Description Medical Nutritional and

Miscellaneous Metabolic Disorders, Age > 17 with CC

484 Hypokalemia and renal failure. Potassium is regulated by two stimuli, aldosterone and hyperkalemia. Aldos-terone is secreted in response to high renin and angiotensin II or hyperkalemia. The plasma level of potassium, when high, also increases renal potassium loss.

Because 98% of the body's potassium is intracellular, small variations in the potassium concentration gradient can cause major changes in cell membrane excitability. Hypokalemia is a relatively common electrolyte imbalance with potentially life-threatening consequences because symptoms can affect virtually all body systems. Complications of hypokalemia include paralytic ileus, cardiac dysrhythmias, shock, and sudden cardiac death.

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