Why Does Insulin Cause Hypokalemia?

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What is Hypokalemia? Hypokalemia is defined as low potassium level in the blood. Potassium is an electrolyte whose concentration within the cells is higher than outside the cells i.e. in the blood. The potassium levels as measured in the laboratory indicate the blood levels of potassium, and not the levels within the cells. Normal potassium levels in the blood serum range from 3.5 to 5.0 mEq /l. Low blood potassium levels is referred to as hypokalemia, while high blood potassium levels are referred to as hyperkalemia. Hypokalemia can range from mild to severe. Mild - serum potassium level ranges from 3-3.5 mEq /L. Moderate - serum potassium level ranges between 2.5-3 mEq /L. Severe – serum potassium level is below 2.5 mEq /L Serum refers to the liquid portion of the blood that does not clot, which is used for measuring potassium levels. How are Potassium Levels Maintained at Normal Levels? Potassium is obtained from the diet and excreted through the kidneys. It is essential that potassium levels are tightly regulated by physiological mechanisms. The adrenal glands and the pancreas play an important role in maintaining blood potassium levels. The adrenal glands secrete a hormone c Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. cybron

    Can you plz tell me why insulin cuZ hypokalemia???

  2. Master shifu

    Insulin results Hypokalemia just by increasing the activity of H*K ATPase pump. So insulin only shifts the K+ from the extracellular compartment to the intracellular compartment, it doesn't decrease the total K+ content of the body........remember it......that's why during management of Hyperkalemia 1st initial therapy is done by giving Insulin + Glucose combination which usually needs 30 minutes to come into action........Hope it helps

  3. cybron

    Thanks master but i heard there is increase activity of Na/K pump not H/K pump..can u plz clarify??
    If H/K pump increases then acid production also increases??

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