Very low potassium???

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RE: Very low potassium???

by I_love_Gary on Sun Jan 30, 2011 02:39 PM

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I don't know who you work with, but you are talking about in the case of normal healthy individuals, rarely does a potassium level stray from normal values.  That is NOT the case with vulnerable persons or with persons with acute medical conditions, especially those prescribed diuretics for cardiac conditions, anti hypsertensives, and combination drugs that include potassium.  It IS possible to have high levels, and it IS considsered a medical emergency to have a very high or very low level.  It must be treated immediately.  IF on any supplement for potassium, it is important to have levels checked.  People on long term potassium supplements as an adjunct to diuretic medication will have pretty stable levels over many years, but have fluctuations when medical condition changes, and medication dosages change.  Unfortunately, sometimes docs don't remember to tell the patient to stop the potassium, or adjust the amount they take, to match the other changes.  I promise you, it is not rare at all.

Please consider that if potassium levels are too high or low, it can trigger cardiac arrest.  Are you aware that injections of too much potassium are fatal?  The method has been used to kill, and is part of the coctail of drugs infused to cause death in a capital punishment scenario.

It's ridiculous to say that it is nothing to worry about!

RE: Very low potassium???

by sugarfoot63628 on Sun Jan 30, 2011 03:10 PM

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I am new to this forum, but I just wanted to say something in regards to low potassium....my husband almost died from this about 4 years ago.  He is a normal typical man who just thought he was weak due to being sick with the flu for a couple of days. I insisted that he see the doctor.  He was told that his potassium was so low that probably if he had waited one day longer, he would have died.  It is very important to keep the potassium level normal. 

RE: Very low potassium???

by cadalybre on Mon Jan 31, 2011 08:45 AM

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My husband had low potassium and has been on 20meq's twice daily of a potassium supplement for probably about a year now, he has been doing fine in that regard.

RE: Very low potassium???

by I_love_Gary on Mon Jan 31, 2011 08:56 PM

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On Jan 31, 2011 8:45 AM cadalybre wrote:

My husband had low potassium and has been on 20meq's twice daily of a potassium supplement for probably about a year now, he has been doing fine in that regard.

Hey Jenny, you are describing a perfect example of what I'm talking about.  He's needing the supplement now, and if he were to become sicker, dehydrated, major diet or medication changes, etc, then that additional potassium would not take long to build up in his blood.  When the doc orders electrolytes [sodium, potasium, chloride] to be tested, which they do almost every time anything is wrong with anyone, that is the reason.  Because those 3 levels have to be exactly perfect for correct electric firing of muscles, which is what your heart is!  Other muscles too, but obviously the heart is critical.  Anyone getting regular blood work done, would have that ordered, but there are times when the person maybe doesn't see the doc for any reason, and it doesn't get checked for a very long time. 

My 2 cents again...........DL

RE: Very low potassium???

by cadalybre on Tue Feb 01, 2011 06:39 AM

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Yes!  Jeff gets his blood work done every single week, which is crucial for monitoring something so serious as this.  He is one who needs a certain amount, and luckily we got that part stable.  I agree with DL, very important to be monitored while taking this!!

RE: Very low potassium???

by docstormy on Sun Feb 06, 2011 08:55 AM

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but try to realize that ":serum" potassium levels is something diffrent than "intracellular" levels,  which doctors rarely do !
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