How Can You Resolve the Symptoms of Low Potassium?


Quick Answer

Low potassium symptoms can usually be resolved with potassium supplements or with a diet high in potassium, states MedlinePlus. More severe cases of potassium deficiency, or hypokalemia, may require treatment with an IV.

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How Can You Resolve the Symptoms of Low Potassium?
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Full Answer

Doctors also prescribe IVs to patients whose bodies have not responded to previous hypokalemia treatments, claims the Merck Manual. However, in normal cases, doctors first prescribe either potassium supplements or a change in diet. Because potassium pills can upset the digestive system, the Merck Manuel suggests that potassium supplements be taken in small does and at meals to prevent vomiting and other complications.

Eating foods high in potassium can help treat low levels and prevent them in the future. Some foods that are high in potassium are avocados, potatoes, bananas, carrots, milk, oranges, peanut butter, legumes, salmon, seaweed, spinach, tomatoes and wheat germ, according to MedlinePlus.

Low potassium levels can occur after bouts of diarrhea and vomiting, such as those caused by illness, or from excessive sweating during physical activity. However, antibiotics, eating disorders, chronic kidney disease, and medications for high blood pressure and heart failure can also contribute to low potassium levels, states MedlinePlus.

Small decreases in potassium levels do not often cause symptoms. However, symptoms of larger drops include constipation, muscle cramping, heart palpitations, fainting, fatigue, nerve tingling and numbness, reports MedlinePlus.

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