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Hypokalemia

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Hypokalemia is a low level of potassium in your blood. Potassium helps control how your muscles, heart, and digestive system work. Hypokalemia occurs when your body loses too much potassium or does not absorb enough from food.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You cannot move your arm or leg.
  • You have a fast or irregular heartbeat.
  • You are too tired or weak to stand up.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You are vomiting, or you have diarrhea.
  • You have numbness or tingling in your arms or legs.
  • Your symptoms do not go away or they get worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

  • Potassium will be given to bring your potassium levels back to normal.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Eat foods that are high in potassium:

Foods that are high in potassium include bananas, oranges, tomatoes, potatoes, and avocado. Pinto beans, turkey, salmon, lean beef, yogurt, and milk are also high in potassium. Ask your healthcare provider or dietitian for more information about foods that are high in potassium.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© 2017 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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