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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
1,359 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
Dr. Henry Jacobs Dr. Jacobs
<b>3</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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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
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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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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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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

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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 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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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
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Eat your vegetables!
once
Try some of the many low-carb recipes online
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Substitute a low-carb, high-fiber tortilla wrap for sandwiches
once
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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. 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
Dr. Clarence Grim
278 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. Clarence Grim
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