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Old 06-21-2008, 02:35 PM   #1
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Low potassium

I just got home from my first (and I hope last!) hospitalization for asthma. Fortunately it was very brief, under twenty-four hours, and I'm doing a whole lot better now. I was treated this morning with potassium supplements. I've just learned that beta-agonists can contribute to low potassium. This explains a lot to me of how I've felt in the aftermath of attacks in the past.

Some of the symptoms of low potassium: weakness, tiredness, or cramping in arm or leg muscles, tingling or numbness, lightheadedness, general feeling of tiredness or weakness, excessive thirst and/or excessive urination, depression, confusion, or other psychological symptoms.

After an episode, I always feel weak, tired, have tingling and numbness in extremities, have excessive thirst, and general feel depressed and somewhat confused. This episode was pretty bad, for me, with a week or so of lower peak flows and other indicators, and then a very sudden worsening that brought to the ER where I was admitted overnight. By mid-morning, it was a little mystifying that I was breathing pretty well, but felt terrible, and each breathing treatment made me feel rapidly worse while still improving my breathing. A short while after taking potassium supplements, I was able to sleep for a little while and woke up not only breathing ok, but also less confused, in less general pain, and with less of the tingly weakness and lightheadedness. I'm sure the sleep helped too, but I am convinced that potassium is an important part of the picture in recovering from an asthma attack, at least for me. The most alarming part of the whole thing was during and after a breathing treatment when my hands started clenching of their own accord and I didn't have the strength to open them. They were cramping tightly and hurt quite a lot, and it was really disturbing to not have use of my hands! I'll get a follow up blood test to check potassium levels in a couple of days.

I'm going to start adding more potassium rich foods to my diet, and if I have another attack, I may ask my doctor about potassium testing and supplementation to aid in recovery from the potassium-depleting effects of the drugs. It is nice to learn that what I've found to be the unpleasant after-effects of an asthma attack are not entirely unavoidable and can be mitigated by a simple and cheap treatment that is really essential for good heart and muscle function anyway.

Just hoping this might help someone else.

 
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Old 06-21-2008, 05:42 PM   #2
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Re: Low potassium

Thanks for your information. I'll have to ask my primary and pulmonary doctors about this. It's good to know.
Tom

 
Old 06-24-2008, 10:22 AM   #3
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Exclamation Re: Low potassium

You can die from low potassium ..it eventally starts effecting you're heart (you get palpitations ) ..it's scary last year I had phnemonia and my asthma went into over drive , all of a sudden I just stopped making sense.. my husband took me to the ER and they admitted me . They said if my potassium had dropped any more I would have died , the Potassiusm IV they put me on was really painfull becasue they had to rush it threw me ..it made all may veins contract continiously ...I'm suddering just remembering But it's a good reminder to always bulk up on you're Potassium rich foods ore take a supplement when you're asthma is out of wack ...especially if you have diareah at the same tiem because that depelets it even more....I love bananas so it's no problem for me Glad you're feeling better!

 
Old 06-24-2008, 10:33 AM   #4
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Re: Low potassium

Yeah, I was getting really disoriented too. And my muscles were starting to not work. And I'd been having tachycardia on and off for hours. I don't know if it was affecting my heart or not just then, but they had me on a telemetry unit because of racing heart the night before, so when I get my records it will be interesting to see if anything else was going on.

Unfortunately, I hate bananas. But there're are so many potassium rich foods. I'm finding other things. I'll ask my doctor today about supplementing, at least until I get my asthma under control.

 
Old 06-24-2008, 11:41 AM   #5
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Re: Low potassium

I have a 20 year old son that was very ill as a baby with asthma along with GERD that he had to have surgery on...

Please remember that when you are on steroids, which is prednisone, that will deplete your potassium also... My son was on prednisone for close to 7 years... He ate alot of bananas and potatoes... Potatoes are another food rich in potassium...

Good Luck to you all... Jenn

 
Old 06-28-2008, 12:51 PM   #6
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Re: Low potassium

good advice, i have lost of bronchitis and walking pneumonia, i now have asthma my little boy has it, he nearly dies of broncheelitis when he was 1 it was awful, i think we need to be on our gaurd against the bugs by having the flue shots etc, but jack has got a huge trampoline and his asthma is much better, i have a sore right lung since the infections and i also have the tingling and awful fatigue im glad you mentioned about the pottassium had no idea me and jack should eta a banana everyday im always having dehydration and excessive amounts of weeing thanks guys and the exersise me and jack don;t get the exersise induced asthma is this normal thanks from katxxxxxxx
ps i hear as im from the uk , a little bird told me that there are some amazing new asthma drugs that are going to be available son and cure us please tell me thsi is true i mean jack its great its nearly gone with careful management and good exersise is better and may be cl;ear as he is nealry 8 no attacks this year fingers crossed but what about us who are not going to get rid of it????? xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 
Old 07-02-2008, 10:46 AM   #7
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Re: Low potassium

I'd love to hear about some new meds that are going to cure su too details anyone ?????

 
Old 07-02-2008, 12:19 PM   #8
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Re: Low potassium

ooh lets pray its ture everybody, i have a hacking cough right now anybody having difficulties with thsi very high pollen it got blown here form the usa i fink dam!!! lol from katxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx

 
Old 07-03-2008, 09:33 AM   #9
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Re: Low potassium

Hey everybody,

Does salbutamol deplete potassium, too?
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Last edited by moderator2; 07-03-2008 at 02:48 PM. Reason: posted commercial website

 
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