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Old 11-06-2015, 07:28 PM
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Default Hyperkalemia vs Hypokalemia

I got a question wrong in my homework and would really appreciate someone helping me to understand why the answer is what it is.

Q: Are soft muscles a result of hypo or hyperkalemia?

A: Hypokalemia.

Here was my thinking: Hyperkalemia is when K serum levels are above 5.3 mEq/L. When a person exercises, the cells release K into the intravascular space, thus elevating the K serum levels. My book says, "After releasing K from the cells, the muscles are soft." So I don't understand why hypokalemia would be the cause of softening muscles. My study buddy and I are both having a hard time figuring this one out, so we would both be thankful for any guidance!

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Old 11-06-2015, 07:38 PM
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Muscle cramps or "charley horses" are a. symptom of hypokalemia.

What a bogus question.
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Old 11-07-2015, 06:24 AM
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I am so sorry to say that I have no idea what a "soft muscle" is. Unless this question was written by someone whose second language is English and was trying to look at the opposite of spastic/cramping, as icumaggie mentions. Hyperkalemia will result in weakness because you need that gradient (difference between) intracellular and extracellular K+ to allow efficient contractions, but I can't tell if that's what they're thinking about. If you're an English major, soft may be the same as weak, but this is not a legitimate pathophysiological term.
If you can get somebody to explain what they mean, I'd be interested to hear it.
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:03 AM
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I so agree with GrnTea. I even tried to google the question without any results specifically saying " soft muscle".
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:12 AM
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Soft muscles? Were they trying to say, "flacid", and this is another example of dumbing down for the airheads?

I guess they days of encyclopedia and dictionary-reading nerds like me are in the past along with analog televisions and radios with vacuum tubes.
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Old 11-07-2015, 09:53 AM
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I don't have any words of genius behind this statement but I found in grad school, 99% of the time, if something is hypo it is smaller, softer, less than, etc. So obviously if it's hyper it would be rigid, larger, more than, etc.

This concept really helped me learn the different anemia's and associated CBC results. Hypochromic anemia is small, pale RBC's with an MVC of less than 80 (nl is 80-100). Hyperchromic anemia is big dark RBC's with an MVC of more than 100. Normochromic, they're not symptomatic yet. But their hgb would be either lower or higher pointing the clinician in which direction an anemia would be. Therefore if a pt has a low hgb and hct but MCV is 120 they do not have iron deficiency anemia.
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Old 11-07-2015, 01:24 PM
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The question came from the Fluids and Electrolytes with Clinical Applications: A Programmed Approach 8th Ed. by Kee, Paulanka, and Polek. We were told to use it as a supplement to our Fundamentals of Nursing by Potter/Perry. I would describe it as a basic outline--it isn't very in depth and it does oversimplify the material.
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Old 11-07-2015, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple_roses View Post
The question came from the Fluids and Electrolytes with Clinical Applications: A Programmed Approach 8th Ed. by Kee, Paulanka, and Polek. We were told to use it as a supplement to our Fundamentals of Nursing by Potter/Perry. I would describe it as a basic outline--it isn't very in depth and it does oversimplify the material.
Here's a better suggestion, and more versatile. Get the great Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests with Nursing Implications by Joyce Lefever Kee, whatever the most recent edition is. Look up stuff there and you'll be blown away at how well you'll understand.
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Old 11-07-2015, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrnTea View Post
Here's a better suggestion, and more versatile. Get the great Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests with Nursing Implications by Joyce Lefever Kee, whatever the most recent edition is. Look up stuff there and you'll be blown away at how well you'll understand.
Thank you!
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Old 11-08-2015, 05:25 AM
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My info is strictly used when testing and you have to guess at the answer with no book in front of you.

I will check out that book as well. Thanks. I'm always on the hunt for good reference books..
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