Low Potassium Side Effects

Watch out for these low potassium side effects, which is a condition called hypokalemia—an indication of a potassium deficiency. Potassium is a mineral vital to many bodily functions, including the heart, kidneys and skeletal muscles. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to heighten your intake of potassium levels via food intake and supplements or see a health care practitioner for advice and treatment.

  1. Nausea and vomiting. You can lose a lot of this vital mineral through vomiting; this is how people prone to bulimia have a higher incidence of low potassium levels.
  2. Constipation. The loss of fluids and accompanying potassium in your body will toughen your bowel movements. This is why those who abuse diuretics, such as water pills, are likely to be potassium deficient.
  3. Peeing frequently. Anytime excessive amounts of liquid is lost, you may not have enough circulating potassium in the digestive tract. If you are thirsty and keeping peeing too quickly and excessively, you may be prone to hypokalemia.
  4. Muscle cramps. Potent diuretic medications which quickly and vigorously remove fluids and sodium from the body as well as potassium and other minerals cause muscles to cramp up.
  5. Palpitations. Irregularly and rapidly beating heartbeats may occur due to hypokalemia. Palpitations can be felt in your chest, throat, or neck as well.
  6. Psychological abnormalities. Excessive potassium depletion may lead to behaviors and sensation associated with depression, delirium and confusion.
  7. Numbness and tingling. Though it can occur generally anywhere, this abnormal sensation usually occurs in the fingers, hands, feet, arms or legs and can be a symptom of low potassium. 
  8. Fatigue. If you constantly feel tired, weak or exhausted even though you get adequate rest, normal potassium levels may be missing link.
  9. Fainting. A temporary loss of consciousness may occur with too low levels of this potassium, which induces low blood pressure. This occurs because low blood pressure decreases blood flow to the brain.
  10. Bloating and cramping in the abdominal region. Excessive fluid loss, which subsequently depletes you of potassium, will cause your body, especially your stomach area, to swell and cramp.
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