What Are Some Symptoms of Low Potassium Levels in the Body?


Quick Answer

A low potassium level in the blood does not often cause symptoms, but if they appear, symptoms include fatigue, weakness, muscle cramps and constipation, according to Mayo Clinic. Some people with low potassium may also experience abnormal heart rhythms.

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What Are Some Symptoms of Low Potassium Levels in the Body?
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Full Answer

The treatment for low potassium levels depends on the cause and may include switching medications or taking potassium supplements, explains Mayo Clinic. There are many causes of this condition, and the most common is due to taking too many diuretics and losing potassium via urination. It is also possible to lose potassium through diarrhea or vomiting. It is rare for low potassium to occur due to not getting enough potassium in the diet.

Some of the main causes of low potassium are chronic kidney disease, diabetic ketoacidosis and folic acid deficiency, states Mayo Clinic. People who use alcohol or laxatives excessively may also experience low potassium. People who are on certain antibiotics, sweat a lot or suffer from primary aldosteronism, a hormone disorder, may also experience low potassium.

The normal level of blood potassium ranges from 3.6 to 5.2 millimoles per liter, notes Mayo Clinic. Any potassium level less than 2.5 millimoles per liter may turn life-threatening and requires emergency medical attention. If low potassium levels appear in a blood test, an individual should talk to a doctor to find out what the results mean.

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