Low Potassium Topic Guide
Low Potassium (Hypokalemia): Potassium is an electrolyte necessary for bodily functions. Causes of low potassium (hypokalemia) include medications, chronic laxative abuse, kidney failure, leukemia, other mineral deficiencies, vomiting, diarrhea, and malnutrition. Symptoms of low potassium include tiredness, weakness, muscle cramps, tingling, nausea, vomiting, constipation, palpitations, fainting, low blood pressure, abdominal cramping or bloating. Treatment depends upon the cause of the potassium deficiency.
Diarrhea Diarrhea can be caused by bacterial or viral infections, parasites, intestinal diseases or conditions, reactions to medications, and food intolerance. Symptoms of diarrhea include watery stools, abdominal cramping, fever, and dehydration. Most cases of diarrhea can be treated at home. In some cases (in the elderly, small children, or those with severe or chronic medical conditions) may need to be hospitalized due to dehydration.
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