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Potassium Deficiency

"Potassium Deficiency" is a descriptor in the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus, MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). Descriptors are arranged in a hierarchical structure, which enables searching at various levels of specificity.

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A condition due to decreased dietary intake of potassium, as in starvation or failure to administer in intravenous solutions, or to gastrointestinal loss in diarrhea, chronic laxative abuse, vomiting, gastric suction, or bowel diversion. Severe potassium deficiency may produce muscular weakness and lead to paralysis and respiratory failure. Muscular malfunction may result in hypoventilation, paralytic ileus, hypotension, muscle twitches, tetany, and rhabomyolysis. Nephropathy from potassium deficit impairs the concentrating mechanism, producing POLYURIA and decreased maximal urinary concentrating ability with secondary POLYDIPSIA. (Merck Manual, 16th ed)


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