Lower than normal levels of potassium in the circulating blood.

Symptoms of Hypokalemia

The following features are indicative of Hypokalemia:
  • leg cramps
  • constipation
  • feeling tired
  • weakness
  • palpitations
  • muscle damage
  • numbness
It is possible that Hypokalemia shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Hypokalemia

The following are the most common causes of Hypokalemia:
  • inadequate potassium intake
  • dialysis
  • diarrhea
  • hypomagnesemia
  • diabetes insipidus
  • hyperaldosteronism

Other Causes of Hypokalemia

The following are the less common causes of Hypokalemia:
  • certain medications like furosemide and steroids

Risk Factors for Hypokalemia

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Hypokalemia:
  • patients with cardiovascular disease
  • acute renal failure
  • acute chest diseases
  • central nervous system diseases
  • congestive heart failure
  • diabetic ketoacidosis
  • diarrhea with dehydration

Prevention of Hypokalemia

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Hypokalemia. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • intake of adequate potassium-containing foods, such as leafy green vegetables, avocados, tomatoes, coconut water, citrus fruits, oranges, or bananas

Occurrence of Hypokalemia

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Hypokalemia cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Hypokalemia can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Hypokalemia can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Hypokalemia

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Hypokalemia:
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): To determine the heart rate and diagnose hypokalemia
  • Blood tests: To check the potassium level

Doctor for Diagnosis of Hypokalemia

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Hypokalemia:
  • Critical care medicine specialist

Complications of Hypokalemia if untreated

Yes, Hypokalemia causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Hypokalemia is left untreated:
  • cardiac arrest
  • hypokalemic periodic paralysis

Self-care for Hypokalemia

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Hypokalemia:
  • Adequate intake of potassium-containing foods: Helps in treating and prevent low level of potassium

Patient Support for Treatment of Hypokalemia

The following actions may help Hypokalemia patients:
  • Join support organization group: Helps in coping with the disease

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Hypokalemia.
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