Patient Comments: Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) - Diagnosis

How was the diagnosis of your low potassium (hypokalemia) established?

Comment from: heather1, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 26

For the past week I've been in and out of the hospital with elevated heart rate and heart palpitations. My heart would go from 80 to 130 within seconds. I seriously thought I was having a heart attack. While the doctors were telling me it was a panic attack I know my own body knew for sure they were wrong. The ekg came back abnormal and the blood results showed I had low potassium and a little dehydrated. They kept me in the hospital for 2 days ran more tests then told me nothing was wrong with me. They claim I had a severe anxiety attack. I no longer have the heart palpitations or elevated heart rate but I don't feel myself, I have been tired for days and feel weak. I feel like I'm going crazy. I don't know what to think.

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Comment from: teachem, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

After gaining too much weight with my first pregnancy, I developed high blood pressure (130/90). So I was prescribed a diuretic when I was done breast feeding. My doctor regularly monitors my kidney function, cholesterol and blood sugar (all normal) and noticed at my last blood test that my K was only 3.4 (mildly low). He ordered that I eat a banana a day and a retest in four days.

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Published: July 22

I had a very bad stomach virus, intractable diarrhea and vomiting at the same time. After two agonizing days and nights, I was so weak; I barely made it to the bathroom. I asked my husband to take me to the ER. There, they ran blood tests, gave me Iv's for major dehydration. The blood result came back with a low potassium level of 2.0. I was admitted to the hospital for five days, where I got IV potassium and saline. I started feeling better after about three days, but was still very, very weak and drained.

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Published: June 18

I thought I had pulled a groin muscle. After several days of pain, I finally went to my family doctor and he put me on prednisone and a muscle relaxer. By the next morning, I could not move my arms or legs. I could wiggle my fingers and toes, and I could feel anywhere that was touched, but I simply did not have the strength to even lift my arm to scratch my nose. An ambulance had to take me to the hospital. Blood tests proved the diagnosis of low potassium. I was given a bag of potassium and another blood test was done. I was then admitted and spent three days in the hospital getting potassium intravenously and orally. I did not lose the potassium by the usual ways such as diarrhea, vomiting, sweating or diuretics. I still don't know what caused it.

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Published: June 13

I began having the feeling that there was a frog jumping around in my chest, and I had occasional minor chest pains. I went to the emergency. After about six hours of palpitations, they performed an ECG, EKG, Chest X-ray and blood tests. Everything except the blood tests were normal, which led to a diagnosis of PVC's (Premature Ventricular Contractions) due to hypokalemia.

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Comment from: gg, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 15

The first blood test I requested in produced zero results. I went back again later for another test and got the same result. Symptoms persisted so I went back July 7. The result was low potassium in kidneys. The level is unknown. I have just done a retest yesterday. My main symptom is severe tiredness. My father died of acute renal failure. I am in my mid thirties. I have had this condition for over 10 years.

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Comment from: tinytiff, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 07

I recently was taken to the emergency room with my heart racing, shortness of breath, sweating and near fainting. My blood pressure was 150/130 and my heart rate was 140 lying down. I thought I was having a heart attack. The hospital did a chest x-ray, blood tests and EKG's and said I was fine except my potassium was slightly low at 3.2. I was given 1 pill and sent on my way. I still feel funny at times. I keep something with potassium with me at all times. I later found out the medication I was on Prednisone probably was the start of all this which caused sweating and frequent urination which is where my potassium was probably lost.

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Low Potassium - Symptoms and Signs Question: What are your hypokalemia symptoms and signs?
Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatments were recommended after being diagnosed with low potassium?
Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) - Prevention Question: If you have low potassium, in what ways do you try to prevent it?

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