Viewer Comments: Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) - Causes

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The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Low Potassium (Hypokalemia):

Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) - Causes

What was the cause of your low potassium?

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Comment from: Muffy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 22

I was lightheaded and with a racing heartbeat. I went to urgent care fearing a heart attack. Fortunately a very wise and kind doctor ordered a blood test and diagnosed me low potassium levels. I was admitted to the hospital and given a potassium supplement and I am going home tomorrow.

Comment from: Fotolady, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 06

I recently had an ileostomy done and was admitted to hospital about two months after feeling not quite right, but not horrible. I found out my potassium was 2.5 and my kidneys were shutting down.

Comment from: X, Published: December 14

I started experiencing diarrhea, and it continued for three weeks before I was hospitalized for low potassium. I was lightheaded and weak, and just felt generally terrible. Also, I lost my appetite.

Comment from: jane, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 11

I like many of you was put into the hospital due to low potassium levels. I was placed in the hospital for several and have had two stays in the last six months. My last visit the potassium was 1.5 and caused a mild heart attack. You will know when it hits as all your muscles hurt and you can suffer some slight paralysis. I have had two heart attacks and one TIA stroke in a year.

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.


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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

How was the diagnosis of your low potassium (hypokalemia) established?

Low Potassium - Medical Treatment

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