The human body is a very complex system that works at the expense of balance and harmonious interaction of many different substances. Lack or excess of even one substance gives rise to a number of serious violations.
Normally, the concentration in human plasma potassium is from 3 5 to 5 5 mmol / l. If the content of the substance is reduced below the lower limit of normal, there is a pathological condition called hypokalemia. With him there are serious problems in the work of almost all organs and systems of the human body.
The main reasons leading to the development of hypokalemia include:
- Significant excretion of potassium from the body. There vomiting, hyperglycemia, diarrhea, hyperaldosteronism, metabolic alkalosis, renal disease and taking certain diuretic medications. Excessive potassium loss are a major cause of hypokalemia.
- Insufficient intake of this element in the body with food. This cause hypokalemia can occur in people who adhere to a very strict diets or starving. Also, hypokalemia often develops in people with a tendency to geophagic activity (eating clay). In this case, the iron having clay binds with potassium to form an insoluble complex. As a result, the potassium can not be absorbed from intestines and absorbed by the body.
- Significant flow of potassium from the interstitial fluid into the cells. Such movement can be observed when potassium high doses of insulin after abuse of alcohol, with an excess catecholamines and an overdose of some vitamins, in particular folic acid.
Deficiency of potassium in the body leads to the development of general weakness, fatigue. Besides developing muscle weakness of the lower limbs, they often occur cramps. By reducing the concentration of potassium in blood serum of less than 3, 0 mmol / l appear, and other clinical symptoms hypokalemia:
- Various neurological disorders (paraesthesia, numbness of the skin, etc.);
- Mental Disorders (apathy, irritability, lethargy);
- Cardiac arrhythmias. Potassium deficiency increases the excitability of the myocardium, which may lead to the occurrence of ventricular extrasystoles and ventricular fibrillation even. Especially dangerous hypokalemia for people receiving therapy with cardiac glycosides. They even slight potassium deficiency can cause sudden severe arrhythmias leading to death.
- In severe cases, paralysis may develop upward flowing with the defeat of the intercostal muscles and the diaphragm. When it occurs the patient should be transferred to the hardware breath.
Other symptoms of hypokalaemia are expressed nausea and vomiting arising from violations of the gastrointestinal tract. Wherein at vomiting amplified potassium loss, which in turn aggravating circumstances more symptoms of hypokalemia. In very rare cases, a pronounced shortage of potassium can cause the development of dynamic ileus.
When a patient first symptoms of hypokalemia need to find out the cause of this condition and correct it.
For replenishment of potassium in the body using drugs, which include this substance. At low severity of hypokalemia patients are usually prescribed pills or Pananginum Asparkama. In more severe cases of hypokalemia resort to intravenous administration of potassium chloride, potassium citrate, or potassium bicarbonate.
However, if the cause of hypokalemia is a violation of redistribution of potassium between cells and the extracellular medium, the intravenous administration of drugs potassium absolutely contraindicated!
The treatment of hypokalemia caused by excessive loss of potassium begins with treating the underlying disease that led to the appearance of the condition.
Prevention of hypokalemia
In order to prevent potassium deficiency should include in your diet foods rich in this chemical element:
- Dried fruit;
- Potatoes (better liver);
- Nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts or pine).
Proper and balanced diet allows the body to obtain all necessary human for its normal life of the food substance that prevents the development of hypokalemia.