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Date of last update: 10/09/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Nephrology Topics

Question: Low Potassium

 LTrojan - Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:10 pm

I am 31 years old. I have previously had a history of kidney stones ( 8 in 2.5 years) but haven't had one since I began taking Amiloride (potassium-sparing diuretic). I have not previously had any problems with this medication. However, about a year ago, I began experiencing extreme fatigue, inflexibility in my muscles, constipation, feeling cold, etc. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and prescribed Synthroid. While I've had some relief, I still feel very tired (sleep at least 8 - 9 hours per night, and still fall asleep driving) and still have extreme tightness in my muscles, constipation, etc. My thyroid levels are normal, but my potassium was just found to be slightly low. That diagnosis makes sense, because I am fatigued, and my heart rate has been quite high (i.e. wore a heart rate monitor during a 1/2 marathon and AVERAGED 178 bpm).

The doctor wants to prescribe potassium supplements, but I'm wary. I've read that taking potassium supplements while on a potassium-sparing diuretic can be dangerous. You should also know that I am very active (run about 5 hours per week), and I eat a quite a lot of bananas and mandarin orange slices.

Do my symptoms seem indicative of low potassium? Should I be concerned about taking potassium supplements with the Amiloride?
 Theresa Jones, RN - Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:21 am

User avatar Hi LTrojan,
I would be more inclined to attribute your feeling of fatigue and feeling of coldness to be related to your hypothyroidism rather than slightly low levels of potassium. Signs and symptoms of low potassium levels are cardiac arrythmia's, weakness, muscle pain (especially leg cramps) etc. I would also be wary of taking a potassium supplement while on a potassium sparing diuretic.

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