I am a 32 year old female and have never had a problem with my potassium until the last three months. I was put in the hospital once because my potassium was 2.3, I got potassium by iv and it was painful! They sent me home taking 80 MEQ a day then when my blood work came back normal they told me I didn't have to take the potassium anymore
Then a month and a half later my legs started hurting really bad so I went to have blood work in the morning and the doctor called that evening and told me to go to the er because my potassium was 2.3 again. When I got there the doctor told me he though they made a mistake because he didn't think it could be that low so he checked my blood again and it had already dropped down to 1.6 So they admitted me and three bags of potassium and A LOT of potassium pills later they finally got it up to 3.1 The doctor in the hospital said that I was losing blood (my count was going down) but couldn't find a reason for it other than a mild anemia. My co2 levels are also so low they said it was dangerous for me to go home with them that low.
I was told to go to my doctor every other day for blood work but I never could get any answers from the doctor on how to treat it so that I am not in the hospital every other month not to mention the pain in my legs when it gets so low I can barely walk.
How tall are you (feet and inches)?: 5'6
What is your weight in pounds?: 175
How old are you?: 32
How long has this been going on?: More than a month
Check all symptoms you are currently experiencing:
Describe associated symptoms not listed above: Major leg pain, hurts so bad I can barely walk
What have you done so far to remedy this condition? Please include tests and relevant studies here.
: So far all that has been done is treating me in the hospital with potassium by iv and a lot of potassium pills. This last visit they added a daily vitamin. Once my potassium goes up they take me off the potassium.
I had blood work where my co2 and potassium were extremely low.
Please list any chronic medical problems and also list any prior surgery (lacerations don't count!): As far as medical problems I have only really been sick once about 3 years ago. I got up with a sore back and the next day I had to call 911 because I couldn't walk. I had meningitis, endocarditis, and internal MRSA. As I was being treated for those my blood stopped producing hemoglobins so they had to give me a blood transfusion. I was in the hospital for a little over a month and had a PICC line to keep taking medicine for another two months after I got out of the hospital.
Check all conditions present in your immediate family... : none
Please list any medication allergies that you have : : none
Please list any medications you are currently taking (and dosage if known) :: potassium 30 MEQ, daily vitamin
When was your last menstrual cycle?: 4 weeks ago
Are you currently using or do you have a history of tobacco use?: Yes
Are you currently using or do you have a history of illegal drug use?: No
Please describe your alcohol consumption :: Occasionally
I want to know what is wrong with me and why would it come on suddenly?
Is the medicine I am what i need to get my body on the right track or do I need to look for another doctor?
When to see a doctor
- Muscle cramps
CausesLow potassium (hypokalemia) has many causes. The most common cause of low potassium is excessive potassium loss in urine or from the digestive tract. Only rarely is low potassium due to not getting enough potassium in your diet.
The most common cause of excessive potassium loss is the use of prescription diuretics — water or fluid pills. Causes of potassium loss leading to low potassium include:
When to see a doctorIn most cases, low potassium is more commonly found by a blood test, before it gets so low that it causes symptoms.
Low potassium symptoms may include:
- Muscle cramps
Talk to your doctor about what your results mean. You may need to change a medication that's affecting your potassium level, or you may need to treat another medical condition that's causing your low potassium level. Treatment of low potassium is directed at the underlying cause and may include potassium supplements. Don't start taking potassium supplements without talking to your doctor first. "
If you have questions please ask them in the comment section.