severe cases need injections of potassium from the vein. Patients who are on diuretics are administered drugs that keep potassium in the body. At times, treatments should also be given to reduce the levels of thyroid hormones in the blood in parallel if required

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