Pattern of Serum Electrolytes and Cortisol levels in Nigerians with Uncomplicated Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

  • O. Odusan
  • A.A. Amballi
  • B.O. Oduyale
  • A.K. Idowu
Keywords: Uncomplicated Type 2 diabetes mellitus, serum Electrolytes, serum Cortisol, Anthropometry.


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disorder, the commonest endocrine disease with increasing prevalence worldwide. Studies on electrolytes derangement in complicated diabetes abound but there are few in uncomplicated diabetes. To determine, compare and correlate serum electrolytes and Cortisol levels in a cohort of uncomplicated type 2 diabetics. A cross sectional study of sixty (60) type 2 diabetes patients of 5-10 years duration without complications and 50 healthy non-diabetic controls that were recruited from the diabetes and general out-patient clinics of a tertiary care facility over 3 months. Using a study questionnaire, information on age, anthropometry, fasting blood Glucose, serum electrolytes and Cortisol were obtained and analyzed following standard procedures. The mean 2 age (years) of diabetics was 49.58 ( ± 11.2) and controls 47.00 ( ± 12.1) and their BMI (Kg/m )[26.47 ( ± 3.97) vs 25.77 ( ± 4.85) respectively were not significantly different (p=0.524; p=0.407). The Waist-hipratio (WHR) was significantly higher in diabetics [0.933 ± 0.004 vs 0.905 ± 0.83) p=0.024]. The mean values of studied parameters among the diabetics and controls respectively are as follows: fasting blood glucose (FBG) [138.4 ± 78.7 vs 82.5 ± 73.7 mg/dl]; serum electrolytes: Sodium 139.0 ± 8.4 vs 142 ± 4.2mg/dl], Potassium [5.2 ± 1.4 vs 4.1 ± 0.53mg/dl] and Chloride [99.3 ± 6.8 vs 104.5 ± 5.0 mg/dl] with significant differences in each (p=0.000, 0.011, 0.000, 0.000 respectively). The mean serum Cortisol was not statistically different [125.5 ± 43.2 vs 121.5 ± 61.3 ng/mL (p=0.693)]. There was no correlation between the various serum electrolytes and Cortisol levels. Electrolytes imbalance in uncomplicated diabetes are present, with higher potassium and lower sodium than in controls with no accompanying change in Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal activity as measured by serum Cortisol level. This derangement in electrolyte level may be attributed to hyperglycaemia, osmotic diuresis and dietary habit.

Key words: Uncomplicated Type 2 diabetes mellitus, serum Electrolytes, serum Cortisol, Anthropometry.


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