Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Low Potassium Alert!!

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 5 Replies
  • Posted By: Kelster4824
  • December 7, 2006
  • 04:27 AM

My boyfriend has always been a healthy person. He doesn't drink, smoke, or do any kind of drugs. One week ago were were on the phone at night chatting. He got off the phone to cook dinner and said he would call me back shortly. Maybe 30 minutes later, he called and sounded like he was extremely drunk. His speech was very slurred, he had fallen in his living room and didn't know why or how he got there. When I got to him, I thought he was dying. The doctors think his heart may have had an irregular heart rhythm. The ambulance took him to the ER and his potassium level was 2.0. It took 4 days to bring his level up to 3.1 and then it went up to 3.8, then dropped again to 3.1 and then back up to 3.9. He has had numerous tests done (CT scans, blood tests, EKG, EEG) not sure what else. He has been seen by the Renal Specialist, the Neurologist, the Cardiologist and none of them have any answers. He was in the hospital 5 days and then released with no diagnosis other than the fact that they said he had the fainting spell due to the extremely low potassium level. We still don't know what caused his potassium to drop so low. He has been very tired ever since then and is having headaches and some muscles aches. He said he just doesn't feel good. They say dehydration, vomiting, diarreah (Sorry about spelling), or excessive are the common causes for low potassium. What happens when you have none of these symptoms and it drops like it did? Can anyone help us?

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  • Your posting gave possible causes for loss of potassium including “excessive (blank)” – did you mean urination? I also had a rapid loss of potassium and some similar symptoms, and never figured out what the real cause was, but did have more frequent urination just prior to it (not huge amounts but more often). I never felt well after that, and years later found out that I had an infected root canal which caused a cavity in the jaw below the infected tooth (which I think got into my system and affected my potassium). So be very alert to any increase in frequency of urination (they should check urine potassium) or any possible infections (bladder, tooth, etc.). I’ve heard that a change in the body’s sodium can also affect potassium levels, also pH levels (acid/alkaline).
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 9, 2006
    • 00:25 AM
    • 0
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  • Here is another person’s (BNC052082) posting to a reply that mentions a condition where potassium drops (hypokalemic periodic paralysis) - look near the bottom of the post:Re: Chronic Nausea and unexplained symptoms Thank you to those of you who have replied with suggestions. In response to the hyperthyroidism..T3, T4, and TSH levels all normal. I need to check on the others to see if they have been ruled out, but again thank you. In response to mjmslp, I am very interested in your symptoms as well. I too have considered the possibility of autoimmune disease and I had my doctor check my Ig levels. My IgG was decreased to about 660 i think? He didn't seem too concerned with that because I had recently had mono, but it hasn't been checked since. I have another doctor's appointment December 16th and I will request some more work ups on the rheumatology issues. I know that my mother told me that when I was younger (6 or 7) I had problems walking up stairs, I was having left leg seizures (eeg abnormal), and I have never been able to run. My mother took me to a neurologist who said he thought I has MS and to a rheumatologist who said I probably had rheumatoid arthritis (sed rate was elevated). I was given Naprosyn and Tegretol. The tegretol caused a rash so it was soon after discontinued. I did better for a several years. When I was a teenager I started having constant tremors in my hands. My old pediatric neurologist had moved away and I saw a new neurologist (who I also saw just last week), and he suggested I had some type of dystonia and placed me on Sinemet. I took that for over a year and seemed to do better. Sometime along the way I was noncompliant with my medication regimen and the Sinemet was d/c'd also. When I was 15 in the month of June I woke up very ill (like a GI bug again) and it persisted for monthes. Again I had chronic nausea. It was so bad I could not go to school and they had to home school me. I stayed up everynight holding my stomach and crying (I had upper quadrant abdominal pain also). I lived on pretzels, popsicles, Sprite, and cabbage and salt (it helps with nausea). I went to the pediatric GI doctor and had many tests; upper GI with small bowel follow through, barium enema, colonoscopy, EGD, and probably others that I cant remember (all normal). I was once a very active teenager and very involved in school functions, and then I was bed bound and became goraphonic. I was afraid to leave the house for fear of vomiting in public. I then was put on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. After my sophmore year the school board told me that I could not complete high school as a home bound student, so I was forced to quit. That was horrible for me....I still hate to think about it. I was once in the gifted program and a straight A student and now I am considered a high school drop out. Anyway, at 16 I started having severe fatigue, chronic nausea, and muscle twitching in my face. After age 17 the symptoms simply disappeared. I also have GERD and I take Nexium 40mg. There is no history of autoimmune diseases in my family, but my mother has a pretty rare disease called "hypokalemic periodic paraylsis" (her potassium bottoms out and she because totally paraylzed until it returns to a normal level). My neurologist has already said I do not have that disease. Here's one thing I found interesting, I recently went to an endocrinologist and she's doing a work up for Cushing's...even though it's a stretch to say the least. I had to have a urine test for synthetic steriods before she would do the urine testing for Cushing's. Anyway, I didn't take my Flonase for 2 weeks (it is a nasal steroid) and I had not used any topical creams or any other steroid that I could think of. Well the doctor called me and said my urine was positive for synthetic steriods. I don't know why that would have been. I also forgot to mention in my first post that ever since the "virus" that started all of these symptoms in Nov. 2005 I have kept a low grade temp. Every night I take my temperature and it is 99.9 or around there. I know that your body temperature raises by one degree at night, but before this at night my temp would be 98.0. During the day my temp was always 97.0. I find that interesting also. Let me know your thoughts.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 9, 2006
    • 01:41 AM
    • 0
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  • Hello, my name is Marcus and almost to the T of what your describing is a very rare disorder that i suffer from. I am 20 years old now and when i was 15 i woke up and couldn't move. That morning led to a 5 day stint in the hospital and now a life long journey that i am day by day overcoming. I have been hospitalized for this numerous times i think its around 7 times and the last being the worst when my potassium levels reached i think about 1.4. This disorder is called hypo kalemic periodic paralysis, and i would like to save you guys from the grueling life of mis-diagnosis, and trouble that this disorder causes....please by all means contact me if you would like to speak more on the subject and possibly help your boyfriend and yourself get through this... mdbanning7@yahoo.com or myspace.com/renad7 i know its kind of improper to just release information like this but if i knew then what i know now it would be a lot easier....
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 28, 2008
    • 03:29 PM
    • 0
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  • check the P.H of the blood,kidney function,level of aldosterone
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 29, 2008
    • 02:46 PM
    • 0
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  • My boyfriend has always been a healthy person. He doesn't drink, smoke, or do any kind of drugs. One week ago were were on the phone at night chatting. He got off the phone to cook dinner and said he would call me back shortly. Maybe 30 minutes later, he called and sounded like he was extremely drunk. His speech was very slurred, he had fallen in his living room and didn't know why or how he got there. When I got to him, I thought he was dying. The doctors think his heart may have had an irregular heart rhythm. The ambulance took him to the ER and his potassium level was 2.0. It took 4 days to bring his level up to 3.1 and then it went up to 3.8, then dropped again to 3.1 and then back up to 3.9. He has had numerous tests done (CT scans, blood tests, EKG, EEG) not sure what else. He has been seen by the Renal Specialist, the Neurologist, the Cardiologist and none of them have any answers. He was in the hospital 5 days and then released with no diagnosis other than the fact that they said he had the fainting spell due to the extremely low potassium level. We still don't know what caused his potassium to drop so low. He has been very tired ever since then and is having headaches and some muscles aches. He said he just doesn't feel good. They say dehydration, vomiting, diarreah (Sorry about spelling), or excessive are the common causes for low potassium. What happens when you have none of these symptoms and it drops like it did? Can anyone help us?Does anyone in his family have Musclar dystrophy? Go see a Neurologist who is a specialist in Musclar dystrophy. There is a rare form of this disease that causes muscle cramping, weakness, fainting, and very low potassium levels. There can be temporary parylsis. Get it checked out.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 10, 2010
    • 05:38 PM
    • 0
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