Low Potassium (Hypokalemia)

Question:

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

Comment from: Candace M, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 19

I had been having symptoms of anxiety and feeling like I could not breathe. I have also been waking up at night with leg cramps so bad I cry trying to stand up. I was always very tired and had muscle weakness especially in the abdomen. Three weeks ago my intestines started spasms, cramping making my hernia protrude. I had a bad leg swelling from the knee down till they hurt. I also had a cough. I went to the emergency room, found potassium level at 2.4, did IV potassium and went through 8 IV to do it. It burnt my veins and ruined them.

Comment from: Readit365, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 10

Over a period of about 6 weeks, I felt increasingly tired with no obvious cause. And depression, for which I take medication, worsened. During this period, I had routine bloodwork done, which indicated a low level of potassium. I thought little of that until by chance I saw a magazine blurb about effects of low potassium. Enlightenment! Two hours later, I am heading for my pharmacy for a potassium supplement!

Comment from: Heather, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 10

I had blood tests after seizure and was found to have hypokalemia. Although I have right and left carotid aneurysm, parotid tumor and Raynaud's disease.

Comment from: Teresa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 17

I am a breast cancer patient and my oncologist does regular CBC blood work. My potassium was low during my most recent blood work.

Comment from: H, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 22

First time I suffered from hypokalemia I was 15 years old. I started getting, what I though, growth pain in my legs. It hurt more and more, until the day I suddenly fell to the ground. I got up, walked a few meters and fell to the ground again. I couldn't walk at all after this. I was rushed to the emergency where they noticed my potassium was at a low-low 1.1. I had to stay for over a week in intensive care. This has since then happened 4 times, about 4 to 5 years between. My potassium is most often around 1, 5-1, and 8 when I get to the emergency clinic. I now notice the tingling feeling and stiffness before it gets too low.

Comment from: Kelly , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 12

I have very low potassium and recently got out after 6 days in the hospital. They put potassium shots all over me, very painful. Now I'm taking potassium prescription pills to keep the levels up. Again I'm having all the symptoms of it beginning again. Will this go on forever!

Comment from: geneticappbuilder, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

I have hypokalemia. My dad died on a sudden cardiac event at 45, grandmother at 52 and great grandmother at 29. We know now it was most likely genetic long QT which is known to cause hypokalemia. Things that can deplete potassium are: LQTS 1, 2 and 3 which are genetic. Smart meters on homes mess with potassium channels and calcium channels. High sulfur foods like cabbage can deplete potassium. High sulfur supplements like MSM can deplete potassium. Cannabis can deplete potassium especially if it is high THC. It can put someone with hypokalemia into tachycardia. Ultram and tramadol can cause a sudden cardiac event with hypokalemia. Men with healthy levels of potassium when they take one Ultram or tramadol once a day for a year, within a 1 to 2 year window have an 18.67 percent chance of developing long QT which is caused from hypokalemia in many cases. A woman who takes one tramadol/Ultram a day for more than a year within a 1 to 2 year time frame will develop long QT which is caused by hypokalemia in many cases. Women's risk goes up on tramadol and Ultram by 83.3 percent. Also taking supplements with the word methyl and amine can tank potassium. Many of these people get diagnosed with POTS and dysautonomia. Also we know that Cervarix and Gardasil is causing this. Interestingly enough sodium, potassium and magnesium are regulated by B1 activity. Benfotiamine and all thiamine seem to be forms of B1 that are 20 times more absorbing on the brain. Also epinephrine can tank potassium. Glyphosate Roundup N phosphonomethyl glycine is in all nonorganic food and can wipe out potassium when people have a genetic propensity. Thallium and cesium found in fertilizers can tank potassium. Hope this helps fellow QT friends.

Comment from: Maria, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 16

I noticed my blood pressure not lowering and staying at 148/90 so I got worried and went to the doctor. I also started feeling heart palpitations. More so when I would lie down of relax. I got the blood results and my potassium is 3.2 which is lower than normal. Previously I was taking water pills. About 5 months ago I took potassium supplements and I'm still low. I'm also experiencing headaches. I guess I have to take supplements again.

Comment from: Sonja, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I started having symptoms of unusually high levels of bloating, and unable to put my rings on. I also noticed right-sided pain at times in my gallbladder area. I have been tired, and lately have been waking up at night with numbness and tingling in my arms. I have been taking multi-vitamins and vitamin D3 supplements, so I had no idea that I was potassium deficient. I finally went to the doctor after I was gaining weight rapidly, and my stomach looked like I was 5 months pregnant. I also noticed that my heart rate was much higher than normal throughout the day. I wear an Apple watch, and it monitors it frequently. After I went to the doctor, he thought my symptoms were due to irritable bowel syndrome. I got my blood work done, and it showed that my potassium was low and I had hypokalemia. I am still waiting to see how he will manage that, but I did find potassium supplements to take, and I will drink Smart water. Hopefully my doctor will find out what is causing the low potassium.

Comment from: meunknown, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 22

I had severe joint pain for a month and a half; no idea what caused it. It started in my feet, moved up to my knees, hips, arms, shoulders, wrists and fingers. I would wake up with my joints so stiff and painful it would take 20 minutes for me to get moving off my bed! I couldn't lift my hands above my head, couldn't put on my bra, it hurt to sit, hurt to get up, and hurt to stand. I tried cutting out sugar, gluten, and other known allergens. I tried different supplements and nothing worked. Then I bought a coconut at the store because my kids hadn't had real coconut before. They were all excited to try the coconut water, but they didn't like it, so I drank it. The next day I wasn't so sore, so I drank the rest of the coconut water and improvement the next day also! So I went to the health food store and bought coconut water. I drink a glass every day. And now I can walk, run, play with my kids, dress myself! I still have occasional stiffness in my hands, but nothing like it was before. I know that coconut water has a lot of potassium in it and although my potassium levels were never checked, I was tested for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, both which came back negative.

Comment from: ckhypokgirl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I went to the emergency room with a headache on the left side of my head. I told the doctor that my blood thinner levels had been unstable for the last month and I was extremely hyperthyroid, but my medicines had been adjusted. They did blood tests and an MRI. My MRI was clear, I was still hyperthyroid and I had low potassium, 3.0. They started me on potassium chloride and after 1 week the headache went away. After 2 months, I take a lower dose, but I'm not doing so well right now, I think my potassium is dropping again.

Comment from: Liam, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 01

I have been diagnosed with low potassium (hypokalemia) and the doctors failed to make a definitive diagnosis as to its underlying cause. It turns out the real culprit was something called hyperaldosteronism. It is a disorder which is defined by the body's overproduction of aldosterone, a hormone that controls sodium and potassium levels in the blood. Its overproduction leads to retention of salt and loss of potassium, which leads to hypertension (high blood pressure).

Comment from: Nosymptongirl, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 27

My low potassium (hypokalemia) was discovered from a routine blood test. My potassium was around a 2.0 but I felt fine. I always workout for 4 straight hours on Saturdays with no issues. I do a lot of athletic races including a couple half marathons and several triathlons. Maybe I'm just lucky. My doctor did start me on high doses of potassium, but no matter how much I consumed, my number was still low. So instead I take 30 mg of amiloride, which blocks potassium from leaving your body. I feel no different with or without medication but I suppose it's the safe thing to do.

Comment from: Richard, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 24

My wife and I were in Tunica, at a casino. I felt pain in my abdomen, and could hardly stand up. I ask my wife to have us flown home to Michigan, and take me directly to the emergency room (ER) of our local hospital. We arrived, my wife took me to the ER and I was diagnosed as having a bowel blockage and a potassium level of 1.0. Surgery could not be scheduled until my potassium level was higher. I was given 16 units of potassium (I learned to ask that lidocaine be added to the potassium so it didn't feel like battery acid going into my vein) and two days later I had surgery for bowel obstruction and two hernias. That was 2007, and I have been on potassium chloride ER 10 mEq four times a day. I have a family physician, gastroenterologist, cardiologist, nephrologist and urologist, and none of them has been able to determine the cause of my hypokalemia.

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.

Comment from: dicahur, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

My chiropractor gave me the V8 vegetable juice test. For two months, I had all the symptoms of low/lack of potassium. I was in the hospital for three days with palpitations, muscles spasms, weakness, etc. The results of the EKGs, MRIs, CAT scans, and blood tests came back normal, so they sent me home diagnosed with a bad case of anxiety. Two days later, the spasms got worse, and I couldn't walk or talk. Desperate, I went to see my chiropractor. He gave me a can of V8 vegetable juice. Ten minutes later, I was feeling like new. He said that it was a lack of potassium. It took seven days to get rid of the symptoms, but now I feel much, much better. However, I have noticed that if I do a little bit too much, the twitching and the palpitations tend to come back, but they go away as soon as I drink a big glass of V8 and some raisins. What concerns me the most is that my family doctor does not believe everything was caused by lack of potassium because, according to her, the blood tests show that everything was normal (3.6 mg of potassium). My theory is that 3.6 mg is low for me even though that amount is within the "normal" range for potassium.

Comment from: psuandme53, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I had two TIAs (mini strokes) in the course of one month. Upon taking blood in the hospital they found low potassium levels. I started taking potassium pills in the hospital and followed up with my family doctor. It is still low but not as low as it was in the hospital. I couldn't understand why I was so tired and why my legs ached constantly and sometimes my left leg would just go numb and would have a tingling sensation in it. I now take blood tests once a month to monitor my potassium level. It is just as scary to have the low potassium levels as it was to have the two mini strokes. I am 58 years old, and I want to live a lot longer. I am adjusting to this new setback but also taking preventive measures to make sure that I am around to see my grandson graduate from college in about 10 years.

Comment from: Tim, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 15

My potassium went down to 1.4. I had no idea what was going on, I had been craving bananas and other fruits for a couple of weeks before I ended up in the hospital with hypokalemia. I had been very tired for about a month. My legs went completely paralyzed overnight, and the only part of my body that had any strength left were my hands. I had a hard time holding my head up also. I was in the ICU with a heart monitor for 6 days with potassium on IV, oral liquid and pills. The doctors were great and tried every blood test available, some even had to be done at a different clinic, blood sample were sent there from eastern Canada. None of the tests showed any reason for the sudden drop in my potassium level. I'm taking 4 potassium pills a day now for the last 3 weeks and blood tested once a week, so far so good, but I'm quite worried about how much damage was done to my heart. I was told by quite a few nurses that I was a very lucky man to have survived this ordeal.

Comment from: Kersi, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: June 07

I am suffering from hypokalemia due to excessive sweating. After swimming I used to go for sauna and steam bath. My S potassium (lone selective electrode) level dropped to 3.5. I am having giddiness and vertigo. I have to still take advice of a good medical doctor.

Comment from: enigma, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 26

I have hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, and low potassium. I have been hospitalized on many occasions for passing out or partial paralysis only to be sent home with the same MRI, CAT scan, etc tests being normal just like some of you. It is unsettling to have a doctor tell you you're fine or maybe just having a little "anxiety attack” when you know something is wrong with you. I take potassium pills every day, but sometimes it doesn't help. I will now do the V8 juice daily thanks to the caring individual who shared that info here! Each person has different levels that are "normal." I am grateful to this website because when my doctor couldn't help, you all did. Thank you!

Comment from: rbs, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 16

I was told by my doctor that I had low potassium.

Comment from: Lola, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 25

I am in the hospital with liver disease and potassium level is 1.18.

Comment from: Bugs, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 16

I was diagnosed August 4th, 2017 with high potassium and June 12th, 2017 with hyperthyroidism and I have been diabetic since 2001.

Comment from: h1103ramki, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 06

Seven months ago I underwent angioplasty. Attending doctor found from the blood test report that my potassium level is higher (5.9). I was advised potassium free diet which I religiously follow. The potassium level checked on 21st September 2015 was 5.4 (a reduction of 0.4 points). But I now feel that the flow of urine takes a longer time due to low pressure so however I am able to clear the bladder after 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

Comment from: gargoyle, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 26

I was admitted for the insertion of a stent and when the blood tests were done. It was discovered that I had low potassium levels and pumped two bags into my body through the IV.

Comment from: nancyp, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 28

Two months ago, at work, I collapsed with sudden cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation. After several cardiac testing procedures, my low potassium level noted at admission has been blamed. I am currently taking 4 Klor-Con M20 per day to keep my level up.

Comment from: ellie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 10

I was at home with my daughter one night and had chest pains and difficulty breathing. I went to the urgent care was because I am asthmatic and thought I was having an attack. When I arrived there, my oxygen levels were low and they prescribed Advair and albuterol after giving me a chest x-ray that showed nothing. When I went home I didn't feel much better so decided to follow up with my doctor. It turns out after a blood test, that the symptoms I was having when I went to the urgent care were due to the fact my potassium was a 2.0, and they never realized because they never gave me blood test. So always check out symptoms not all are the same, if you have any similar to mine you may be experiencing low potassium. 

Comment from: Breezy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 10

I became paralyzed and was take to hospital. I could not move my arms, hands, legs and feet. My level was 1.2. The doctor told my daughter I should have had a stroke with how low my potassium levels were, so I spent four days in hospital. I have been sent home with a prescription for potassium. I do not wish what I went through on my worst enemy.

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!

Comment from: 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 16

My 14 year old daughter has been suffering some dizzy spells and ended up passing out and falling down the stairs. The hospital found low potassium levels and this explains the fainting. Trying to find out how we can help modify her diet to ensure she manages this. She has always suffered from cramps but is otherwise fit and healthy.

Comment from: malcolm, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: October 16

I had a blood test before my hernia operation.

Comment from: SEIZURES, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 16

I have been having seizures for 5 years! Every time that I am admitted to the hospital the doctor tells my mother that my potassium levels were very low. However, the neurologist said there was no connection. I have noticed that after ovulation, my potassium starts to drop frequently almost causing a seizure. I came to these boards and found the comments about V8 and that has kept me out of the hospital! However, I need to find the cause since it only happens during the couple of weeks PRIOR to menstruation! It is my understanding that hyperthyroidism can cause this and my family has a history of this! Thanks for all of the comments! Hopefully YOU ALL can find out the CAUSE!

Comment from: TRUE, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I was at working, and after lunch started to feel lightheaded. Then I got a headache and I got really dizzy, and passed out. When I came to but I couldn't move, and I couldn't breathe! When the paramedics arrived, they gave me oxygen. It helped a bit. After about 30min at hospital, I starting vomiting again. I was still having trouble breathing. After 4 hours in hospital it was my potassium! I have never heard of this. I have had a history of low blood ... but not recently. I did take depression meds at one time (Wellbutrin), but I've been off of them for about a year. I will be starting over-the-counter potassium pills and I will be eating more bananas and drinking plenty of orange juice!

Comment from: Sharon, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I went to the hospital for a simple procedure, and blood tests revealed that I had hypokalemia. I think the culprit was the medicine that I take for high blood pressure. I knew that I very tired and fatigued, but I chalked it up to the fibromyalgia that I have. Actually, I had all of the symptoms of hypokalemia but just didn't know what was going on. Now I have to take potassium meds three times a day, and they are the largest pills that I've ever seen in my life!

Comment from: Valia, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

My daughter had a seizure five months ago and she was diagnosed with low potassium at the hospital and treated. She is bulimic and I am concerned that this could happen again.

Comment from: ljc, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I was recently hospitalized for 3 days with paresthesia to my left side of my head and my left arm. it lasted six hours! They did every test and the only thing they found was low potassium. Since that time I realized that I had been having severe leg cramps and when they came back I am a nurse and put two and two together and started taking potassium in the form of foods. One day my legs hurt so badly, I found a drink that had 800 mg if potassium and after one hour of consumption my leg pain went away!!! All I know is it is not normal to have low potassium. Our bodies are well programmed to maintain levels of our electrolytes! I still don't know what is wrong with me - but I will blog later and let you know what I find out. By the way, I am very healthy woman 42 yrs old, no medical problems. Thank you for reading. ljc

Comment from: chucarol, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 07

For the past few months I have been suffering with edema of both feet and ankles. I had seen a podiatrist, my primary care physician and went to an urgent care facility on two occasions. My frustration level was sky high. Yesterday after I woke up I was having coffee with my wife and told her that I was going to the local emergency room because I was tired of being shuffled around from one doctor to another. I was given a series of tests and was surprised that I had a very low potassium level. The ER doctor was very thorough in his workup and put me on a potassium regimen and had me take 2 potassium tablets before I was discharged. I am to take 2 tablets a day for the next 15 days along with a prescription diuretic to relieve the edema. The edema has subsided somewhat but the potassium tablets seem to have reduced my chronic fatigue. Finally I can see some progress being made.

Comment from: emery, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 05

I have been on asthma medicines all my life. I have breast cancer. Two surgeries 37 radiation treatments later my oncology doctor tells me my potassium level is low. I am taking medication for it, but I don't feel any better and I'm still weak and tired all day. I sleep 11 hours a day, I just can't get myself going. I turned 49 today.

Comment from: peaches1632, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 05

My husband and I were on our way to a meeting about 1 hour from our home, I was driving when in a matter of minutes, I was having tingling, numbness, in both arms, hands, legs, feet and from my top lip up to the top of my head, then my hands went into severe muscle cramps, then my right arm was shaking violently. I got the car stopped, but could not move my hands to put the car in park or to even call 911, my husband had to put the car into park and unbuckle my seatbelt, he rushed me to a major hospital where blood work was taken. My potassium was 2.4, I was given 4 potassium pills and sent home, before reaching my home I had another attack same as the first and was rushed to the hospital near the small town that I live by. There I was put on a heart monitor, given an EKG, blood taken, and IV started and given liquid potassium all of this was done at a very small hospital. I am very dissatisfied with the major hospital that is known all over the world for being so unconcerned with my condition.

Comment from: ttlkayoss, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 05

I was just recently put on blood pressure meds, and it happens to be a diuretic. At a follow up appointment I had mentioned that I felt really tired (even though I got a good night's sleep), heartburn worse than normal, odd taste in my mouth, and major craving for salt. With what I told him (an d things from past visits like joint pain) he decided to do a blood draw to see what my potassium level is. Funny thing is when I read up on the symptoms, I have almost all of them and have for a long time. I am new to this, just found out today, and put on a supplement and go back for it to be checked again in 2 wks.

Comment from: Kristy, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 05

I'm 38 years old and I have Crohn's disease. I went to the ER with severe stomach pain, chest pain, I'd been sick for several months not being able to keep food or liquids down. Severe cases of dehydration and a bad UTI. But the doctors didn't worry about my symptoms once they got my lab results in. My potassium levels were extremely low. So I had to get an IV for a lot of potassium. I couldn't go home from the hospital until the levels came up. I still don't any answers about why this happened.

Comment from: Luvmykids, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 05

I've been having a lot of cramping, pain in my thighs, chest pain and trouble breathing and was told my potassium was 2.9. But not before they tried to say it was from my asthma. I was given potassium pills until it went up, it went to 4.1. Then a few weeks later the same thing happen the severe leg pain, nausea, trouble breathing, tired and weak. Again they say asthma. I had them do a potassium test and it was 3.0. I am back on the pills again. I don't take meds that would cause it to continue to go low, and the doctor doesn't seem too concerned. I am only 38 and was hospitalized 3 yrs ago for 1 week had severe chest pain, having difficulty breathing, loss of 52%oxygen from lungs and heart working overtime. They gave me potassium through my IV from it being so low. I just wish they would try to figure out why this is happening or send me to someone who is willing to find out and help me. I'm tired of my legs hurting because it is affecting everything I do. I want to see my two kids graduate from high school, and want to know why this continues to happen.

Patient Comments & Reviews

  • Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) - Causes

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  • Low Potassium - Symptoms

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

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  • Low Potassium - Medical Treatment

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REFERENCE:

Mount, David B. MD. "Clinical Manifestations and Treatment of Hypokalemia in Adults." UptoDate. Updated Jan 7, 2016.

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