Low Potassium (Hypokalemia): Potassium is an electrolyte necessary for bodily functions. Causes of low potassium (hypokalemia) include
- chronic laxative abuse,
- kidney failure,
- other mineral deficiencies,
- diarrhea, and
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Acute Kidney FailureKidney failure, or the ability of the kidneys to filter water and waste, is caused by prerenal, postrenal, or renal problems with the kidney(s). Symptoms of kidney failure include decreased urine production, confusion, fatigue, lethargy, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, problems concentrating, edema, and a metallic taste in the mouth. Treatment for kidney failure depends upon the cause.
Heart Rhythm DisordersArrhythmias or heart rhythm disorders are conditions that causes changes in the normal heartbeat. There are numerous types of arrhythmias, for example, supraventricular tachycardia, sinus sick syndrome, atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and ventricular fibrillation. Signs and symptoms of an arrhythmia may include: Chest pain or discomfort Shortness of breath Palpitations Racing heart sensation Treatment for arrhythmias depend upon the cause.
Dehydration in AdultsDehydration occurs when the loss of body fluids (mostly water), exceeds the amount that is taken in. Causes of dehydration include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, diseases (diabetes), impaired ability to drink, lack of access to safe drinking water, and injuries to the skin. Common symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, dry skin, headache, low urine output, tiredness, sleepiness, dry mouth, and increased thirst. Treatment of dehydration depends upon the severity of the condition.
Dehydration in ChildrenDehydration in children can result from not drinking enough liquids, vomiting, diarrhea, or combination of these conditions. Causes of dehydration in children include viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections, diabetes, and increased sweating, and others. Symptoms include sunken eyes, decrease in urination, no tears when crying, dry mouth, lethargy, and irritability. Treatment at home includes proper fluid replacement. Some cases of dehydration are so severe they may require hospitalization.
Diabetic KetoacidosisDiabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) occurs when a person with diabetes becomes dehydrated. Causes of diabetic ketoacidosis include infection, missed insulin, or newly diagnosed diabetes. Some signs and symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include excessive thirst, vomiting, confusion, dry skin or mouth, shortness of breath, and abdominal pain. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency and if you think you or someone you know may be suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis call 911 or go to the nearest urgent care facility or emergency department.
DiarrheaDiarrhea can be caused by bacterial or viral infections, parasites, intestinal diseases or conditions, reactions to medications, and food intolerance or allergies. Symptoms of diarrhea include watery stools, abdominal cramping, fever, and dehydration. Most cases of diarrhea can be treated at home. In some cases (in the elderly, small children, or those with severe or chronic medical conditions) may need to be hospitalized due to dehydration.
ElectrolytesElectrolyes, including sodium, potassium, and magnesium, are chemicals that help the cells and organs of the body function. Electrolyte imbalance can result from dehydration, kidney failure, tumors, and other causes. Some symptoms of sodium imbalance include lethargy, confusion, weakness, swelling, seizures, and coma.
Chronic Kidney DiseaseTwenty percent of people over the age of 20 years will develop chronic kidney disease in their lifetime. Chronic kidney disease causes are diseases of the kidney(s), diabetes, uncontrolled high blood pressure, Glomerulonephritis, polycystic disease, medications, and other conditions. Symptoms include; fatigue, nausea and vomiting, edema, itching, easy bruising, anemia, headaches, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, chest pain, and more. Treatment for kidney disease generally involves dialysis, or kidney transplantation depending on the condition of the person and kidney(s).
Vomiting and NauseaVomiting and nausea are common complaints that accompany many conditions and diseases. A few common causes of vomiting and nausea include food poisoning, viruses, vertigo, head injuries, gallbladder disease, appendicitis, migraine, brain tumors, and infections. Treatment of vomiting and nausea depend on the cause of the symptoms.
Dehydration in Adults Dehydration occurs when the loss of body fluids (mostly water), exceeds the amount that is taken in. Causes of dehydration include
- diseases (diabetes),
- impaired ability to drink,
- lack of access to safe drinking water, and
- injuries to the skin.
- dry skin,
- low urine output,
- dry mouth, and
- increased thirst.
Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) Topic Guide - Visuals
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