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: MRSDJMW, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 04

I was diagnosed with it in during blood work for surgery a few years ago. I recently began to feel extremely drowsy, as I kept falling asleep for hours. I also had a considerable amount of muscle pain. The cause of mine was due to high levels of narcotics for chronic back and neck pain, which in turn caused severe constipation. I was treated with laxatives, which caused diarrhea at times. I was also on Lasix because the pain meds caused my ankles to swell and caused me to retain water. This increased my urinary output. I found relief after three weeks of medication. Now I always remember to eat my banana daily! Low potassium causes were chronic pain, frequent urination from water pill, and increased use of laxatives due to narcotics.

Comment from: Prettybrnidgirl, Published: November 21

Thank you everyone for sharing this information. I got sick just a little over 9 years ago. I had a blood clot in my bowel that turned into gangrene. It took a while for the doctors and hospital to find out what was wrong with me. The end result was 3 bowel resections removing 6 feet and discovering that I have a rare blood disorder that caused the blood clot. At the time my husband and I had no idea of the blood disorder. We had suffered 4 miscarriages trying to have a child before all of this. I spent several weeks in hospital and several other procedures after that due to the bowel resections. I now have so many prescriptions I have lost count. However, since all this started I continually am losing my potassium. I have to take 8 pills a day now. My doctor recently wanted to increase it again after my lab results. Every time I asked him to get off the potassium he said we had to increase it. Even though I was eating foods high in potassium. I have all the symptoms that are on this page. I have been trying to do research and this is the only place I have this kind of information. I did not know about the V8 thing either but my sister suggested it because she said it helped her lose weight so I have been drinking it in the morning but as with everything I try I have gained weight and all my symptoms are getting worse. Is there a certain amount that you have to drink? I hate being sick all the time and in pain.

Comment from: Jennb, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 19

I have epilepsy and I thought I was having some sort of seizure because I couldn't walk and I was hallucinating. So I went to the ER and started having extreme psychosis. They had to hold me down -- 6 nurses, a doctor and security. I was screaming, trying to scratch and bite them. They gave me a sedative and wanted to put me in the psyche ward. The neurologist wanted a brain test done, and an EEG. My blood work showed extremely low potassium and electrolytes, which explained the behavior, inability to walk and hallucinations.

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.

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Low Potassium (Hypokalemia):

Low Potassium - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your low potassium (hypokalemia)?

Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) - Diagnosis

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Low Potassium - Medical Treatment

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