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How does hypokalemia affect the body?

Our cells, nerves, and muscles use the mineral and electrolyte potassium to function normally. Healthy kidneys keep the level of potassium in the blood within a certain range, excreting any excess in the urine. Some potassium is also lost through perspiration or through the digestive system, especially if the individual is vomiting or has diarrhea. Small decreases in potassium levels do not generally cause symptoms, but severe drops can be life threatening. Occasionally elderly individuals have a diet so deficient in potassium they develop hypokalemia.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.