How Does Insulin Affect Potassium Levels?

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Insulin For The Treatment Of Hyperkalemia: A Double-edged Sword?

Insulin for the treatment of hyperkalemia: a double-edged sword? Please address correspondence to: Anitha Vijayan, MD, Professor of Medicine, Renal Division, Washington University in St. Louis, Box 8129, 660 S Euclid Ave, St. Louis, MO, 63110, Email: [email protected] , Tel: (314) 362-7211, Fax: (314) 747-3743 Search for other works by this author on: Clinical Kidney Journal, Volume 7, Issue 3, 1 June 2014, Pages 239241, Tingting Li, Anitha Vijayan; Insulin for the treatment of hyperkalemia: a double-edged sword?, Clinical Kidney Journal, Volume 7, Issue 3, 1 June 2014, Pages 239241, Potassium plays a critical role in cellular metabolism and normal neuromuscular function. Tightly regulated homeostatic mechanisms have developed in the process of evolution to provide primary defense against the threats of hyper- and hypokalemia. The kidney plays a primary role in potassium balance, by increasing or decreasing the rate of potassium excretion. Distribution of potassium between the intracellular and the extracellular fluid compartments is regulated by physiologic factors such as insulin and catecholamines which stimulate the activity of the Na+-K+ ATPase. Only about 10% of the ing Continue reading >>

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  1. Jayendra Arya Saini

    Insulin reduces serum potassium levels. In fact Glucose-Insulin infusion is the BEST AND FASTEST agent to do so and it is THE FIRST LINE treatment of choice in case of moderate Hyperkalemia not associated with ECG changes. In case of moderate Hyperkalemia associated with ECG changes, Calcium Gluconate is the first agent given for cardioprotective function followed by Glucose-Insulin.

  2. Sajit Malla

    What affects your potassium levels enough to kill you?

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  3. Mathias Bradly

    It decreases plasma potassium levels. They have an inverse relationship.

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