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What are less common causes of hypokalemia (low levels of potassium in the blood)?

ANSWER

It’s possible, but rare, to get hypokalemia from having too little potassium in your diet. Other things sometimes cause it, too, like:

  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Sweating a lot
  • Folic acid deficiency
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (high levels of acids called ketones in your blood)
  • Laxatives taken over a long period of time
  • Certain types of tobacco
  • Some asthma medications
  • Low magnesium

From: What is Hypokalemia? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

MedlinePlus: “Potassium.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Hypokalemia and Hyperkalemia.”

Medscape: “Hypokalemia.”

Mayo Clinic: “Low potassium (hypokalemia).”

Merck Manual: “Hypokalemia (Low Level of Potassium in the Blood).”

UpToDate: “Clinical manifestations and treatment of hypokalemia in adults.”

National Organization for Rare Disorders: “Hypokalemia.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 19, 2018

SOURCES:

MedlinePlus: “Potassium.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Hypokalemia and Hyperkalemia.”

Medscape: “Hypokalemia.”

Mayo Clinic: “Low potassium (hypokalemia).”

Merck Manual: “Hypokalemia (Low Level of Potassium in the Blood).”

UpToDate: “Clinical manifestations and treatment of hypokalemia in adults.”

National Organization for Rare Disorders: “Hypokalemia.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 19, 2018

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