Papers And Originals

Studies on Whole-body Potassium in Non-ketoacidotic Diabetics Before and After Treatment

Br Med J 1974; 4 doi: (Published 28 December 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;4:738
  1. C. H. Walsh,
  2. N. G. Soler,
  3. H. James,
  4. M. G. Fitzgerald,
  5. J. M. Malins


    Serial measurements of whole-body potassium were carried out in 28 diabetic patients, in 23 of whom diabetes had only recently been diagnosed. Eleven patients were treated with insulin, 12 with oral hypoglycaemic agents, and the rest were already on oral hypoglycaemic agents and had developed poor diabetic control; four of these required insulin. Whole-body potassium was measured before treatment was begun (or altered) and again one and six weeks later. Whole-body potassium (ratio of observed to expected) was initially reduced in most of the patients requiring insulin. After control of diabetes whole-body potassium increased significantly in the three groups. The increase in whole-body potassium in the individual patients varied over a wide range, and in patients who were treated with insulin it was often of a similar magnitude to that observed in patients in diabetic ketoacidosis.