Discussions that mention potassium

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Hey all,

How can you tell the difference between dehydration, sodium defiency, and potassium deficency? :confused: I know they all share very similar symptoms, but is there any way to tell if you have one without resorting to blood testing??
Quote from pjcat:
Hey all,

How can you tell the difference between dehydration, sodium defiency, and potassium deficency? :confused: I know they all share very similar symptoms, but is there any way to tell if you have one without resorting to blood testing??

The signs and symptoms of a sodium deficiency(hyponatremia) is:
Headache
Muscle twitching
Seizures
Coma
Abdominal cramps
Nausea, vomiting, anorexia,
Lethargy
Confusion

Potassium deficiency(hypokalemia) is:
Muscle weakness
Muscle soreness
leg cramps
Fatigue, lethargy
Anorexia
Nausea
Tachypnea(fast breathing)
Decreased bowel sounds
Cardiac arrhythmias
Polyuria(constant unrination)

Dehydration:
Excessive sweating
Decreased urine output/increased pulse rate
Fever
Vomiting
Nausea
Depression
Problems swallowing

By the way, I'm a nursing student and got my book for ya. ;)
I know they share many of the same characteristics so a blood test would indicate a more accurate diagnosis.