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Potassium is a mineral necessary for good health. It maintains water and acid balance in blood and tissue cells, and facilitates the transmission of electrical signals between cells and nerves.

Hypokalemia is a potentially fatal condition in which the blood potassium levels fall outside the normal range of 3.5 to 5.0 mEq/L.  Hypokalemia is most common in people with diseases that affect kidney function, people who take diuretics, and people with eating disorders.

Early symptoms of hypokalemia, or potassium deficiency, include muscle weakness, fatigue and slow reflexes. Severe cases can result in cardiac arrest and paralysis of the lungs.