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: 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: 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.


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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) - Causes

What was the cause of your low potassium?

Low Potassium - Medical Treatment

What treatments were effective in treating low potassium or hypokalemia?

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