Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

hypokalemia, fatigue, pain

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 0 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • April 26, 2011
  • 01:57 PM

After many years of frequent muscle pain, stiff joints, and fatigue so severe I often fell asleep in public places, I was diagnosed with moderate hypokalemia. Blood tests revealed an average potassium level of 3.3, though it varies day to day. Some days I feel fine, though I need to take large amounts of vitamins to feel fully normal (around 10 gummy-vites per day). I have a history of kidney infections and had one large 7mm kidney stone 5 years ago that required surgery to remove. Caffeine doesn't seem to aggravate the symptoms, though if I don't drink at least one caffeinated drink per day, the fatigue is much worse. If I consume alcohol, it takes days for the exhaustion and dizziness to go away, even if I don't drink to the point of intoxication; I also have a lot of pain and stiffness in my back and legs especially. I drank over the weekend, and today (Tuesday) I am so stiff and sore I feel like I'm made out of wood. The fatigue is even worse because I'm so uncomfortable that it's difficult to sleep; even when I'm so exhausted that I'm passing out, I can only manage to get a few hours of rest at the most. I'm a 32-year-old man, have normal to slightly low blood pressure, am about 30 lbs overweight, and am not diabetic. I eat a lot of potassium-rich foods such as yogurt and spinach, don't use diuretics, and take no regular medications. I have had problems with depression, smoke about 5 cigarettes per day, and do not drink on a regular basis - the celebration that I went to over the holiday weekend was the first time I have had alcohol in 4 months.

None of the doctors I have been to (including an endocrinologist) can seem to find the cause for my hypokalemia. It's having a severe impact on my academic life (I've missed a lot of classes this year, endangering my grades) and on my life in general; it's difficult to get out of bed and get dressed when I'm this stiff and sore, let alone carry a heavy book bag or climb 3 flights of stairs to my 8am class, and I have to fight to keep from nodding off in class or while doing homework.

Can anyone help me?

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