Hypokalemia means a low level of potassium in the blood. This most often occurs in people who take water pills (diuretics). It can also result from severe vomiting or diarrhea. You may also have it if you take laxatives for long periods of time. It sometimes happens if you have low magnesium (hypomagnesemia). If you have this, your healthcare provider will treat the low magnesium first.
A mild case of hypokalemia often causes no symptoms. It is only found with blood testing. More severe potassium loss causes:
Take any potassium supplements as prescribed.
Eat foods rich in potassium. High amounts of potassium are found in baked potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, spinach, cantaloupe, cod, halibut, salmon, and scallops. White, red, or pinto beans are also very good sources. So, too, are avocados, orange juice, bananas, carrots, and tomato juice.
If you take certain types of diuretics, you will also need to take potassium supplements. Talk with your healthcare provider.
Follow up with your healthcare provider for a repeat blood test within the next week, or as advised by our staff.
When to seek medical advice
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have:
Call 911 if you have:
© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.