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The Bartter Site (BS) is an educational website and resource for those seeking information on Bartter and Gitelman syndromes. Bartter Syndrome Support Group is an international online support group that offers patients a place to discuss symptoms and treatments. Bartter’s syndrome (BS) is a group of conditions involving enlargement of certain kidney cells, blood that is more alkaline than normal, high levels of potassium and chloride in the urine, loss of potassium from the kidneys (renal potassium wasting), dehydration, muscle weakness, muscle cramps, frequent urination, and growth deficiency, potentially resulting in dwarfism. It is thought to be caused by a defect in the body’s ability to reabsorb potassium. Loss of potassium may result from overproduction of a certain hormone (aldosterone) that is essential in controlling blood pressure and regulating sodium and potassium levels (hyperaldosteronism). Low potassium levels may be associated with a disturbance in an affected individual’s acid-base ratio (i.e., an accumulation of base or loss of acid). This is known as hypokalemic alkalosis. Symptoms and their intensity vary among the various types of Bartter’s syndrome. Of the various types of this syndrome, the one known as Gitelman syndrome appears generally to be the mildest and to present later in life, often in adults without symptoms (asymptomatic) who are found to have lack or loss of potassium (hypokalemia) on routine laboratory testing.
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