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Doctor insights on: Low Potassium (Hypokalemia)

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What are the causes of low potassium (hypokalemia)?

What are the causes of low potassium (hypokalemia)?

See below: A low potassium level has many causes, some are due to decreased intake, some due to increase loss from the skin, gut eg loose stools, urine eg alcohol intake, tubular problems or magnesium deficiency.Others are due to shift of potassium into the cells. ...Read more

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Dr. Madhu Kandarpa
1,337 doctors shared insights

Potassium (Definition)

Potassium is an essential electrolyte, important in the functioning of many organs including the heart, kidneys, muscles, nerves, and digestive system. Deficiency can be caused by diseases such as kidney failure, vomiting, and diarrhea, or by ...Read more


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What can cause sudden dangerously low potassium, hypokalemia, causing me to collapse and nearly die? What tests do I need?

What can cause sudden dangerously low potassium, hypokalemia, causing me to collapse and nearly die?

What tests do I need?

Low K: 55 F asks what can cause sudden dangerous low K? I collapsed and nearly died. ANS: Many things & can't detail here. but at ur age & having given no other information (people must think we can read minds here-NOT) suspect taking diuretic 4 HTN or edema, severe vomiting diarrhea sweating, GI tumor, or adrenal tumor making 2 much aldosterone. i specialize in this. Consult me! ...Read more

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Treating Low Potassium (Checklist)

Consume magnesium rich foods, or ask your doctor about taking magnesium supplements
daily
Consume potassium rich foods, or ask your doctor about taking a potassium supplement
daily
Limit alcohol intake to no more than 1 ounce per day
daily
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Managing Low Testosterone (Checklist)

Have your testosterone checked each morning
Once
Discuss the risks and benefits of testosterone replacements with your doctor
Once
Take a testosterone replacement as instructed
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I have hypokalemia which is low potassium in my blood should I play soccer today or wait?

I have hypokalemia which is low potassium in my blood should I play soccer today or wait?

Low potassium: You would be better off waiting for your potassium (k) levels to rise before you play soccer. The more important question is, why is your k low? Are you on any medications that would lower it, like diuretics? Do you have a low magnesium level? See a physician to get to the cause of your low k level. It is better to prevent a problem than treat it. ...Read more

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I have a low potassium problem and kidney stones problem. Is my hypokalemia the cause of my kidney stones? Or the other way?

I have a low potassium problem and kidney stones problem. Is my hypokalemia the cause of my kidney stones? Or the other way?

Unlikely: A potassium-wasting problem might be due to kidney tubular / parenchymal damage from infection related to kidney stones, but in this case you would have been told of this by your physicians. If your potassium is actually significantly below the healthy range, this is serious and no physician would let it go without a full workup. You have a right to a thorough explanation from your doctor. ...Read more

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Managing Low Blood Sugar (Checklist)

Avoid skipping meals
Once
Eat protein-rich snacks every 2 hours
Daily
Keep fruit with you at all times if you feel hypoglycemic
Once
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How does hypokalemia affect leg muscle endurance activities like running and swimming? With low potassium can you still build muscle?

Muscle cramps: You need proteins to build and maintain muscle, but you need to right balance of fluids and electrolytes to have good muscle function. When your potassium is low, you are more likely to experience muscle cramps and fatigue. ...Read more

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Insulin 64 after high carbs and glucose 54 & hypokalemia. I'm hypokalemic PP diagnosed but wonder if congenital hyperinsulin can cause low potassium?

Insulin 64 after high carbs and glucose 54 & hypokalemia. I'm hypokalemic PP diagnosed but wonder if congenital hyperinsulin can cause low potassium?

Insulin and carbs: Rachel, I wish I could help you but your comments are unclear. What do you mean by "insulin 64" and glucose 54? Have you been told that you have "congenital hyper-insulin"? In that case your doctor would have referred you to a surgeon. If you can, please give me some more information. ...Read more

Dr. Henry Jacobs Dr. Jacobs
<b>2</b> doctors agreed:
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Eating a Low-Fat Diet (Checklist)

Avoid fried foods
Once
Read all food labels
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Avoid foods with visible fat
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Do not eat the skin when eating poultry
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Was diagnosed with hypokalemia after taking florinef (fludrocortisone). Same day i had blood work for nt-probnp. Could low potassium cause high bnp? Mine was high

Florinef (fludrocortisone): Florinef (fludrocortisone) causes salt and fluid retention. The fluid retention may cause a rise in bnp. Suggest you discuss result with your md. Lowering of the potassium is a known side effect of Florinef (fludrocortisone) use. ...Read more

Dr. Jan Lei Iwata Dr. Iwata
<b>2</b> doctors agreed:
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Eating a Low-Sodium Diet (Checklist)

Speak with a clinical nutritionist
Once
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Can you fix severe hypokalemia just by eating a lot more potassium?

Usually no: The severe hypocalcemia is usually due to severe losses of potassium that exceeds ability of food to replace it. Otc pills are also not enough. Very imp to have lab f/u during replete on to avoid over or under shooting. ...Read more

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Managing Low Blood Pressure (Checklist)

Drink plenty of water
once
Have your medications adjusted if needed
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Look for symptoms of lightheadedness and fatigue
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Can exercise & glucose shift potassium in a healthy person? I'm diagnosed hkpp, getting 2nd opinion. Hypoglycemia & random hypokalemia. What else???

Can exercise & glucose shift potassium in a healthy person? I'm diagnosed hkpp, getting 2nd opinion. Hypoglycemia & random hypokalemia. What else???

Hkpp?: Exercise drives sugar into cells and would cause hypoglycemia if your liver failed to metabolize glycogen and couldn't perform gluconeogenesis. An insulin secreting tumor should be ruled out. Exercise should not affect potassium unless you have a metabolic disorder (low potassium from alkalosis, high potassium from acidosis). Are you seeing an endocrinologist? ...Read more

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Dr. Thomas Namey Dr. Namey
<b>1</b> doctor agreed:
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Eating a Low-Carb Diet (Checklist)

Read labels. Fiber, while a carb, is not digested
once
Eat your vegetables!
once
Try some of the many low-carb recipes online
once
Substitute a low-carb, high-fiber tortilla wrap for sandwiches
once
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Took potassium for hypokalemia but it's been 3 days and still super dizzy ?

Took potassium for hypokalemia but it's been 3 days and still super dizzy ?

The cause?: Your low potassium level may well be from the vomiting and not the cause for your current symptoms . See your doctor ASAP to make sure there is nothing more serious. If you can't get an appointment today, go to an emergency room since I don't like what I am seeing. ...Read more

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With hypertension and hypokalemia what is the best potassium supplements?

Consider workup: Rather than asking about potassium supplements, the first thing i would make sure is there is no reversible causes or hypertension and hypokalemia. People with a genetic disorder that cause high aldosterone levels will lead to more sodium retention resulting in hypertension. Wehn sodium is absorbed, it dumps potassium. If an adenoma is causing this, it may be able to be removed and fix problem. ...Read more

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I have a hypokalemia, why does my doctor recomends potassium citrate?

Hypokalemia: I have a hypokalemia, why does my doctor recomends potassium citrate? ANS: because hypokalemia is a low blood potassium. Most important to find out the cause of the low potassium. I specialize in this and recommend a 2nd opinion with me. ...Read more

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Can Potassium Citrate be used to manage hypokalemia? Please explain. Thank you.

Foods better choice: Potassium citrate can be used to treat hypokalemia, if prescribed by a doctor. Generally foods such as bananas can provide enough potassium to maintain normal levels. You may consult this site for information: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/potassium ...Read more

Dr. Liawaty Ho Dr. Ho
2 doctors agreed:
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Does a basic metabolic panel show serum or intracellular potassium levels? How is hypokalemia diagnosed?

Dr. Liawaty Ho Dr. Ho
2 doctors agreed:

Serum potassium: Bmp will show you serum potassium level. Hypokalemia is diagnosed if the serum potassium level is below the normal range. ...Read more

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If the majority of potassium in the body is in red blood cells and very little in serum why is serum potassium level used to diagnose hypokalemia?

If the majority of potassium in the body is in red blood cells and very little in serum why is serum potassium level used to diagnose hypokalemia?

It's what matters: The serum potassium is in equilibrium with the tissue concentrations, which must be maintained within a very narrow range for the heat to be able to maintain its beat. Your question is a good one and reflects a common misunderstanding. It's not the total body potassium that matters, just the amount that's actually affecting the electrical system outside the heart & brain cells. ...Read more

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Eating to much Black licorice cause hypokalemia, can compensate this eating food rich in potassium? Can Cause also bleeding due to lowering platelets

Don't overdo it: The more serious risk of excess black licorice is as a cause of high blood pressure. People who have actually have gotten sick have eaten the real stuff (not just licorice-flavored candy); if this is a major component of your diet, do keep track of your electrolytes and blood pressure with your physician during your annual health check-ups. If they are okay, enjoy what you love. ...Read more

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What's more appropriate for hypokalemia or hypokalemic periodic paralysis? Potassium chloride or potassium citrate? Thanks.

What's more appropriate for hypokalemia or hypokalemic periodic paralysis? Potassium chloride or potassium citrate? Thanks.

Potassium chloride : Is a better choice for hypokalemia . Potassium citrate is used more to alkalinize urine in cases of urinary tract infection etc. http://www.livestrong.com/article/557091-potassium-chloride-vs-potassium-citrate/. ...Read more

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Aldosteronism with hypokalemia, treat 100meq/day K. have weak knees and vericose veins. 2days thigh twitching? Related to potassium or knees?

Aldo low K knees: 39 M has low K and weak knees and VV.2 day of thigh twitching. asks if related to K or knees. Almost certainly related to low K. Unless in you knee problems cause twitching. VV not likely cause either. Find cause of aldo excess and treat it. Go to Yahoo hyperaldosteronism group to find over 1,000 like you who may have insights as well. ...Read more

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How long and what dosage of Klor-Con would get a hypokalemia patient secondary to B12 injection back to normal?

How long and what dosage of Klor-Con would get a hypokalemia patient secondary to B12 injection back to normal?

See below: If deficient in k then you are 200meq below normal if all things are equal your k would be back to normal within 7-10 days with the usuall dosage. ...Read more

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Low t3 (liothyronine) and "low" normal TSH & T4? Could it still be hypothyroidism? Other causes? I also have hypoglycemia and periodic hypokalemia.

Low t3 (liothyronine) and "low" normal TSH & T4? Could it still be hypothyroidism? Other causes? I also have hypoglycemia and periodic hypokalemia.

Endocrinologist: An endocrinologist is best qualified to evaluate,advise and treat you for this complicated hormonal imbalance. You may have a pituitary gland disorder as primary hypothyroidism is characterized by an elevated TSH and the hypoglycemia and electrolyte findings are also suspicious. ...Read more

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Sheehan syndrome or hypopituitarism. Does this sound like it... Low t3, (liothyronine) low-norm TSH, low-norm estrogen, low-norm acth, insulin sensitive, hypokalemia?

Sheehan syndrome or hypopituitarism. Does this sound like it... Low t3, (liothyronine) low-norm TSH, low-norm estrogen, low-norm acth, insulin sensitive, hypokalemia?

No: Since you have not listed your periods having stopped, the chances of this being Simmond's / Sheehan's are slim-to-none. What I'd like you to do is form a relationship with a patient, understanding physician who's good at endocrinology, and can help you manage the big picture -- while solving whatever physical problems may exist, find ways of turning bad stress into eu-stress in your life. ...Read more

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Why does one of the sypmtoms of hypokalemia is having low apetite?

Not sure.: Never heard of this. It must have been written by someone who does not practice clinical medicine. Mild to moderate hypokalemia is asymptomatic, severe hypokalemia has a host of manifestations and i would not waste any effort reviewing for anorexia. ...Read more

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Can not having near optimal range total t4 (6.3) tsh (1.02) and low total t3 (liothyronine) cause carb sensitivity and hypoglycemia, hypokalemia periodic paralysis?

Can not having near optimal range total t4 (6.3) tsh (1.02) and low total t3 (liothyronine) cause carb sensitivity and hypoglycemia, hypokalemia periodic paralysis?

Unlikely: Your thyroid test findings are normal and not likely to be the cause of your symptoms. It would be prudent to consult your doctor. For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, weed or street drugs in any form. Practice safe sex. Get HPV vaccine. ...Read more

Dr. Clarence Grim
271 doctors shared insights

Hypokalemia (Definition)

Most labs will define normal as 3.5 to 5. Some may increase the upper limits to 5.2 but anything above 5.5 is clearly abnormal. Level below ...Read more


Dr. Michael Gabor
663 doctors shared insights

Klorvess (Definition)

Klorvess is a mineral which is a kind of nutritional agent ...Read more