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Blood potassium - Definition


Definition

Potassium is a chemical element that exists in the body in the form of ions, in other words a constituent that carries an electrical charge. It is particularly present in the cells, but also in the blood, where it plays several important roles: an excess or deficiency of this mineral substance in the plasma can lead to complications, especially related to the heart. The level of blood potassium, called kalemia, is usually calculated at 3.5 to 5 milimoles (the official unit of measurement) per liter, on average. Hypokalemia is when there is a decrease in this level, is often caused by digestive disorders, and can cause fatigue, muscle cramps, or even paralysis and nausea. Hyperkalemia, an increase, is usually due to kidney failure, and causes few symptoms, but can lead to problems with cardiac rhythm at very high levels, as can hypokalemia.
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