Potassium Imbalance - Research Article from World of Health

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Potassium, a necessary electrolyte, facilitates nerve impulse conduction and the contraction of skeletal and smooth muscles, including the heart. It also facilitates cell membrane function and proper enzyme activity. Levels must be kept in a proper (homeostatic) balance for the maintenance of health. The normal concentration of potassium in the serum is in the range of 3.5 to 5.0 mM. Hyperkalemia refers to serum or plasma levels of potassium ions above 5.0 mM. Hypokalemia means serum or plasma levels of potassium ions that fall below 3.5 mM. The concentration of potassium is often expressed in units of milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L), rather than in units of millimolarity (mM). Both units mean the same thing when applied to concentrations of potassium ions.

A normal adult who weighs about 154 lbs (70 kg) contains a total of about 3.6 moles of potassium ions in the body. Most of this potassium (about 98%) occurs inside various...

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This section contains 1,503 words
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