Inadequate intake: diet and alcoholism.
Excessive renal loss: mineralocorticoid excess, Cushing’s syndrome, diuretics, hydrochlorothiazide and furosemide therapy, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, chronic metabolic alkalosis, renal tubular acidosis, and ureterosigmoidostomy.
β-Adrenergic agonists, insulin, and alkalosis (respiratory and metabolic) shift potassium to the intracellular space.
The most common renal cause of hypokalemia is diuretic therapy when loop diuretics and thiazides are co-prescribed. Loop diuretics block the sodium-potassium-chloride cotransporter in the thick ascending limb of the loop of Henle, while thiazides block the sodium-chloride cotransporter in the distal convoluted tubule .
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