Main Article on Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) Question: What was the cause of your low potassium? Submit Your Comment Comment from: Sasha , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 23 I’ve always had low potassium and sodium. I was diagnosed about 18 years ago with Bartter syndrome, it’s a salt wasting illness and is hereditary. There is also another form of Bartter syndrome called Gitelman syndrome which usually develops through the late teens and early 20s, and both are extremely rare. Best to see a renal specialist and get tests done to see if it could be what is causing low potassium. I take prescription slow release potassium and potassium sparing diuretics. Comment from: Ausra, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 20 I have been sent to Accident and Emergency with potassium level 1.7 a few times. Nobody understood how I am being my usual cheerful and full-of-energy self with the low potassium. It has been 2 months of in and out hospital visits, stay overs and tests, and still no reason why. I just get on with my life, no fainting, weakness and no palpitations. Comment from: JonCott uk, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 05 I am being investigated for Conn's syndrome. I have low potassium even being on daily supplement. Maybe overactive adrenal gland(s). Or maybe adrenal tumor. I have lower back pain mostly on the right side, but only day time. If it's Conn's probably I will be able to stop the three blood pressure tablets too. Comment from: Barbie Turate, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 10 My blood tests consistently show slightly low potassium. I guess it's caused by poor diet and diuretic (caffeine and other stimulants) use daily. I'm autistic and extremely picky. Recently I've developed bounding pulse and fainting (once) which I assume is linked to low potassium. No tachycardia or other symptoms, my heart just pounds really hard. I'm going to try low doses of potassium chloride salt substitute as that's the most effective supplement form from my research. Comment from: Holly, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 29 I’ve had an eating disorder all my life. The worst episode was November 2017. My potassium level dropped to 0.02. Nobody in the emergency room at the Veterans Affairs could understand how I didn’t die. Now I can no longer retain the mineral and have to take these ginormous supplements. Comment from: Natasha, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 10 It's been 10 days since I had an episode of low potassium. It had my body aching. My level was 3.1 and now it is 4.1. I don’t know if my upper back muscles should still be hurting. Comment from: AuntiAlli2 , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 03 After lifelong symptoms of low potassium I am diagnosed with hypokalemic periodic paralysis disorder, which is classified as a rare disease. After being misdiagnosed multiple times with what I call “the disease of the decade” (1970s, hypoglycemia, 1980s, chronic fatigue, 1990s depression; 2000s hypothyroidism) - all of which were incorrect (never suffered from depression!), and after 4 physicians dismissing a potassium disorder as “too rare to be probable,” I finally had a proper and accurate diagnosis at 53! Comment from: Sunflowerstar, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 18 I had kidney failure. It started a vicious cycle. It was followed by congestive heart failure; followed by diuretics; followed by gout… well, you know the cycle. I am not winning as I had to visit the emergency room and they gave me a pill and IV of potassium to get me started, followed by a doctor who should have retested me and did not. I have been tested for low potassium and always had it. Comment from: Coco, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 29 Diarrhea caused my low potassium. Comment from: Nosleeptilfemaleorga, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 17 Crystal meth, sleep deprivation and malnutrition were the cause of my low potassium. Comment from: MarshallGulch , 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 18 I experienced two fainting spells 5 months ago, with a sudden onset of nausea. This weekend it happened again. In the emergency room on an EKG, they found I had degree one and three heart block, and poor electrical connection between upper and lower heart chambers. This lack of blood initiated the nausea. Now I have a pacemaker. I am a fit 71 year old male, bodybuilder and surfer on Maui. I had a low normal potassium level in hospital. I also was on saline IV for first the two days. I will hold off on supplements. QUESTION A bagel 20 years ago was 3 inches in diameter and had 140 calories. How many calories do you think are in today's bagel? See Answer Comment from: Mutha, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 18 No doctor has yet found the cause but my potassium level gets so low I've fainted twice, it is 2.1 level. My stomach feels lumpy too, it scares me and makes me feel totally unable to walk or think. This has been going on 5 whole years. Comment from: Yvonne, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 12 R-CHOP chemotherapy was the cause of my low potassium. Comment from: Ggg, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 01 Hyperhidrosis and night sweats caused dehydration, palpitations, severe anxiety, weakness, low blood pressure, and discomfort in stomach that felt like indigestion. Combined with lack of sleep from the night sweats, it led to a severe panic attack. Low potassium was found. Comment from: Smalm, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 08 My family has a history of low potassium, and no matter how much potassium rich foods I eat my potassium keeps dipping. Comment from: Memsfiggs, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 05 I had a duodenal perforation, after an EGD with stretching. I became septic. This was repaired by covering the hole with my omentum. After the surgery, I was given potassium 2 times a day while in the hospital (10 days). Since then, I’ve been extremely dizzy in the evening, and last night I passed out, with blood pressure around 60/55. My general physician ordered a blood test and potassium is low. I’m worried because the warnings say potassium medicines can cause ulcers, and ulcers started all this trouble. Comment from: Adam, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 02 Diuretics was the cause of my low potassium! While often needed, diuretics will blow potassium out through your urine like a geyser! Talk to your doctor, and get a prescription strength potassium supplement! Comment from: Judisu, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 24 On 11/21/17 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I underwent a lumpectomy and then chemotherapy. Since doing the chemotherapy my lab tests showed low potassium and I was given it through my port. It is still ongoing, last week it was 2.7 but I had no infusion. I take 2 potassium pills a day and am having lab tests done Friday. I was taken off diuretics. My blood pressure is elevated. I will see my cardiologist Friday morning and hope to get answers. Comment from: Chris, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 03 About 18 months ago whilst being treated for hepatitis C with sofosbuvir and ribavirin, the ribavirin caused numerous side effects and one of many being constant daily nausea and vomiting. As a result of the constant vomiting (12 weeks) which caused low potassium, I had arrhythmia, intermittent irregular tachycardia (nearly identical to atrial fibrillation), my arms and legs felt like lactic acid burn (like post workout), I had ataxia , confusion, dyspnea, and by the end I couldn't walk more than 10 feet at a time. Eventually I had a test and potassium level was 1.7. Comment from: Julzamor, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 18 March of 2016 I started to experience a very fast heart beat and started to feel my blood pressure rise. I knew something was wrong so my boyfriend rushed me to the emergency room. They never told me how low my potassium was, just that I needed IV. I never had diarrhea or vomiting I was literally fine one minute and close to death the next. They guessed it was due to the diet pills I was using. July 2016 I woke up to my heart pounding but a few days before I remember my legs and arms just feeling locked up and hard to move. I chalked it up to tension because I had been stressed. I told them to check my levels and my potassium was 3.1; to most that doesn't seem very low but for my body it is, I just feel it. He gave me a supplement at the hospital and sent me home and told me to eat more bananas and drink orange juice. They didn’t give me an answer as to why I had it, because I don’t use diuretics, haven’t had diarrhea or vomited, and I eat. They only thing I can figure is a week before I went to the emergency room with sore legs but had a potassium at 3.6. That doctor put me on 2 bags of saline and I think it washed it all out of me because I was swollen for 3 days them started to draw up. Be careful if the hospital wants to give you saline, it depletes potassium levels. Three days later legs are still sore but better. I am waiting to hear back from my doctor with lab tests to make sure it went back up! Comment from: Hot Wheels, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 22 My low potassium was just temporary, but I am subject to having hypokalemia again. I had taken an extremely long, hundred plus mile bike ride in very hot Texas summer weather, about 108 degrees that day. I did take plenty of water and a bottle of sport drink, but it wasn't enough to keep my electrolytes up. I was sweating like mad, so I drank water to keep hydrated. However, I was losing minerals (including potassium) through my sweat, and water alone wasn't enough to replenish all of my losses. The sport drink was also pretty weak in electrolytes, under those conditions. When I got home, I drank more water and showered to cool down, then I felt okay. However, I then went to a friend's house for dinner. I should have had a snack at home first. Well, we were all sitting around chatting at the table when I began to feel weird. It was hot in that house, as they don't have central AC. I felt myself drifting off, feeling extremely weak and tired, and I got up to go lie down in the spare room and I dropped like a rock and hit the floor. What was odd was that I could still hear what was going on, I could hear my friends calling my name and trying to revive me but I just could not move or answer them. Slowly I woke up, still on the floor. Then they got me to the cool room, stripped my shorts and tunic off, and packed my legs and arms in wet towels and brought some low-salt V8, and within minutes I felt just fine. Then I had some baked potatoes and guacamole and beans for a snack, all great potassium sources. SLIDESHOW Sleep Disorders: Foods That Help Sleep or Keep You Awake See Slideshow Comment from: RachelB, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 09 I suffer with low potassium, which was actually discovered when I went to the doctors as I had a cough I could not shift. It ended up being a viral infection but as I was getting a lung test he noticed a heart murmur and with that all the symptoms came at once. I would get terrible palpitations and skipped heart beats and leg muscle spasms where I could not bend my knees. I ended up in Accident and Emergency twice because of it. After two months of this they decided to do blood test and saw that my potassium was at 2.3 mg. They put me on 6 Slow-K tablets a day for 6 days and it went up to 3.2 mg and they decided to take me off it again but once I came off the symptoms would automatically start again. I am now on 1 supplement a day with a constant potassium of 3.4 mg. I have been checked for Cushing’s and Conn’s disease and results were negative for both. My aunt suffers with the same and they believe it could be hereditary. Comment from: J Kash, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 07 I recently was admitted to the ICU of a major hospital when my potassium levels came back at 1.3. I had received a steroidal injection for disc problems. The following morning I experienced general weakness of legs, arms and chest. Returning to the pain management office I experienced near paralysis and had to be taken in by wheel chair. I was taken to the adjoining orthopedic hospital where my blood tests resulted in a 1.5 reading for potassium. A repeat of the test came back with results of 1.3. I was transferred to the ICU where it took three days to raise the potassium to 3.8. Doctors suspect a reaction between the steroid injection and diuretic attached to my blood pressure medication as the cause of the potassium reduction. Comment from: rr, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 15 I’ve been hospitalized because my potassium dropped to 2.97. I couldn’t sit because my lower back I guess was weak and in pain. I got nervous because I couldn’t stand up on my own feet, and I was crying because I didn’t know what was happening to me. I want to pass stools because of nervousness, but I couldn’t stand so my wife gave a bucket and helped me. Then I fell asleep and in the morning when I woke up I could stand up but had difficulty to walk. Later that night I decided to go to the hospital, was advised to have blood test, and found it was low potassium. Comment from: Jofel, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 04 I went to the emergency in the hospital. I felt nervous with my heart beating faster. The doctor said I had hypokalemia, low potassium. They put me on IV and I got my blood test and lungs x-ray. Thank goodness my result is good, the only thing is low potassium. They gave me 4 tablets to increase my potassium level and sent me back home. I have a monitor for my heartbeat in my chest. Until now, I have trouble and my heart is nervous again. They did not give me any medications. I wonder if it is affected by the cold weather. Comment from: Pam, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 14 I had an auto accident in 1995, head on at 80 miles. My L3 was broken and I have a fake one in there now. I had parts in that were recalled and all the screws were broken when they took everything out, so I have pig bone and they made it into the shape of my L3. But I have neurological problems with my low potassium. I can't talk, I can't think, I don't know who the president is, I don't know what day it is, and I don't even know my name. My brother used to go with me and would have to speak for me. I wonder if anyone else has had these symptoms. It is frightening, they think you are high on other drugs but that is not the case. It is like you're just so wasted or something that you can't speak or can't think, and it's frightening because I know it's not related to any kind of drugs. Comment from: Lynn, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 17 I recently felt extremely ill. Had fever, muscle aches, nausea, and all symptoms really bad! I went to an emergency clinic twice. I assumed I had a virus of some sort. No medicines were prescribed either time. I finally went to my personal physician. He gave me Norco, but really didn't seem very concerned. I actually pushed him for blood work, which he casually agreed to. His assistant phoned me two days later and said my potassium level was extremely low and the doctor sent a prescription for potassium to my pharmacy. She didn't tell me the numbers and I didn't ask. Frankly I wasn't concerned. I've been taking the prescribed medicines for 16 days, and went (as doctor requested) for a new blood test yesterday. I go back to the doctor in two days. I feel horrible! I am exhausted and am barely able to move my neck. I find all of this quite scary! And, after reading everybody's story, I realized, I do use an inhaler with cortisone! (Symbicort). The doctor never mentioned it to me and never told me to stop using it. We'll see what he says in two days. After reading all of these stories, I sure am grateful I didn't have a heart attack! Hope you're all feeling better! Comment from: mhikl, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 29 My mum had a major potassium deficiency problem. She had collapsed on her bed. Rushed by ambulance to hospital, she was found to have a severe potassium deficiency and was told to eat more bananas and potatoes. Over the year she was in hospital two more times with the same problem. I was reading everything I could on potassium and came upon a little paragraph that said that magnesium is the great regulator of the electrolyte family. I bought her magnesium tablets and that put an end to her visits to hospital. It is difficult to overdose on magnesium to the danger point of sodium/salt and possibly other electrolytes. Too much magnesium and one has the trots and it is evacuated. Magnesium is stored in the lining of the intestines (vitamin C also; and only so much can be stored at one time). Too much and the trots follow. It may need to be taken more than once a day. My mum lived twenty more years and died in hospital from an electrolyte imbalance. She did not have her potassium tablets with her. I began using magnesium as well. My night leg cramps immediately cleared up. Comment from: Bunny, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 11 I don't know the cause of my low potassium. Comment from: pat, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 06 I wonder if drinking Jim Beam affects your potassium level. Comment from: Buddy, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: August 08 My potassium level is 3.3. The doctor prescribed Klor-Con M10 ER tablet 10 MEQ. I haven’t started taking it yet. I want to find out if taking this along with 2.5 mg of Valium, lisinopril, hydrochlorothiazide and vitamins B12 and B6 is a safe combination. Comment from: Ray, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 26 I am a male, 67. I have been taking potassium pill for 2 days now and my urine is just gushing out, can’t stop going. Comment from: Priyaben, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 27 My aunty has a lot of vomiting problem because of low potassium. She had been admitted for 3 days in hospital to maintain her potassium level. Yesterday she was discharged but unfortunately today she is not well and we consulted the doctor. As per doctor advice we tested her potassium level and the result is 2.68. Comment from: Brenda, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 03 I had a blood test and that's how I found out I have low potassium. Comment from: lostboy, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: May 13 I am hospitalized because my body is cramped and the worst part is I can't stand up, walk or move my body. This is embarrassing because this happens every time when I masturbate or have sex. The doctor said I am low in potassium. Comment from: jcinvt, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 16 My low potassium was caused by an adrenal tumor, a condition known as Hyperaldosteronism or Conn's Syndrome. This condition cause hard to control BP and K+ will be low in about a third of the cases. Doctors were taught it is rare but with current testing it is found in around 10% of patients with resistant HTN. Comment from: cowgirl, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 25 I was at work and suddenly I had bad stomach cramping and shortly after felt weak and dizzy. My secretary said I passed out but I’m not sure I really did. Then I started vomiting. She called an ambulance and when they arrived I was still weak but could walk. I was taken to the hospital thinking it may be food poisoning but the doctor didn't think so. They ran blood work and only thing that they could find was that my potassium. I am 59 years old and very active. The doctor put me on Klor-Con M20 for 2 days and I will get my blood checked again. I just want to feel good again. Comment from: Fred, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 27 Three weeks ago I started a 24-day diet. The first 10 days I am supposed to cleanse. I felt fine after that, but about 2 days into the next phase I started feeling light headed and had an irregular heartbeat. Some days I feel drained and foggy. I worked outside a day mowing, came in and took a shower, sat down, and started having these symptoms all at once. I have been drinking a lot of water and thought that would be enough during this diet. I have stopped that phase of the diet. I have eaten about three bananas and drank about 1/2 gallon of Gatorade. Still have some symptoms when I am bending over. Comment from: Muffy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 22 I was lightheaded and with a racing heartbeat. I went to urgent care fearing a heart attack. Fortunately a very wise and kind doctor ordered a blood test and diagnosed me low potassium levels. I was admitted to the hospital and given a potassium supplement and I am going home tomorrow. Comment from: Fotolady, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 06 I recently had an ileostomy done and was admitted to hospital about two months after feeling not quite right, but not horrible. I found out my potassium was 2.5 and my kidneys were shutting down. Comment from: X, Published: December 14 I started experiencing diarrhea, and it continued for three weeks before I was hospitalized for low potassium. I was lightheaded and weak, and just felt generally terrible. Also, I lost my appetite. Comment from: jane, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 11 I like many of you was put into the hospital due to low potassium levels. I was placed in the hospital for several and have had two stays in the last six months. My last visit the potassium was 1.5 and caused a mild heart attack. You will know when it hits as all your muscles hurt and you can suffer some slight paralysis. I have had two heart attacks and one TIA stroke in a year. Comment from: MRSDJMW, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 04 I was diagnosed with it in during blood work for surgery a few years ago. I recently began to feel extremely drowsy, as I kept falling asleep for hours. I also had a considerable amount of muscle pain. The cause of mine was due to high levels of narcotics for chronic back and neck pain, which in turn caused severe constipation. I was treated with laxatives, which caused diarrhea at times. I was also on Lasix because the pain meds caused my ankles to swell and caused me to retain water. This increased my urinary output. I found relief after three weeks of medication. Now I always remember to eat my banana daily! Low potassium causes were chronic pain, frequent urination from water pill, and increased use of laxatives due to narcotics. Comment from: Prettybrnidgirl, Published: November 21 Thank you everyone for sharing this information. I got sick just a little over 9 years ago. I had a blood clot in my bowel that turned into gangrene. It took a while for the doctors and hospital to find out what was wrong with me. The end result was 3 bowel resections removing 6 feet and discovering that I have a rare blood disorder that caused the blood clot. At the time my husband and I had no idea of the blood disorder. We had suffered 4 miscarriages trying to have a child before all of this. I spent several weeks in hospital and several other procedures after that due to the bowel resections. I now have so many prescriptions I have lost count. However, since all this started I continually am losing my potassium. I have to take 8 pills a day now. My doctor recently wanted to increase it again after my lab results. Every time I asked him to get off the potassium he said we had to increase it. Even though I was eating foods high in potassium. I have all the symptoms that are on this page. I have been trying to do research and this is the only place I have this kind of information. I did not know about the V8 thing either but my sister suggested it because she said it helped her lose weight so I have been drinking it in the morning but as with everything I try I have gained weight and all my symptoms are getting worse. Is there a certain amount that you have to drink? I hate being sick all the time and in pain. Comment from: Jennb, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 19 I have epilepsy and I thought I was having some sort of seizure because I couldn’t walk and I was hallucinating. So I went to the ER and started having extreme psychosis. They had to hold me down -- 6 nurses, a doctor and security. I was screaming, trying to scratch and bite them. They gave me a sedative and wanted to put me in the psyche ward. The neurologist wanted a brain test done, and an EEG. My blood work showed extremely low potassium and electrolytes, which explained the behavior, inability to walk and hallucinations. Comment from: International Lady, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 18 My low potassium level was caused by taking diuetics and steroids contained in Asthma medication. Over a period of time I developed a hump or "fat pad" on my upper back between shoulders called "Cushing's Syndrome.” I was hospitalized and put on spironolactone and have been on that for many years. I do notice if I eat Kale it throws off my potassium level and I don't feel "right." So now I stay away from high potassium foods and only use an inhaler when I have a cold. I had a breath test done to make sure I was all right without the inhaler before I stopped. Comment from: bbllmm93, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 07 I was diagnosed with low Potassium over a year ago. My doctor put me on 20 mg of potassium daily. Yesterday my potassium was extremely low. I am having tingling and numbness in my fingers and stay tired. Also my chest feels tight half the time and beats irregularly. Comment from: Rose Queen, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 07 I was on a high-blood pressure medicine to treat Raynaud's Phenomenon. Because I work outside in the heat as a gardener, I was experiencing horrible swelling in my feet and legs. My doctor prescribed a diuretic to remedy the problem. After a very long, HOT day at work (104 degrees!)where I drank lots and lots of water, I returned home and proceeded to urinate every bit of fluid I had consumed...then had a bout of diarrhea.The diuretic was working! Before long, my hands, fingers, and face were numb, I felt awful and my husband had taken me to the ER. Lab tests revealed dehydration, low sodium count, and a potassium count of 2.0. My whole left side began having spasms, then the right as they used IV's to slowly bring my potassium level back up. It took all night and all the next day to bring it back up to 3.0. I'm now off the blood pressure medicine and the diuretic, the cause of the low potassium count. At my follow-up visit, my doctor said it was amazing my heart was able to beat with that low of potassium. Comment from: pjohnson97501, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 07 My family has a rare form of hypokalemia and we just had an aunt pass away from this. But the doctors are refusing to administer IV potassium, only pills even though they know that our digestive tract stops absorbing potassium. I have survived six years with this, the average life in my family with this disease is about six months to a year. The doctors here are doing the same thing claiming that all documents show that you don't issue IV potassium and they aren't bending. In the last three months I have had more episodes than in the previous whole year. Comment from: cynthia63, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 07 I first had found out I had low potassium while at an ER and they gave me pills to take while I was there but no prescription to take after, so I assumed that was all I needed. He never mentioned it was related to medicationss I was taking for blood pressure. Well, of course it happened again. I actually had a heart attack this time while home alone. I had just driven 110 miles back from a job out of town.I had been suffering with cramps for days and ignored them as poor circulation and just continued to try to get as much exercise as I could. I am lucky to be here telling the story today. Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 31 My low potassium was discovered in a routine blood test. I take a water pill for high blood pressure which is probably the cause of the low potassium. I had begun to have leg cramps which I thought were shin splints from walking. I began to tire easily, and I also had trouble with confused thinking kind of like I was in a fog. I have been on potassium pills for 3 weeks and I feel much better. Comment from: serenissima, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 31 My low potassium was caused by three days of diarrhea, caused by Clostridium difficile, a bacterium. When my doctor said to go to the ER and have my electrolytes checked, my potassium was at 1.7, which the docs said should have caused a heart attack or stroke. No one had seen potassium that low. Looking back, I see that there were symptoms: muscle twitching became quite severe and I was quite weak and tired. I just did not know that these meant anything collectively. I learned that diarrhea removes electrolytes, including potassium, from the body--a valuable lesson. Comment from: Martha, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 20 I just left the hospital after having an ER visit and two day stay for low potassium. I had been having symptoms for weeks, very dizzy, weak, muscle spasms were horrible. Some were even in my jaw, neck and throat, and the dentist said it was TMJ. I was so tired I could not function, really bad fatigue. Finally I passed out in the floor and my daughter insisted on taking me to the ER and after 2 days of tests the problem was found, blood pressure meds with no potassium, it was 2.2. My doctor never told me to take potassium. I feel like a new person truly after the potassium and I intend to keep up with it carefully myself from now on, and insist on the blood work I need. If I had passed out a few minutes later I would have been driving in heavy traffic, maybe killed myself and others. Don't ignore these symptoms ever! I truly shouldn't have, I had a friend die from this at age 40 in the ER. Comment from: Steve, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 19 I had severe acute pancreatitis with acute kidney failure. Comment from: Nanner, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 13 I have had Crohn’s disease for 30+ years and just recently diagnosed with dangerously low potassium. I immediately took high doses of potassium and will be rechecked in 2 days. My symptoms were no appetite, extreme fatigue, diarrhea, muscle cramping, and numbness in my arms and hands. If I had not had routine blood test who knows what would have happened? Comment from: Trina, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 04 I take diuretics for Meniere’s disease. I started to feel as though I was having a heart attack. I was admitted to hospital to find out my potassium was dangerously low. From now on I will make it my mission to eat foods high in potassium. Comment from: k, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 04 After a whole day of tennis tournament and a total of five games in a very hot Philippine weather and excessive sweating, I had fever, feeling of weakness, palpitations, hands, legs and head cramps. I even felt that I was about to collapse, that's the worst symptoms of hypokalemia to me. When my doctor sent me to sodium and potassium tests, the result shows that my potassium level was 2.8 and I was treated with potassium supplements. This condition is very scary and as it affects our heart and cell functions so I'd like to share this experience to you. Comment from: MISS AJ, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 30 My potassium dropped to 2.5 because I was suffering from an undiagnosed case of esophageal candidiasis. Comment from: phillee, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 21 Due to taking a diuretic for Meniere's disease, I lost too much potassium. Comment from: Abbey, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 25 I urinate a lot at night. My last sugar level test puts me on the border line. I believe my frequent urination is making me eliminate my potassium. I have been on 10mg of Norvasc for the past 15 years. I am 53 and my muscles twitch. I feel dizzy momentarily during the day. I have been eating right ever since my potassium came back at 3.0 a second time. I have made V8 part of my diet now since I heard about it here. Thanks to you guys! Comment from: rockinrobyn_2002, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 26 My entire life (I am now 28) I have had severe muscle cramps in my legs and feet. As a child this would happen nightly. My mother would say "eat a banana." I ate a lot of bananas and it never helped. A few years ago I went to the doctor with heart palpitations. I went through seven months of testing with the doctors saying my heart looked fine and they said stress was causing this. I eventually went to the ER because my muscles in my arms and legs cramped up and I couldn't even move, while at work. The doctor in the ER said my potassium was very low, treated that and since have been taking supplements. I still occasionally have the palpitations but not as bad as before. Comment from: Marsha, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 26 My low potassium is due to adrenal gland tumors. Comment from: 65-74 (Patient) Published: March 19 In February of this year I had surgery to repair my hiatal hernia. I did fine with the surgery, but about six hours later my fingers started tingling and the right side of my face and across my nose and down my throat was numb. I had a nurse who acted like he was scared to death and wouldn't get help. My potassium had bottomed out. Comment from: lovie65, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 12 I had have seizures due to a closed-head injury. One time as a fever started, I had a seizure, after that my chest started to hurt. The ambulance took me and was admitted with a kidney infection and low potassium. Comment from: lowpot, 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 12 My daughter was 10 months old when she was diagnosed with low potassium. She was having an asthma attack and got very lethargic, to the point that I had trouble carrying her. We went to the ER and they ran several tests. Soon after the blood test, doctors and nurses were running in and out of her room with machines and IVs. It was such a scare that no one would tell us what was going on. After the IV was started and other tests performed we were told that her potassium was severely low at 1.8 Comment from: A.M, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 08 Very poor intake of food caused my low potassium. Comment from: 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 21 I have had low potassium for years. It was discovered with a blood test. I take prescription potassium pills for it. I have always been active and tried to eat healthy. Comment from: SkyLynne, 55-64 (Patient) Published: February 21 I went into hospital for asthma following bad reflux due to my small stomach which I have from a gastric bypass 15 years ago. While I was there, the staff did an ECG and picked up the low potassium. Comment from: mickey, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 24 I went to the emergency room for my migraine, ended up finding out that my potassium level was very low, so now I take potassium pills three times a day. It’s nothing to mess around with. Comment from: ANNIE, Female (Patient) Published: January 13 I am a Crohn's patient. I have had low potassium many times. Recently I went to get my tonsils out and was almost not able to, due to low potassium. The doctor said I had a block in my heart and surgery could stop my heart. I did get my tonsils out and my potassium is still very low. I am always tired and have fainted a couple times in the last year. I've had Crohn's for over 20 years. Comment from: moonbeba, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 05 I recently had a sinus infection. The doc gave me a steroid shot and put me on prednisone along with antibiotics. Shortly thereafter, I began getting leg cramps. I learned that steroids can lower your potassium levels so I started eating foods high in potassium. The cramps didn't stop. Then I discovered that some antibiotics can lower your magnesium level. You need magnesium in order to utilize any potassium you consume so I began taking magnesium supplements. The cramps stopped for a few days but as soon as I returned to my normal diet, the cramps came back. I am now off the meds, returned to my magnesium supplements and am eating foods high in potassium again. I am hoping that this will help and that the cramps will soon stop. Comment from: Brenda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 13 The cause of my low potassium is Bartter's syndrome. I have Crohn's disease also and its difficult to stomach a lot of potassium supplement due to stomach upset. Comment from: Ricky, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 31 A blood test found my results. Comment from: cathy b, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 12 I found out that eating gluten was a huge factor in my low potassium. Now that I eat gluten free I have normal potassium levels. Comment from: Nurse, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 01 The cause of my low K+ is because I hardly eat. Not because I am anorexic, but because I don't have an appetite. I lost a significant amount of weight through strict dieting. I was a walking heart attack waiting to happen. My triglyceride level was 500 and my cholesterol was 364. Heart disease, Hypertension, Diabetes, CHF, and several other diseases run in my immediate family. I was always what is considered morbidly obese. I was 215 pounds at my heaviest. I am 5'6". Was always a yoyo dieter and would lose weight but put it back on + some. But after MUCH determination, I started a strict diet. I am now 120 pounds and feel so much better. My triglyceride level is now 54 and cholesterol is 134. My K+ was 3.3 and it was causing lightheadedness, muscle cramps, and fatigue. I will now be adding more bananas to my diet!! Comment from: [email protected], 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 14 I had bariatric surgery. During surgery I was given potassium by IV. Two days after surgery I was still low and given another IV. Now nearly 8 weeks after surgery my blood work shows my potassium levels are still low. Now I am on oral medication. Comment from: PattieCathie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 31 I was in the operating room waiting for my cataract surgery to begin when I freaked out. They decided to put me completely to sleep. They did some extra blood work and found that my potassium was low, and my surgery was canceled. Comment from: [email protected], 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: March 10 Low potassium was discovered through a routine blood workup. I did not fast before this and I am curious as to whether this played a part in it. Comment from: furil2, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 28 I had bloodwork due to a surgical procedure coming up to remove a lipoma. I was told my level was 3.3. Haven't had any bowel troubles at all. I have taken Dyazide for many years for my low potassium and was also told to eat more bananas. Comment from: Imperfection, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: June 30 Mine was and is caused by anorexia and bulimia, excessive laxative and diuretic use and too much exercise. I was put on the tablets that dissolve in water and I cannot stomach them at all! My level when last checked was 2.1. Comment from: Lorelei, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 23 I still do not know for sure what has caused my potassium loss. Because of my thyroid disease, I'm on a myriad of Meds, including diuretics, due to the edema. But then my bp went up, very unusual for me. Even with taking extra potassium, eating extra bananas and potatoes, my potassium levels are still critically low. Now what? I'm not an alcoholic or bulimic or anything like that. So, I'm still feeling that awful tired feeling as if my eyes are going to shut without my permission. What can I do now? I do wonder if Cushings is a consideration because my sister had that a few years ago. I also wonder if my chronic pain from a knee injury/replacement has somehow contributed. Pain affects everything after a while. Comment from: Jean, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: June 15 After having heart attack I was prescribed a diuretic and as I didn't think it was efficient to relieve fluid buildup, I doubled my dosage and I thought it was working but after lab results, I then had developed low potassium. My doctor emphasized to me the importance of following HIS dosage requirements for me and I am now back on schedule. Will have another lab report in two weeks. I was not aware of the importance of potassium. Comment from: Paula, 45-54 Female Published: March 18 Being I've had epilepsy since I was 5 years old my parents and I found that storms can cause my potassium to drop. I've experienced my potassium to drop when storms come in, like when it's the monsoon season, and I've ended up having a seizure. A deficiency of any nutrition can trigger or cause a seizure or some kind of health problem.