Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) - Causes

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Low Potassium (Hypokalemia).
What was the cause of your low potassium?
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See what others are saying

Published: July 22

My low potassium was just temporary, but I am subject to having hypokalemia again. I had taken an extremely long, hundred plus mile bike ride in very hot Texas summer weather, about 108 degrees that day. I did take plenty of water and a bottle of sport drink, but it wasn't enough to keep my electrolytes up. I was sweating like mad, so I drank water to keep hydrated. However, I was losing minerals (including potassium) through my sweat, and water alone wasn't enough to replenish all of my losses. The sport drink was also pretty weak in electrolytes, under those conditions. When I got home, I drank more water and showered to cool down, then I felt okay. However, I then went to a friend's house for dinner. I should have had a snack at home first. Well, we were all sitting around chatting at the table when I began to feel weird. It was hot in that house, as they don't have central AC. I felt myself drifting off, feeling extremely weak and tired, and I got up to go lie down in the spare room and I dropped like a rock and hit the floor. What was odd was that I could still hear what was going on, I could hear my friends calling my name and trying to revive me but I just could not move or answer them. Slowly I woke up, still on the floor. Then they got me to the cool room, stripped my shorts and tunic off, and packed my legs and arms in wet towels and brought some low-salt V8, and within minutes I felt just fine. Then I had some baked potatoes and guacamole and beans for a snack, all great potassium sources..

Published: April 09

I suffer with low potassium, which was actually discovered when I went to the doctors as I had a cough I could not shift. It ended up being a viral infection but as I was getting a lung test he noticed a heart murmur and with that all the symptoms came at once. I would get terrible palpitations and skipped heart beats and leg muscle spasms where I could not bend my knees. I ended up in Accident and Emergency twice because of it. After two months of this they decided to do blood test and saw that my potassium was at 2.3 mg. They put me on 6 Slow-K tablets a day for 6 days and it went up to 3.2 mg and they decided to take me off it again but once I came off the symptoms would automatically start again. I am now on 1 supplement a day with a constant potassium of 3.4 mg. I have been checked for Cushing’s and Conn’s disease and results were negative for both. My aunt suffers with the same and they believe it could be hereditary..