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Doctor insights on: Low Potassium Low Sodium Low Folate

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Could a runner running in the heat who was drinking a sport drink with only potassium chloride and carbohydrates (no sodium at all) get hyponatremia?

Could a runner running in the heat who was drinking a sport drink with only potassium chloride  and carbohydrates (no sodium at all) get hyponatremia?

Yes. : Any drink that doesn't taste like the ocean is mostly water, regardless of whether it contains sodium or not. Long distance runners can be susceptible to hyponatremia, and risk factors include long distances (marathons, ultra-marathons), women, low body weight, inadequate training, and water loading before and during the race, especially if more weight is gained by water than lost by sweat. ...Read more

Folic Acid (Definition)

Folic acid, AKA folate (folic acid) (vit B9), is recommended for all women wanting to get pregnant -- 0.4mg (400mcg) daily, which is important for preventing birth defects like spina bifida. Women w/ a hx these disorders should take 10x that amt daily -- 4mg (4000mcg) through the 3rd month of pregnancy. It won't affect fertility, chances of conception/twins, or periods. ...Read more


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Have hypoadrenal with low potassium and low sodium how can this be?

Have hypoadrenal with low potassium and low sodium how can this be?

Over Rx?: I see that you are already taking Fludrocortisone for what i would imagine is addison's disease. You are on several medications and the interplay may have lowered both your cations; if either is far from reference range, your physician knows how to manage this. ...Read more

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What could cause low sodium AND low potassium? I thought that when one went down the other went up? Over the last year I have been very tired.

What could cause low sodium AND low potassium?  I thought that when one went down the other went up?  Over the last year I have been very tired.

Lots of things: The idea of a reciprocal relationship between these two cations is an old pop / quack / phony claim. If you are not taking meds, my first concern would be an interstitial nephritis. If they are significantly out of kilter, get worked up. ...Read more

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What could be the cause of chronic dehydration with slightly low potassium and sodium? I drink 90oz of water a day and put salt on almost all my food.

What could be the cause of chronic dehydration with slightly low potassium and sodium? I drink 90oz of water a day and put salt on almost all my food.

Fluid balance: The explanation may be complex. Albuterol in high doses can cause low blood potassium. Otherwise, if you are drinking over 90 oz fluid per day and adding salt, and are still appearing dehydrated to your practitioner, then you must be losing fluid and some Na and K from your body somewhere. Possibilities are GI, skin, or kidneys. Some kidney dz cause just that: fluid loss, Na loss, and K loss. ...Read more

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My husband has fought conjestive heart failure and low soduim and low potassium , is it safe to be 121 in sodium?

Not safe: Normal lab reference ranges may vary, but a sodium of 121 is likely low regardless of lab. A low sodium and potassium in setting of CHF is likely due to use of diuretics to help remove fluids from his lungs. His doctors should be able to help normalize his sodium and potassium levels, provided his heart condition can be stabilized and kidneys are functioning normally. ...Read more

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Swollen feet and low potassium, sodium, electrolytes. What is the diagnosis?

Swollen feet and low potassium, sodium, electrolytes. What is the diagnosis?

Check renal function: This all could be a sign of acute or chronic kidney injury/ disease - check with your md! ...Read more

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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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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

Dr. Madhu Kandarpa
1,307 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


Dr. Clarence Grim
256 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