I have had a rough two years with nausea, change in bowel habits,brain fog and for the past 3mos heart palpitations. This past weekend I had a horrible experience and I was woke up in the middle of the night very sick to my stomach and weak with a fever. I did vomit once. My doctor took blood work and called today to tell me my potassium is low and gave me pills to take. She said now we have to find out what the cause of this is and I need to come in for a follow up. My question is what are some causes of low potassium? I am not on any diaretics nor do I excessivly sweat.
I dont eat as much as I used to since the nausea but I eat atleast 2 decent meals a day. Im not suffering weight loss. When Im feeling well I eat alot. I dont exersize (bad I know!) I dont suffer from an eating disorder so what else could cause this?
My potassium tends to run low too and I know it is not an eating problem, LOL! It has been low for quite awhile but I do OK as long as I drink some OJ every morning. The doctor never has been able to find a cause and does not seem concerned. I do know that thyroid problems can be related to it, but I have been checked for that. Some of your symptoms do also indicate that you could have a hyperactive thyroid, especially the weakness and heart palpitations.
I have asthma and Ibs ..both can cause low potassium .Tusing the ventlisn puffer for my asthma depleted it as does too much diarea.It's pretty serious last year i almost died from it ,it scared the hell out of me .Now i have to get it tsted monthly plus when my asthma or IBS are out of controll i take suppelements and get shots of it from th edoctor .LAst year they had me on an IV dripp of it and it really hurt..so don't let it go that far!It contracts the veins very quickly and the pain was unbelivible!!But as soon as i got the Iv threw me my brain cleared and the heart palpitations stopped !!
Last edited by engineer1961; 01-20-2007 at 05:47 AM.
Hi purplepiegirl. I have had severely low potassium. Mine seemed to be from Lyme disease although this is not a common problem with Lyme.
Lyme disease is a multi-system bacterial infection caused from the
bite of an infected tick. It can cause many seemingly unrelated symptoms.
Below is a Lyme symptom list. You can have any combination of symptoms.
Unexplained fevers, sweats, chills, or flushing
Unexplained weight change--loss or gain
Fatigue, tiredness, poor stamina
Unexplained hair loss
Testicular pain/pelvic pain
Unexplained menstrual irregularity
Unexplained milk production: breast pain
Irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction or loss of libido
Change in bowel function-constipation, diarrhea
Chest pain or rib soreness
Shortness of breath, cough
Heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block
Any history of a heart murmur or valve prolapse?
Joint pain or swelling
Stiffness of the joints, neck, or back
Muscle pain or cramps
Twitching of the face or other muscles
Neck creeks and cracks, neck stiffness, neck pain
Tingling, numbness, burning or stabbing sensations, shooting pains
Facial paralysis (Bell's Palsy)
Eyes/Vision: double, blurry, increased floaters, light sensitivity
Ears/Hearing: buzzing, ringing, ear pain, sound sensitivity
lncreased motion sickness, vertigo, poor balance
Confusion, difficulty in thinking
Difficulty with concentration, reading
Forgetfulness, poor short term memory
Disorientation: getting lost, going to wrong places
Difficulty with speech or writing
Mood swings, irritability, depression
Disturbed sleep-too much, too little, early awakening
Exaggerated symptoms or worse hangover from alcohol
Since you have other symptoms, you may want to consider this as a possibility. It is very important to see a knowledgeable doctor. Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols. No test is completely reliable, and results can vay by lab. Lyme needs continuous, aggressive treatment.
Besides Lyme and Babesiosis, ticks can also transmit several other infections Ehrlichiosis (HME & HGE), Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. Many people who have Lyme are co-infected. It is important to be tested for these by a Lyme reputable lab such as IgeneX in Palo Alto, CA.
If you think this may be a possibility and would like a doctor recommendation, let me know. I hope you can get some answers soon.
I am not sure what else it could be, but I do know there are a lot of things out there that can deplete you potasium. Do you urinate a lot? If so, that could be the cause. I also know hormones can be an issue with it. You didn't say how old you are. Could you be in pre-menopause (that can occur ten years or more before menopause)? My problem is not severe and my levels have run from borderline low to moderate. I seem to do OK if I drink some OJ everyday. Do you also eat or drink potassium rich foods? I know orange juice and bananas are very high in that nutrient.
Well, I just got back from my 2 week Dr. appt. and I had to convince her I dont have an eating disorder. My potassium level was 3.0 which she told me is very low and wanted to know how much I vomit. I told her practically never. She says that an eating disorder is the only real way to get my level that low. I dont have an eating disorder but I have felt sick for a long time. She put me on prilosec otc and effexor xr. I told her I would try anything as long as I can start to feel better. I am still having pvc's but they are not as bad as before I took the potassium supplements. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
Ticker- Trust me I have been down the long winding road of Lyme. I have had a test were only band 23 was abnormal. I did not send my blood work to igenex and Im not sure I want to. Its hard to get a dr. to take me seriously and If I walk in wanting that I really think she will think there is a mental problem going on
IM SO OVER DR's!!!
Last edited by purplepiegirl; 02-01-2007 at 08:07 AM.
Hi purplepiegirl. Why don't you want your blood sent to IgeneX?
No Lyme test is completely reliable, and results can vary by lab. Although the CDC requires a large number of bands to show for the test to be considered positive, yet many people who have Lyme do not have this many bands. Lyme doctors often look at which bands are positive, some are specific for Lyme. Band 23-25 is a Lyme specific band.
I can understand being leery about approaching this with your doctor. I also understrand your frustration with doctors. I think the average person who has Lyme sees at least seven doctors before getting diagnosed.
Lyme disease is the second fastest growing infectious disease in the US after AIDS and the number one vector-borne disease; however, the majority of the medical community is ignorant of its prevalence and seriousness. When Lyme disease is a possibility, it is very important to see a knowledgeable doctor. If you would like a recommendation, let me know.
Serinity- Did your moms blood tests all come out normal except for potassium? What kind of cancer does she have? Sorry to hear this.
Ticker- Im having an extremly hard time getting a Dr. to take me seriously. Its not that I have anything against Igenex I am just really tired of this whole mess. To bring up Lyme to any Dr is like asking for crazy pills. LoL
Purplepiegirl, the majority of people who have Lyme experience the same kind of frustration before they get diagnosed and treated. I recommend that you pursue this, it may be what is wrong. Either way, the sooner you find out, the sooner you can get the treatment you need.