Viewer Comments: Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) - Diagnosis

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Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) - Diagnosis

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Comment from: pittiemomma67, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 06

Two years ago, when I was 25 I first found out I had choric low potassium. It was just a normal wellness check up for a 25 year old female. I was always exhausted, had absolutely no energy, tons of limb and muscle soreness, dizziness and all around weakness, but really didn't know what was up. Two days after getting my bloodwork done, my doctor's office calls to tell me my potassium was at the stroke level. They advised me to eat tons of potassium rich fruits and vegetables and I needed to retest in 3 months. It's been 3 years and I haven't retested. I am thinking currently my potassium is extremely low again, maybe lower than it's ever been because I'm dizzy, nauseated, achy, extremely tired, and have had ongoing stomach pains. I also recently had a miscarriage. I tossed all the sickness off as pregnancy but a month later I'm still feeling horrible. I think it's time to go in and get tested again. I also, slacked off my fruit and vegetable diet and supplements for over a year, and when I had done the diet I had felt a ton better. I'm bipolar as well, and been going through a massive depressive state but just think this is contributing to it. I'm even now having trouble breathing.

Comment from: Shelly, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 04

I have been suffering with minor chest pains, tiredness and dizziness. Finally, the chest pain or I would say chest nag was there and aggravating me so much I had to go to the emergency room (ER). When I said minor chest pains they immediately did blood work and EKG. EKG came back great, blood was fine and everything but, I had low potassium and low sodium. This has never happened to me, I am a mother of five and throughout all of my successful pregnancies my potassium never was low. So the doctor prescribed me with potassium tablet for 7 days. I never knew that, low potassium would affect your heart, that potassium is flushed out with liquid waste, and that potassium is vital. I mean, as kids we thought a Charlie horse cramp was funny and a parent would just have us eat bananas. So during ER discharge the nurse asked me several questions to find out how my potassium became low, and surprisingly it was because of this diet pill I have been taking which caused me to release my bladder often along with potassium and sodium; I am so glad I found out why. Now I need to find a diet pill with less bathroom breaks.

Comment from: Tina F, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 23

I became shaky and weak. I also had nausea every morning for about a month prior to my diagnosis of hypokalemia. I was taking a blood pressure medication that was also a diuretic. A blood test confirmed I was low on potassium. I thought I was dying, prior to learning of this diagnosis. My entire body would have tremor at times and I was so tired I could not work. I could hardly even sit through a meeting at work due to the weakness and overall fatigue.

Comment from: LowK, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

In an attempt to diagnose the cause of chronic diarrhea, sudden weight loss, muscle wasting, increasing fatigue and difficulty concentrating, my gastroenterologist had blood work done that revealed potassium at 2.6. I was treated for hypokalemia with oral supplements for a month. My primary care physician (PCP) didn't seem concerned. Symptoms worsened plus nausea was added to the list. Blood rechecked and potassium was still low. I started back on supplements and then a week later I started to lose control of my lower legs when walking. At the emergency room, potassium was 2.5 and I was admitted for 2 days where I received 5 IV bags of potassium plus oral supplements. I was released when my levels were at 3.2 (still below normal). The gastroenterologist has done scopes, scans, and ultrasound with no answers. I don't feel any better with the exception of being able to walk. I've changed PCPs and we are still trying diagnose the underlying cause and are now looking for adrenal issues and carcinoid tumors.

Comment from: Kate, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 27

I was on lisinopril hydrochlorothiazide for high blood pressure. I am a working mom, so I was always tired and my palpitations actually were lessened after going on the medication since I was able to begin to reduce my weight. I had no unusual symptoms until I had crushing muscle spasms in my chest wall, radiating around my back on both sides to the center of my chest. These continued rhythmically (you could almost time them) into the emergency room (ER) and then I had tingling in my hands and face as well. The ER doctor was 'confident' that I was having a panic attack. My husband pointed out my normal blood pressure and pulse rate and the rhythmic nature of the very severe chest cramps. The ER doctor was still confident in his diagnosis and ranted about how we should trust him because he had been a doctor for 15 years and that I was panicking because I was 'scared' because I was having 'back pain.' (I had reported prior back injury a decade before.) The blood tests came back with a potassium level of 2.1. He had to admit me to the hospital for hypokalemia but managed to suggest that this was just a great catch by the blood test that had nothing to do with my symptoms.


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The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Low Potassium (Hypokalemia):

Low Potassium - Symptoms

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Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) - Causes

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Low Potassium - Medical Treatment

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