Viewer Comments: Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) - Causes

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Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) - Causes

What was the cause of your low potassium?

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Comment from: International Lady, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 18

My low potassium level was caused by taking diuetics and steroids contained in Asthma medication. Over a period of time I developed a hump or "fat pad" on my upper back between shoulders called "Cushing's Syndrome.” I was hospitalized and put on spironolactone and have been on that for many years. I do notice if I eat Kale it throws off my potassium level and I don't feel "right." So now I stay away from high potassium foods and only use an inhaler when I have a cold. I had a breath test done to make sure I was all right without the inhaler before I stopped.

Comment from: bbllmm93, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 07

I was diagnosed with low Potassium over a year ago. My doctor put me on 20 mg of potassium daily. Yesterday my potassium was extremely low. I am having tingling and numbness in my fingers and stay tired. Also my chest feels tight half the time and beats irregularly.

Comment from: Rose Queen, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 07

I was on a high-blood pressure medicine to treat Raynaud's Phenomenon. Because I work outside in the heat as a gardener, I was experiencing horrible swelling in my feet and legs. My doctor prescribed a diuretic to remedy the problem. After a very long, HOT day at work (104 degrees!)where I drank lots and lots of water, I returned home and proceeded to urinate every bit of fluid I had consumed...then had a bout of diarrhea.The diuretic was working! Before long, my hands, fingers, and face were numb, I felt awful and my husband had taken me to the ER. Lab tests revealed dehydration, low sodium count, and a potassium count of 2.0. My whole left side began having spasms, then the right as they used IV's to slowly bring my potassium level back up. It took all night and all the next day to bring it back up to 3.0. I'm now off the blood pressure medicine and the diuretic, the cause of the low potassium count. At my follow-up visit, my doctor said it was amazing my heart was able to beat with that low of potassium.

Comment from: pjohnson97501, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 07

My family has a rare form of hypokalemia and we just had an aunt pass away from this. But the doctors are refusing to administer IV potassium, only pills even though they know that our digestive tract stops absorbing potassium. I have survived six years with this, the average life in my family with this disease is about six months to a year. The doctors here are doing the same thing claiming that all documents show that you don't issue IV potassium and they aren't bending. In the last three months I have had more episodes than in the previous whole year.

Comment from: cynthia63, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 07

I first had found out I had low potassium while at an ER and they gave me pills to take while I was there but no prescription to take after, so I assumed that was all I needed. He never mentioned it was related to medicationss I was taking for blood pressure. Well, of course it happened again. I actually had a heart attack this time while home alone. I had just driven 110 miles back from a job out of town.I had been suffering with cramps for days and ignored them as poor circulation and just continued to try to get as much exercise as I could. I am lucky to be here telling the story today.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

My low potassium was discovered in a routine blood test. I take a water pill for high blood pressure which is probably the cause of the low potassium. I had begun to have leg cramps which I thought were shin splints from walking. I began to tire easily, and I also had trouble with confused thinking kind of like I was in a fog. I have been on potassium pills for 3 weeks and I feel much better.

Comment from: serenissima, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

My low potassium was caused by three days of diarrhea, caused by Clostridium difficile, a bacterium. When my doctor said to go to the ER and have my electrolytes checked, my potassium was at 1.7, which the docs said should have caused a heart attack or stroke. No one had seen potassium that low. Looking back, I see that there were symptoms: muscle twitching became quite severe and I was quite weak and tired. I just did not know that these meant anything collectively. I learned that diarrhea removes electrolytes, including potassium, from the body--a valuable lesson.

Comment from: Martha, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 20

I just left the hospital after having an ER visit and two day stay for low potassium. I had been having symptoms for weeks, very dizzy, weak, muscle spasms were horrible. Some were even in my jaw, neck and throat, and the dentist said it was TMJ. I was so tired I could not function, really bad fatigue. Finally I passed out in the floor and my daughter insisted on taking me to the ER and after 2 days of tests the problem was found, blood pressure meds with no potassium, it was 2.2. My doctor never told me to take potassium. I feel like a new person truly after the potassium and I intend to keep up with it carefully myself from now on, and insist on the blood work I need. If I had passed out a few minutes later I would have been driving in heavy traffic, maybe killed myself and others. Don't ignore these symptoms ever! I truly shouldn't have, I had a friend die from this at age 40 in the ER.

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The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Low Potassium (Hypokalemia):

Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) - Diagnosis

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Low Potassium - Symptoms

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