Low Potassium (Hypokalemia) Symptoms & Signs

Having low potassium in the bloodstream is also known as hypokalemia. Potassium helps keep the proper functioning of muscles and nerve cells, the heart, regulates blood pressure, etc. For this reason, maintaining a good potassium level in the body is crucial.

A person usually shows low potassium symptoms after excessive vomiting, diarrhea, malfunctioning adrenal glands or kidneys, taking diuretics or water pills and certain asthma medications. While it’s too rare to have hypokalemia by including less potassium in your diet, it’s possible. Consuming some types of tobacco and being a woman also increases risk of hypokalemia.

Other ways a person gets low potassium levels include sweating too much, excessive alcohol drinking, taking certain antibiotics, taking laxatives for a long time, and having diabetic ketoacidosis. Deficiencies in minerals like folic acid, and magnesium also lead to hypokalemia. The following syndromes are also linked to having low potassium: Cushing’s syndrome, Fanconi syndrome, Liddle syndrome, Gitelman syndrome, and Bartter syndrome.

Below are some of the symptoms of having low potassium levels in the body: