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The sodium-potassium pump is an essential cellular membrane protein that functions by pumping out three sodium ions and taking in two potassium ions. This mechanism preserves the electrochemical gradient formed from the varying concentrations of sodium and potassium ions within the cell and its exte


The causes of low sodium levels include drinking too much water; disorders of the heart, liver or kidney; and certain medications such as diuretics, according to the Mayo Clinic. Conditions that cause chronic vomiting can also lead to low potassium levels.


High serum potassium, known as hyperkalemia, can occur when kidneys do not function correctly or when an individual’s diet is abnormally high in potassium. Other causes include the breakdown of red blood cells or muscle tissue, trauma and uncontrolled diabetes, according to WebMD.


Potassium is a natural element; therefore, it isn't made. As a highly reactive metal, virtually no potassium occurs naturally in its elemental state. Instead, most potassium is obtained from mines in the form of potassium chloride or sulfate salts. A small amount of potassium that is used industrial


According to WebMD, potassium aids in prompting the heart to squeeze blood through the body thousands of times a day. Potassium is also helpful in the movement of muscles, the functioning of nerves and filtering of blood through the kidneys.


Low potassium, known as hypokalemia, occurs when blood potassium levels drop below the normal range of 3.6 to 5.2 millimoles per liter, according to Mayo Clinic. Potential causes include diarrhea or vomiting, profuse sweating, folic acid deficiency, excessive alcohol consumption, and the use of diur


Some foods that are high in potassium are winter squash, beet greens, sweet potatoes, white potatoes and white beans. Yogurt and pork are animal products that are high in potassium.


Many plant-based foods, including squash, sweet potatoes, beans, broccoli and bananas, are high in potassium. Some animal products, such as pork tenderloin and yogurt, are also good sources of potassium. Adults need to consume about 4,700 mg of potassium per day for optimal health, and many people d


Frequently, increased serum potassium levels are due to mishandling of the blood specimen, according to Mayo Clinic. In cases of true high serum potassium levels, an underlying condition such as kidney disease or a side effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, among other causes, may be t


A blood potassium test detects the amount of the electrolyte in the blood. The normal range is between 3.6 and 5.2 millimoles per liter, as stated by Healthline. It is used to evaluate kidney, nerve and heart functions.