Hypokalemia
Low blood potassium. Potassium is the major positive ion (cation) found inside of cells. The chemical notation for potassium is K+. The proper level of potassium is essential for normal cell function. An abnormal decrease (or increase) of potassium can profoundly affect the nervous system and heart, and when extreme, can be fatal. The normal blood potassium level is 3.5 - 5.0 milliEquivalents/liter (mEq/L), or in international units, 3.5 - 5.0 millimoles/liter (mmol/L).
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The presence of an abnormally small concentration of potassium ions in the circulating blood; occurs in familial periodic paralysis and in potassium depletion due to excessive loss from the gastrointestinal tract or kidneys. The changes of h. may include vacuolation of renal tubular epithelial cytoplasm with impairment of urinary concentrating power and acidification, flattening of the T wave of the electrocardiogram, and muscle weakness. SYN: hypopotassemia. [hypo- + Mod. L. kalium, potassium, + G. haima, blood]

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hy·po·ka·le·mia or chiefly Brit hy·po·ka·lae·mia -kā-'lē-mē-ə n a deficiency of potassium in the blood called also hypopotassemia
hy·po·ka·le·mic or chiefly Brit hy·po·ka·lae·mic -'lē-mik adj

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hy·po·ka·le·mia (hi″po-kə-leґme-ə) [hypo- + L. kalium potassium + -emia] abnormally low potassium concentration in the blood; it may result from excessive potassium loss by the renal or the gastrointestinal route, from decreased intake, or from transcellular shifts. It may be manifested clinically by neuromuscular disorders ranging from weakness to paralysis, by electrocardiographic abnormalities (depression of the T wave and elevation of the U wave), by renal disease, and by gastrointestinal disorders.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hypokalemia — Infobox Disease Name = Hypokalemia Caption = Potassium DiseasesDB = 6445 ICD10 = ICD10|E|87|6|e|70 ICD9 = ICD9|276.8 ICDO = OMIM = MedlinePlus = 000479 eMedicineSubj = emerg eMedicineTopic = 273 MeshID = D007008 Hypokalemia refers to the… …   Wikipedia

  • hypokalemia — noun Etymology: New Latin, from hypo + kalium potassium (from kali alkali, from Arabic qily saltwort) + emia Date: 1949 a deficiency of potassium in the blood • hypokalemic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hypokalemia — hypokalemic, adj. /huy poh kay lee mee euh/, n. Pathol. an abnormally low concentration of potassium in the blood. [1945 50; HYPO + NL kal(ium) potassium (deriv. of kali, as in ALKALI) + EMIA] * * * …   Universalium

  • hypokalemia — noun The condition of having an abnormally low concentration of potassium ions in the blood …   Wiktionary

  • hypokalemia — n. abnormally low level of potassium in the blood (Medicine) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • hypokalemia — hy·po·ka·le·mia …   English syllables

  • hypokalemia — hy•po•ka•le•mi•a [[t]ˌhaɪ poʊ keɪˈli mi ə[/t]] n. pat an abnormally low concentration of potassium in the blood • Etymology: 1945–50; hypo + NL kal(ium) potassium (see alkali, ium) + emia hy po•ka•le′mic, adj …   From formal English to slang

  • hypokalemia — noun abnormally low level of potassium in the circulating blood leading to weakness and heart abnormalities; associated with adrenal tumors or starvation or taking diuretics • Ant: ↑hyperkalemia • Hypernyms: ↑symptom …   Useful english dictionary

  • endocrine system, human — ▪ anatomy Introduction  group of ductless glands (gland) that regulate body processes by secreting chemical substances called hormones (hormone). Hormones act on nearby tissues or are carried in the bloodstream to act on specific target organs… …   Universalium

  • Potassium in biology — Potassium is the an essential mineral macronutrient and is the main intracellular ion for all types of cells. It is important in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Function in the Body Potassium is the major cation (positive… …   Wikipedia

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