Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) article.

Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Acidosis: Too much acid in the body, a distinctly abnormal condition resulting from the ac...

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Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Acute kidney failure: See: Acute renal failure.

Agonist: A substance that acts like another substance and therefore stimulates an action. ...

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Alcoholism: Physical dependence on alcohol to the extent that stopping alcohol use would b...

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Alkalosis: Relatively too much base in the blood and body, an abnormal condition resulting...

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Anorexia: An eating disorder characterized by markedly reduced appetite or total aversion...

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Anorexia nervosa: See Anorexia.

Antibiotic: A drug used to treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics have no effect on viral...

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Arms: An appendage in anatomy and in clinical trials. See: Arm.

Asthma: A common lung disorder in which inflammation causes the bronchi to swell and narro...

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Bariatric: Pertaining to the study, prevention, or treatment of overweight.

Bariatric surgery: Surgery on the stomach and/or intestines to help a person with extrem...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Bulimia: Also called bulimia nervosa. An eating disorder characterized by episodes of secr...

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Calcium: A mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones, where it is stored. Calcium is ...

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Cardiac: Having to do with the heart.

Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Constipation: Infrequent and frequently incomplete bowel movements. Constipation is the op...

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Creatinine: A chemical waste molecule that is generated from muscle metabolism. Creatinine...

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Cushing syndrome: The constellation of symptoms and signs caused by an excess of cortisol ...

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Delirium: A sudden state of severe confusion and rapid changes in brain function, sometime...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Diuretic: Something that promotes the formation of urine by the kidney. All diuretics caus...

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ECG: Electrocardiogram.

Electrocardiogram: A recording of the electrical activity of the heart. Abbreviated ECG an...

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Electrolyte: A substance that dissociates into ions in solution and acquires the capacity ...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Emphysema: is a lung condition featuring an abnormal accumulation of air due to enlargemen...

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Gastrointestinal: Adjective referring collectively to the stomach and small and large inte...

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Gastrointestinal tract: The stomach and intestines. Abbreviated GI tract.

Glucose: The simple sugar that is the chief source of energy. Glucose is found in the bloo...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart muscle: A type of muscle with unique features only found in the heart. The heart mus...

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Herbal: 1. An adjective, referring to herbs, as in an herbal tea.
2. A...

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Hypocalcemia: Lower-than-normal level of calcium in the blood, which makes the nervous sys...

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Hypokalemia: Low blood potassium.

Ileostomy: An opening into the ileum, part of the small intestine, from the outside of the...

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Incidence: The frequency with which something, such as a disease or trait, appears in a pa...

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Insulin: A natural hormone made by the pancreas that controls the level of the sugar gluco...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Laxative: Something that promotes emptying of the bowels. Laxatives are used to combat con...

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Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

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Leukemia: Cancer of the blood cells. Strictly speaking, leukemia should refer only to canc...

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Liter: A metric measure of capacity that is equal to the volume of 1 kilogram of water at ...

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Low blood pressure: Any blood pressure that is below the normal expected for an individua...

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Magnesium: A mineral involved in many processes in the body including nerve signaling, the...

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Magnesium deficiency: Can occur due to inadequate intake or impaired intestinal absorption...

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Malnutrition: A term used to refer to any condition in which the body does not receive eno...

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Metabolic: Relating to metabolism, the whole range of biochemical processes that occur wit...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Operation: In medicine, a surgical procedure. Many operations are named after persons. The...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Palpitations: Unpleasant sensations of irregular and/or forceful beating of the heart. In ...

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Paralysis: Loss of voluntary movement (motor function). Paralysis that affects only one mu...

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Potassium: The major positive ion (cation) found inside cells. The chemical notation for p...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Psychosis: In the general sense, a mental illness that markedly interferes with a person'...

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Renal: Having to do with the kidney. For example, renal cancer is cancer of the kidneys.

Rule out: Term used in medicine, meaning to eliminate or exclude something from considera...

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Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Sweating: The act of secreting fluid from the skin by the sweat (sudoriferous) glands. The...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Tiredness: See: Tired.

Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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