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Thread: Potassium deficiency!

  1. #1

    Potassium deficiency!

    I am a T3 complete para managing bladding incontinence with indwelling catheter. I drink about 5/6 liters water a day to keep UTI at bay.

    Recent blood test shows deficiency in potassium. Sodium level okay. Please tell me how to compensate it. If left uncompensated what medical complications will it lead to. Thanks.

  2. #2
    The best thing you can do is have a doctor take a look at your test results. I have problems with my potassium levels myself and my internist has prescribed K-Dur, a supplemnt I believe, to help raise it to normal. There are some meds which can lower your potassium. Mine has been the diuretics I have to take. If you are taking diuretics, your physician should keep a check on your potassium levels to see that they stay normal if possible.

    I met a time when I was taking the diuretics and my level dropped dangerously low. They were going to perform some surgery so they had to give me the supplement by IV. My doctor at that time said that my heart was missing a beat. Apparently it does or can affect the heart.s rhythm too I believe.

    I would recommend that you see your doctor ASAP and have him look at the test results so he can take care of your problem. Hope all turns out well for you.

    Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. ~Victor Hugo~

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    but one who keeps on fighting to the end ~ Unknown ~

  3. #3

    You would need to know how low your potassium is, what is the reading- so you need to see your doctor. Possible complications are heart arrythmias, muscle cramping, GI symptoms.
    You shouldn't put this off. If the cause of the low potassium (hypokalemia) is something chronic, you can supplement potassium rich foods in your diet through green leafy vegetables and fruits and tomatoes.


  4. #4
    The scary thing about low potassium is that there aren't any warning signs to let you know your levels have dropped dangerously low before serious problems happen.

    I agree that you need to talk to your doctor ASAP. If your potassium deficiency is bad, you'll probably need to take a prescription supplement every day. If it's only slightly off, you may be able to manage it through diet alone.

    Here's a USDA list of some of the foods that contain the most potassium per serving (Name of food, serving size, amount of potassium):

    Papayas 1 papaya 781 mg
    Lima Beans 1 cup 955 mg
    Plantains 1 medium 893 mg
    Artichokes 1 cup 644 mg
    Bananas 1 banana 422 mg
    Oat Bran 1 cup 532 mg
    Tomatoes 1 cup 528 mg
    Cucumber 1 large 442 mg
    Cantaloupe 1 cup 427 mg
    Pears 1 pear 333 mg
    Mangoes 1 mango 323 mg
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  5. #5
    It is not unusual to have low potassium when you are putting a lot of fluid through your system. 5-6 liters a day is a lot. As others have said, low potassium can be dangerous. You need to strike a balance between fluid intake and potassium intake. This will take some trial and error but you are going to need lab tests done to monitor the level until you strike a balance.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Jeff B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    If you are told to take potassium make sure to choose the pills. The liquid form is the worst super strong overipe banana taste that made me feel like throwing up.

    If you are on Fludrocortisone (Florinef) to increase blood pressure it also can decrease potassium levels. I remember reading before that spinal cord injured people often have low potassium for other reasons but can't remember or find the details.

  7. #7
    Three to four liters of water might be better for you. Five to six might wash away all your potassium.

  8. #8
    Also keep a close eye on your sodium levels. That amount of fluid can throw off all of your electrolytes.

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