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A 45-year-old member asked:

How can low potassium levels cause heart problems?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kalyani Perumal
Nephrology and Dialysis 29 years experience
Rhythm problems: Potassium level is tightly regulated by the kidneys and its balance is vital for normal functioning of heart, muscles, kidneys, etc.Low potassium can cause fatal abnormalities in heart rhythm resulting in cardiac arrest.
Dr. Rajiva Goyal
Cardiac Electrophysiology 34 years experience
Depends on how low. : By the time your blood potassium is low the total body potassium is really depleted. Slightly low potassium on it's own should not cause any arrhythmias. In combination with certain medications heart rhythm abnormalities may occur. Very low levels of potassium can cause serious arrhythmias. You should have your pcp follow this closely.

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A 33-year-old member asked:

What could cause my low potassium levels?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Need a workup: Reference ranges are set so that a few percent of healthies fall outside on either end. If very low, it's time you get checked for a reason -- hyperaldosteronism gets missed a lot. I'm assuming you're not on meds. One little-known cause is eating lots of licorice. Best wishes.
A 43-year-old member asked:

Could low potassium cause heart symptoms?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Rodney Del Valle
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Yes: Low potassium cause muscle weakness and may increase risk of arrhythmias. Low magnesium sometimes associated with low k, may worse the risk. Ekg must be done. Also the cause have to be investigated. Drug related, GI losses, kidney losses, endocrine disease associated.

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Last updated Oct 17, 2016
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