My doctor said very low blood Potassium level
Hi, my name is Greg from Australia. At the end of February 2010 I experienced chest pains while mowing the lawn and was sent to the emergency department of a major hospital. It was confirmed through a blood test, ECG and angiogram that I had in fact had a heart attack and have had a stent inserted in one 99% blockage and will be going back on Monday for two more stents in the remaining 80% blockages.
During the course of the tests, my Cardiologist said "You have a very low blood Potassium level, do you know why this is?" it was a surprise to me, with my Potassium being only 2.4, Magnesium 0.57. I was given two bags of Potassium by IV, but still my levels were low. I was refered to a Nephrologist, who ordered a 24 hour urine test, a spot urine test and blood tests over 4 days and a blood test 1 week later. He is still waiting for all of the blood test results from the hospital, but feels I most likely have Gitelman's Syndrome.
The strange thing is I am experiencing none of the symptoms that other sufferers have reported. The doctor feels this is because I have had this since childhood and my body has adapted. However after doing some research on the net I find that I do have some symptoms that may relate to this:
As a child I was hospitalised at the ages of 2 and 5 with severe dehydration and a cause was never determined
Also as a child I developed an craving for salt and used to put salt on my hand and lick it and chew on rock salt. Even how I love salty foods and eat too much salt - but my blood pressure is very normal 120/80
I used to get bad cramps in my calf muscles as a teenager
Since a child I have been drinking large amounts of Tomato & V8 vegetable juice - both high in Potassium & Sodium (I actual crave this and can't imagine a day without drinking it)
I get up several times a night to pass urine
I get a dry mouth at night and have to have a drink of water several times during the night.
Otherwise I feel good - plenty of energy, no joint pains, go for long walks every day, not tired, good concentration
I am current taking Potassium Chloride tablets (600mg) 3 tablets, 3 times per day, but have been told this is not a long term solution. The Nephrologist has suggested using a Potassium sparing Diuretic, but as this is all new and his final diagnosis has yet to be confirmed, I should have some answers soon regarding long term treatment
Last edited by ausgreg; 03-11-2010 at 06:54 PM.