Potassium Deficiency: A condition due to decreased dietary intake of potassium, as in starvation or failure to administer in intravenous solutions, or to gastrointestinal loss in diarrhea, chronic laxative abuse, vomiting, gastric suction, or bowel diversion. Severe potassium deficiency may produce muscular weakness and lead to paralysis and respiratory failure. Muscular malfunction may result in hypoventilation, paralytic ileus, hypotension, muscle twitches, tetany, and rhabomyolysis. Nephropathy from potassium deficit impairs the concentrating mechanism, producing POLYURIA and decreased maximal urinary concentrating ability with secondary POLYDIPSIA. (Merck Manual, 16th ed)Hypokalemia: Abnormally low potassium concentration in the blood. It may result from potassium loss by renal secretion or by the gastrointestinal route, as by vomiting or diarrhea. It may be manifested clinically by neuromuscular disorders ranging from weakness to paralysis, by electrocardiographic abnormalities (depression of the T wave and elevation of the U wave), by renal disease, and by gastrointestinal disorders. (Dorland, 27th ed)Potassium: An element in the alkali group of metals with an atomic symbol K, atomic number 19, and atomic weight 39.10. It is the chief cation in the intracellular fluid of muscle and other cells. Potassium ion is a strong electrolyte that plays a significant role in the regulation of fluid volume and maintenance of the WATER-ELECTROLYTE BALANCE.