Hypokalemia

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Hypokalemia is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • Hypokalemic Syndrome
  • Hypopotassemia Syndrome
  • Low Potassium Syndrome
  • Nephritis, Potassium-Losing
  • Potassium Loss Syndrome

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Hypokalemia is a metabolic imbalance characterized by extremely low potassium levels in the blood. It is a symptom of another disease or condition, or a side effect of diuretic drugs. The body needs potassium for the contraction of muscles (including the heart), and for the functioning of many complicated proteins (enzymes). Potassium is found primarily in the skeletal muscle and bone, and participates with sodium to contribute to the normal flow of body fluids between the cells in the body. The normal concentration of potassium in the body is regulated by the kidneys through the excretion of urine. When the kidneys are functioning normally, the amount of potassium in the diet is sufficient for use by the body and the excess is usually excreted through urine and sweat. Body chemicals and hormones such as aldosterone also regulate potassium balance. Secretion of the hormone insulin, which is normally stimulated by food, prevents a temporary diet-induced Hypokalemia by increasing cell absorption of potassium. When Hypokalemia occurs, there is an imbalance resulting from a dysfunction in this normal process, or the rapid loss of urine or sweat without replacement of sufficient potassium.

Resources

CLIMB (Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases)
Climb Building
176 Nantwich Road
Crewe, Intl CW2 6BG
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 870 7700 325
Fax: +44 870 7700 327
Email: info.svcs@climb.org.uk
Internet: http://www.CLIMB.org.uk

Muscular Dystrophy Association
3300 E. Sunrise Dr
Tucson, AZ 85718
USA
Tel: (520)529-2000
Fax: (520)529-5300
Tel: (800)572-1717
Email: mda@mdausa.org
Internet: http://www.mda.org/

Digestive Disease National Coalition
507 Capitol Court, NE
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20002
Tel: (202)544-7497
Fax: (202)546-7105
Email: ddnc@hmcw.org
Internet: http://www.ddnc.org

NIH/National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases
Endocrine Diseases Metabolic Diseases Branch
2 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892-3570
Tel: (301)654-3810
Fax: (301)496-7422
Email: NDDIC@info.niddk.nih.gov
Internet: http://www.niddk.nih.gov

MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network
150 Custer Court
Green Bay, WI 54301-1243
USA
Tel: (920)336-5333
Fax: (920)339-0995
Tel: (877)336-5333
Email: mums@netnet.net
Internet: http://www.netnet.net/mums/

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223
Email: ordr@od.nih.gov
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/Default.aspx

For a Complete Report

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ® (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html

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