potassium

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potassium

 (K) [po-tas´e-um]
a chemical element, atomic number 19, atomic weight 39.102. (See Appendix 6.) In combination with other minerals in the body, potassium forms alkaline salts that are important in body processes and play an essential role in maintenance of the acid-base and water balance in the body. All body cells, especially muscle tissue, require a high content of potassium. A proper balance between sodium, calcium, and potassium in the blood plasma is necessary for proper cardiac function.

Since most foods contain a good supply of potassium, potassium deficiency (hypokalemia) is unlikely to be caused by an unbalanced diet. Possible causes include cushing's syndrome (due to an adrenal gland disorder) and fanconi's syndrome (the result of a congenital kidney defect). The cause could also be an excessive dose of cortisone, prolonged vomiting or diarrhea, or thiazide diuretics, which are administered for treatment of hypertension. Signs of potassium deficiency can include weakness and lethargy, rapid pulse, nausea, diarrhea, and tingling sensations.

If the body absorbs enough potassium but the element is not distributed properly, various disorders may develop. Thus an abnormally low content of potassium in the blood may result in an intermittent temporary paralysis of the muscles, known as familial periodic paralysis.

Potassium deficiency can be treated by administration of potassium supplements. There is a large variety of these preparations. Some are liquids, some are powders to be dissolved in liquids, and some are slow-release tablets that dissolve in the intestine. All can cause gastrointestinal irritation. For many persons on diuretic therapy for hypertension, potassium deficiency can be avoided by increasing their consumption of potassium-containing foods, such as bananas, dates, prunes, and raisins, and potassium supplements are not needed. Potassium supplements are never given to patients receiving potassium-sparing diuretics such as amiloride, spironolactone, or triamterene. If the difficulty lies in the body's use of potassium, treatment is concerned with the primary cause of the deficiency.
Homeostatic balance of potassium. Through the functions of resorption and excretion, the kidneys are the best regulator of potassium balance in the extracellular fluids. From Malarkey and McMorrow, 2000.
potassium acetate an electrolyte replenisher and systemic and urinary alkalizer.
potassium bicarbonate an electrolyte replenisher, antacid, and urinary alkalizer.
potassium bitartrate a compound administered rectally as a suppository with sodium bicarbonate to produce carbon dioxide, which promotes defecation by distending the rectal ampulla; administered for relief of constipation, and evacuation of the colon before surgical or diagnostic procedures or childbirth.
potassium chloride a compound used orally or intravenously as an electrolyte replenisher.
potassium citrate a systemic and urinary alkalizer, electrolyte replenisher, and diuretic.
dibasic potassium phosphate the dipotassium salt, K2HPO4; used alone or in combination with other phosphate compounds as an electrolyte replenisher.
potassium gluconate an electrolyte replenisher used in the prophylaxis and treatment of hypokalemia.
potassium guaiacolsulfonate an expectorant.
potassium iodide an expectorant, antithyroid agent, and antifungal.
monobasic potassium phosphate the monopotassium salt, KH2PO4; used as a buffering agent in pharmaceutical preparations and, alone or in combination with other phosphate compounds, as an electrolyte replenisher and urinary acidifier and for prevention of kidney stones.
potassium permanganate a topical antiinfective and oxidizing agent, and an antidote for many poisons.
potassium phosphate a compound combining potassium and phosphoric acid, usually dibasic potassium phosphate.
potassium sodium tartrate a compound used as a saline cathartic.

po·tas·si·um (K),

(pō-tas'ē-ŭm),
An alkaline metallic element, atomic no. 19, atomic wt. 39.0983, occurring abundantly in nature but always in combination; its salts are used medicinally. For organic potassium salts not listed below, see the name of the anion.
Synonym(s): kalium
[Mod. L., fr. Eng. potash (fr. pot + ashes) + -ium]

potassium

/po·tas·si·um/ (K) (pah-tas´e-um) chemical element, at. no. 19. Potassium is the chief cation of intracellular fluid, and many of its salts are used as electrolyte replenishers and antihypokalemics, including p. acetate, p. bicarbonate, p. chloride, and p. gluconate. For potassium salts not listed here, see under the active ingredient.
potassium bitartrate  a compound administered rectally with sodium bicarbonate to produce carbon dioxide; used for relief of constipation, evacuation of the colon before surgical or diagnostic procedures, and pre- and postpartum bowel emptying.
potassium chloride  an electrolyte replenisher, KCl.
potassium citrate  a systemic and urinary alkalizer, electrolyte replenisher, and diuretic.
dibasic potassium phosphate  the dipotassium salt, K2HPO4; used alone or in combination with other phosphate compounds as an electrolyte replenisher.
potassium hydroxide  an alkalizer used in pharmaceutical preparations.
potassium iodide  a thyroid inhibitor used in the treatment of hyperthyroidism, as a radiation protectant to the thyroid, as an iodine replenisher, and as an antifungal.
monobasic potassium phosphate  the monopotassium salt, KH2PO4; used as a buffering agent in pharmaceutical preparations and, alone or in combination with other phosphate compounds, as an electrolyte replenisher, urinary acidifier, and antiurolithic.
potassium permanganate  the potassium salt of permanganic acid, used as a topical anti-infective, oxidizing agent, and as an antidote for certain poisons.
potassium phosphate  a compound combining potassium and phosphoric acid, usually dibasic potassium phosphate.

potassium (K)

[pətas′ē·əm]
Etymology: D, potasschen, potash
an alkali metal element, the seventh most abundant element in the earth's crust. Its atomic number is 19; its atomic mass is 39.10. Potassium salts are necessary to the life of all plants and animals. Potassium in the body constitutes the predominant intracellular cation, helping to regulate neuromuscular excitability and muscle contraction. Sources of potassium in the diet are whole grains, meat, legumes, fruit, and vegetables. The average adequate daily intake for most adults is 2 to 4 g. Normal adult levels of blood potassium are 3.5 to 5 mEq/L or 3.5 to 5 mmol/L (SI units). Potassium is important in glycogen formation, protein synthesis, and correction of imbalances of acid-base metabolism, especially in association with the action of sodium and hydrogen ions. Potassium salts are very important as therapeutic agents but are extremely dangerous if used improperly. The kidneys play an important role in controlling the secretion and absorption. Aldosterone stimulates sodium reabsorption and potassium secretion by the kidneys. The major extrarenal adaptation to this process involves the absorption of potassium by the body tissues, especially the tissues of the muscles and the liver. Potassium is most commonly depleted in the body by an increased rate of excretion by the kidneys or the GI tract. Increased renal excretion may be caused by diuretic therapy, large doses of anionic drugs, or renal disorders. Increased GI excretion of potassium may occur with the loss of GI fluid through vomiting, diarrhea, surgical drainage, or chronic use of laxatives. Potassium loss through the skin is rare but can result from perspiring during excessive exercise in a hot environment.

potassium

An alkaline metallic element (atomic number 19; atomic weight 39.09), potassium is the principal intracellular cation (positive ion) and is critical in the synthesis of new molecules, transferring energy, muscle contraction, transmitting neural impulses and maintaining blood pressure. Potassium-rich foods include bananas, cereals, legumes, potatoes, prunes and raisins.

potassium

K+, Kalium Physiology An alkaline metallic element–atomic number 19; atomic weight 39.09; it is the principal intracellular cation–positive ion and is critical for synthesis of new molecules, transfer of energy, muscle contraction, neural transmission, and maintaining BP; K+ in the circulation has a narrow range; it is ↓ in crash dieting, Cushing syndrome, DKA, dehydration, hyperaldosteronism, licorice–due to aldosterone-like effects of glycerrhizic acid, malnutrition, metabolic acidosis, nasogastic suctioning, starvation, stress–burns, surgery, trauma, vomiting, and drugs–eg, aspirin, corticosteroids, potassium-wasting diuretics, estrogen, insulin, laxatives, lithium, sodium polystyrene sulfonate–Kaylexate; it is ↑ with anuria or oliguria, tissue injury/necrosis, burns, potassium in IV solutions, metabolic acidosis, renal insufficiency or failure, and therapy with K+-sparing diuretics–eg, spironolactone, antibiotics–eg, cephalosporins, isoniazid, penicillin, epinephrine, histamine Potassium-rich foods Bananas, cereals, legumes, potatoes, prunes, raisins

po·tas·si·um

(K) (pŏ-tas'ē-ŭm)
An alkaline metallic element, atomic no. 19, atomic wt. 39.0983, occurring abundantly in nature but always in combination; its salts are used medicinally; the primary intracellular cation.
Synonym(s): kalium.
[Mod. L., fr. Eng. potash (fr. pot + ashes) + -ium]

potassium

An important body mineral present in carefully controlled concentration. Potassium is necessary for normal heart rhythm, for the regulation of the body's water balance and for the conduction of nerve impulses and the contraction of muscles. Many diuretic drugs result in a loss of potassium from the body and this can be dangerous. Supplementary potassium is often included in the formulation of these preparations. Potassium may also be given as a separate supplement in such preparations as Kay-Cee-L or Slow-K.

Potassium

A mineral found in whole grains, meat, legumes, and some fruits and vegetables. Potassium is important for many body processes, including proper functioning of the nerves and muscles.
Mentioned in: Diuretics, Hypokalemia

potassium

the major cation in intracellular fluid (ICF) accounting for over 90% of the body's potassium. Its many functions include a crucial role in the generation of the membrane potential and of an action potential. The level in the blood is regulated by the kidneys, under the influence of the hormone aldosterone. Intake in food and excretion (mainly in the urine) are typically balanced at about 60 mmol/day. hypokalaemia abnormally low, hyperkalaemia abnormally high, blood level of potassium. See also minerals; appendix 4.3 .

potassium,

n an element/mineral that acts as an electrolyte and functions in nerve signal transmission, muscle contraction, blood pressure regulation, and maintenance of pH balance. Side effects of potassium deficiency include cardiac arrhythmia, diarrhea, moodiness, nausea, and weakness. Dietary sources include animal products, beans, lentils, peas, squash, watermelons, raisins, bananas, and spinach.

po·tas·si·um

(pŏ-tas'ē-ŭm)
An alkaline metallic element, occurring abundantly in nature but always in combination; its salts are used medicinally.
[Mod. L., fr. Eng. potash (fr. pot + ashes) + -ium]

potassium (K) (pōtas´ēəm),

n an alkali metal element, the seventh most abundant element in the earth's crust. Its atomic number is 19 and its atomic weight is 39.1. In the body, it constitutes the predominant intracellular cation, helping to regulate neuromuscular excitability and muscle contraction. The average adequate daily intake of potassium for most adults is 2 to 4 g.
potassium bicarbonate/potassium acetate/potassium chloride/potassium gluconate/potassium phosphate,
n brand name: Effer-K, K-Lyte, Kapon-CL, K-Dur, Micro-K, K-G Elixir;
drug class: potassium electrolyte;
action: needed for adequate transmission of nerve impulses and cardiac contraction, renal function, intracellular ion maintenance;
uses: prevention and treatment of hypokalemia.
potassium chloride,
n a white crystalline salt used as a substitute for table salt in the diet of persons with cardiovascular disorders.
potassium dichromate
n a compound of potassium used as an external astringent, antiseptic, and caustic.
potassium oxalate
n a dentin desensitizing agent that occludes the openings of the dentinal tubules and blocks the hydrodynamics that initiate the pain response.
Brand name: Protect.
potassium sulfate
n an accelerator used to speed the setting of gypsum products. Hydrocolloid impressions are fixed in a 2% solution of potassium sulfate.

potassium

a chemical element, atomic number 19, atomic weight 39.102, symbol K. See Table 6. In combination with other minerals, potassium forms alkaline salts that are important in body processes and play an essential role in maintenance of its acid-base and water balance. All body cells, especially muscle tissue, require a high content of potassium. A proper balance between sodium, calcium and potassium in the blood plasma is necessary for proper cardiac function. Alfalfa meal, molasses and soyabean meal are good sources for herbivores.

potassium acetate, bicarbonate, bitartrate, citrate, gluconate
electrolyte replenishers, weak diuretics and urinary alkalinizers. Some are also used as expectorants.
potassium arsenite
potassium bromide
used in the treatment of seizures in humans and dogs.
potassium carbonate
used commercially as a fertilizer.
potassium channel
see channel.
potassium chloride
a compound used orally or intravenously as an electrolyte replenisher.
potassium cyanide
may be present in industrial effluents. A potent cause of cyanide poisoning.
potassium deficiency
nutritional deficiency of potassium is very rare. In calves can cause poor growth, anemia and diarrhea. Experimental deficiency in piglets causes also incoordination and cardiac insufficiency.
potassium exchange resins
an oral preparation administered to limit the amount of potassium available for absorption; used in the management of hyperkalemia. See also ion-exchange resin; sodium polystyrene sulfonate.
potassium guaiacolsulfonate
an expectorant.
potassium hydroxide (syn. potassium hydrate)
used commercially as a caustic. In veterinary medicine used mostly for clearing skin scrapings in the diagnosis of ectoparasite infestation.
potassium iodate
used as a constituent of salt blocks and mixes to supplement the diet with iodine. Overdosing will cause iodism.
potassium iodide
an expectorant and antithyroid agent.
potassium nitrate
used commercially as a fertilizer and a meat preservative. Can cause nitrate poisoning or nitrite poisoning in ruminants.
potassium nitrite
a compound sometimes used in place of potassium nitrate. Overdosing causes methemoglobin formation and severe, sometimes fatal hypoxia.
potassium nutritional deficiency
causes poor growth, anemia and diarrhea in pigs and calves. Electrocardiographic changes are also recorded. See also hypokalemia.
potassium oxalate
causes oxalate poisoning.
potassium permanganate
a topical anti-infective, oxidizing agent, and antidote for many poisons. See also permanganate.
potassium phosphate
a cathartic.
potassium pump
see sodium pump.
potassium sodium tartrate
a compound used as a saline cathartic and also in combination with sodium bicarbonate and tartaric acid (Seidlitz powders, a cathartic).