Medical Definition of Hypokalemia

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Hypokalemia: Low blood potassium.

Potassium is the major positive ion (cation) found inside of cells. The chemical notation for potassium is K+.

The proper level of potassium is essential for normal cell function. An abnormal decrease (or increase) of potassium can profoundly affect the nervous system and heart, and when extreme, can be fatal.

The normal blood potassium level is 3.5 - 5.0 milliEquivalents/liter (mEq/L), or in international units, 3.5 - 5.0 millimoles/liter (mmol/L). See also: Potassium balance.

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