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What causes chronic low potassium?
DustyRoze posted:
My husband has had this problem for over 5 years, and no one has given us an answer to why this is happening. He is currently taking 80 MEQ of Potassium daily, and that isn't enough to get a normal level.
CardiostarUSA1 responded:

"No one has given us an answer to why this is happening."

General info -

MedlinePlus - Trusted Health Information for You

Potassium - low; Low blood potassium

Hypokalemia is a lower-than-normal amount of potassium in the blood. It may result from a number of conditions.

Possible causes of hypokalemia include:.....

Optum Health

Hypokalemia (low potassium)

What are the causes of hypokalemia?

Hypokalemia can be caused by......


Best of luck to your husband.

Take care,


WebMD community member (8/99)



☞Potassium is essential for the proper functioning of the digestive system, heart, kidneys, muscles, and nerves. Usually the food one eats supplies all of the potassium that is needed.


WebMD/WebMD message boards does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
James_Beckerman_MD responded:
Has he undergone any kind of testing? Some things to consider might include a problem with absorption by the gastrointestinal tract or an excess of excretion by the kidneys. One helpful test might be a test on the urine to check the levels of sodium and potassium.
mleigh23 responded:
Hi Dustyroze -

I too, also have had low potassium for almost 5 years. I have been on 40Me/Q of potassium for years, which I feel is a big dose considering im only 90 pounds. I have spoken to about five different specialists about why it is chronically low and have had several tests done....all with no results...First they usually check the kidneys, and usually do a 24 hour urine. Those tests came back ok for me. One doctor suggested that my stomach and intestines just do not absorb minerals, I have been taking probioticsw and stomach enzymes for several months now and they seem to be helping a small amount. Where my potassium usually stays around 2.9 or 3.0. lately it has been around 3.2 or 3.3. I also have started a diet that is potassium rich, which was recommended by the doctor. Im sure you can talk to your doctor about this. From what Ive researched, we should eat between 2,000 and 3,000 mg of potassium a day...and one glass of orange juice has about 450 have to eat and drink a pretty decent amount of things rich in potassium to reach that number. If your husband has no kidney issues, then I would suspect its his absorption that is causing the low potassium. Has he gone to see a gastroenterologist? After years of not being able to get once straight answer from any doctors out there , I just did alot of research on my own and try to eat a high potassium diet. Also, I remember one doctor told me that urinating alot causes a large loss of potassium...and I do drink alot, so I am always in the this might be another factor. The sodium/potassium balance in our bodies is so delicate, a large amount of liquids could throw his electrolytes off. I hope this helps you some.. I know its not a definitive answer. If I ever get a straight answer from my doctors, I will let you know, Anything Ive told you here is from personal experience, doctors recommendation and information from when I was in Nursing school. Maybe the enzymes and probiotics can help him! Also, is he deficient in any other minerals or vitamins...For instance, I am also very anemic, low iron, even though I take Iron supplements daily...and between the low iron and potassium,,,the doctors assume it is an absorption issue,,

Take Care

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