Viewer Comments: Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) - Diagnosis

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Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) - Diagnosis

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

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Comment from: Bg, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 28

I was treated with an antibiotic and steroids for a sinus infection. I started feeling fatigued and just lousy. Two weeks later I went to the ER with raised high blood pressure and my blood work showed my potassium level was at 2.7. I was given four potassium pills and told to eat potassium rich foods. Four days later my potassium level was 3.9. I followed up with my doctor and he changed my high blood pressure meds which contained a diuretic to one without the diuretic, but a stronger dose. It's been one week and I still feel fatigued and have no appetite.

Comment from: ajsmom, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 09

I went to the doctor for severe tiredness, no energy, etc. The doctor told me everything looked fine and that I must just be depressed. He had me on an antidepressant, which I didn't take. His office called two days later and said that my potassium was at stroke level and immediately put me on a potassium supplement. I took it for thirty days and level is now within normal range, but I have to go back in three months to have it checked again.

Comment from: how low can i go, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 04

Routine bloodwork showed my potassium to be 3.0 a couple days ago. As a result, I started taking 20meq of K-Dur. I've been taking HCTZ for high blood pressure, so my first guess was the low K is from that - however, looking at my previous labs it's always run a bit low. After reading several abstracts linking low K levels to hypertension, I'm hoping that maybe there's a link and that the K-Dur will cancel out the need for the HCTZ. I've also had unexplained palpitations and moments of feeling like I was about to black out recently - I suppose the low potassium is responsible.

Comment from: debbie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 02

I consistently have low potassium. I've had two bowel resections due to Crohn's Disease and have since suffered continuously with low potassium. I've never heard of drinking V8 but will surely give it a shot. I have been hospitalized every 3 weeks for the past 4 years with levels going as low as 1.6. I take 120 mg of potassium daily. Because of the constant diarrhea I don't know how much I actually retain, and my veins are now collapsing due to the constant IV's.

Comment from: barkleypal, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: October 30

My father was diagnosed with low potassium levels after having blood work done before an operation for cancer. He was told that they would not operate if his level didn't come up in time.

Comment from: Kimmie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 29

I have been suffering with heart palpitations for 7 months now, my family doctor insiss it is anxiety and was placed on a blood pressure pill to help the palpitations, it did not help. They actually got worse, so I quit taking them, per my doctor. I then was referred to a cardiologist where a echocardiogram showed my heart looked good. I also wore a holter monitor for 24 hours and this showed a lot of irregular heart beats..duh after this I went to the ER one evening due to having nausea, numbness in my neck and middle back with a little confusion. The ER Doc said I was low of potassium and were given 40 mg of potassium, within minutes my palpitations went away but for only 10-12 hours.

Comment from: Storme, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

I went to my doctor for an annual physical because I was past due and was feeling really blah. I had no energy and I was tired all the time along with being shaky, dizzy, nauseous and bloated. At times I began to have periods where my legs felt incredibly heavy and it was an effort to move and I was also having periods of intense sweating and heaving urination. An ordinary physical exam said I looked okay, and we did all the standard blood work for a 43-year-old female with other tests to measure health risks. My potassium came back low. I actually just got the results yesterday and have a prescription to fill and am hoping that I will feel more like myself soon.

Comment from: anewkathie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 19

First time I was diagnosed was 2 years ago when my doctor ran blood work and sent me straight to the hospital for dehydration and low potassium and sodium. People around me had noticed I was slurring my words and not making sense but I didn't realize it and went to the doctor for vomiting. I was in the hospital for a week and they ran several tests, administered potassium through IV's and then pills but never really told me what caused it. They did take me off my blood pressure medicine. Then, because I have no insurance and could not afford to pay the bill for the doctor's from my regular doctor's office that came to the hospital they refused to see me and I went without medical services for two years. This year I had to go to an emergency medical clinic and was again because of stomach pains and was sent to the hospital where I was diagnosed with diverticulitus (bacterial infection in the stomach) and while I was there they said I was dehydrated and had low potassium. My count was under 2 at that time and they gave me 4 bags of potassium, fluids and 2 bags of antibiotics for the diverticulitus. My doctor then changed my blood pressure medicine from Lisinoprol/Hydrochlorothazide to plain Lisinoprol. Seems the Hydrocholothazide is known to take potassium out of your system. Then a week later he started me on a potassium pill each day. For a long time I had been feeling as if my mind just wasn't right but since I've started on the pills I've felt more clear headed and that's a great feeling. Still would like to understand why I'm losing the potassium, even after he took me off blood pressure medications it wasn't right. I also have a problem with low sodium. I'm a "saltaholic" so I really don't understand that. Didn't realize until now that when your potassium gets low your heart could stop!

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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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