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  • potassium deficiency?

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    Old 08-24-2009, 04:58 AM   #1
    kaifmahmood's Avatar
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    potassium deficiency?

    For the last six months, I feel excessively thirsty, drinking 4-5 litres of water a day or more (even though I live in a hot climate, this is more than what most people drink). This does not happen all the time but comes and goes for a few days.

    Apart from this, when I feel this thirst, I also get these symptoms:

    - I have dry skin on my palms and lips and sometimes my eyes water.

    - What is perhaps most difficult to handle about the situation is that I feel lethargic, somewhat drowsy and have to try hard to focus on what I am doing, like one feels when one has had a very heavy meal.

    - Sometimes I am constipated

    - Since I am drinking so much water, I have to urinate very often. A couple of years ago I was also diagnosed with an overactive bladder, although I did not have these other symptoms then.

    These problems go when I drink an electrolyte solution - which is mostly sodium and potassium - meant for those with dehydration. I saw a doctor in early June who got a lot of tests done, and my sodium and potassium levels were normal (perhaps because I had been drinking the electrolyte drink?), and so was my blood sugar. There were some deficiencies in the haemogram. The doctor said that my symptoms are the result of being out too much in the heat (which I had been) and just suggested that I continue with the electrolyte drink for a couple of weeks.

    Since I discontinued the drink, I often have the same symptoms again, but not all the time. I am not spending much time outdoors and drinking at least 3 litres even when I don't have these symptoms, so I don't think I have heat exhaustion or dehydration like the doctor said.

    Could this be potassium deficiency, or diabetes, or something else? I have been thinking about seeing another doctor but I feel that my symptoms are not really enough to help the doctor come to a diagnosis, so I thought I may discuss them here first.

    I should add that I sweat more than an average person.

    Last edited by kaifmahmood; 08-24-2009 at 05:23 AM.

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    Old 08-29-2009, 09:14 AM   #2
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    Re: potassium deficiency?

    If you sweat more than usual and have an overactive bladder, then I suppose it's possible that you might need more potassium in your diet. Fruit is a good source of potassium. A favorite for supplying potassium is the banana. One medium banana contains 451 milligrams.

    Other things that can cause thirst: Alcohol, caffeine, antihistamines, exercise or hard work, especially in the hot sun.

    Less common: hormone imbalances (thyroid) or damage to the hypothalamus.

    Last edited by JohnR41; 08-29-2009 at 09:15 AM.

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    deficiency, drowsiness, dry skin, potassium, thirst

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