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

ANSWER

There are many different reasons you could have low potassium levels. It may be because too much potassium is leaving through your digestive tract. It’s usually a symptom of another problem. Most commonly, you get hypokalemia when:

Women tend to get hypokalemia more often than men.

  • You vomit a lot
  • You have diarrhea
  • Your kidneys or adrenal glands don’t work well
  • You take medication that makes you pee (water pills or diuretics)

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

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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