Still low potassium ?

At the beginning of July, blood test revealed my potassium is low, 3.2 at the time.

Since, I've had regular blood test and my potassium level remains low; now at 3.4.yesterday.

I'm constantly exhausted and feel the desire to sleep all the time, I lack energy, enthusiasm and motivation and I'm finding it difficult to concentrate on any task I set my mind to, even reading; all of which I believe is due to my low potassium.

Although, can a potassium level of 3.4 cause such dramatic symptoms ?

Should my Doctor have prescribed potassium pills by now ?

My next blood test is two weeks from today and I'm sick of bananas, especially since I've discovered I must eat 7 per day to raise my potassium level.

Original Post

Prior to feelings of exhaustion, I didn't go out of my way to eat a potassium enriched diet, other than the odd banana and baked potato but since my recent blood test, I've ate so many bananas I'm sick of the sight of them and I eat large baked potatoes two or three times per week, which are high in potassium.

I'm not a fan of smoothes, find em sickly.

The potassium content of sweet potato is similar to that of baked potatoes, but as I'm in the UK, sweet potato, although probably available, is not something the British are accustomed to.


Output, frequency and its consistency all very much the same; every so often, once maybe twice a week, a BM is more watery than normal, but nothing I would consider out of the ordinary since takedown

 My output is normally loose; of a prorridge/oatmeal like consistency.

I've recently read online that a normal potassium level is 3.6 to 5.2 (courtesy of Mayo Clinic) does a person's sex, weight and height have any bearing of what a healthy potassium level should be,

Would a smaller person, maybe a female be perfectly healthy with a potasium level of 3.6, yet debilitating for a 236lb 6.3ft male ?

Normal ranges (reference ranges) can vary from lab to lab, and can even change within a lab when the analyzer is recalibrated. Some normal ranges are gender or race-specific, but I don’t find any evidence that potassium is like that. When lab values are just a bit off it usually doesn’t mean much. The way the reference ranges are worked out cause the exact boundary between “normal” and “abnormal” to be pretty arbitrary. The values are (mostly) concentrations in blood serum, and don’t tend to be sensitive to body size.

Some medications, especially some diuretics, are notorious for “wasting” potassium. Are you on any meds that might do that? You can buy KCl (potassium chloride) in the grocery store as a salt substitute, and that might do the trick, if the flavor works for you.

I still don’t think it’s a very likely cause for your fatigue.

Thanks for your very thorough replies, SCOTT.

Only medication I take is the loperimide, which I take one 3 x per day and one or sometimes two, just before bed.

I tend to take more loperimide in response to my output and frequency, such as if I believe I'm having more BMs than normal or my output is more  watery, I take another two.

I also take Omeprazole, prescribed 1 x  per day, but I only take when I suffer from indigestion.

Once or twice per week, I make and drink the St Marks emix solution, to replenish lost electrolytes and combat dehydration.

When the slightest sensation, itching of butt burn occurs , I apply the ilex paste once or twice a month.

I dont take any other medication or supplements.

Body types should not have an impact on electrolyte blood levels. Your level is only slightly out of range, and since it is chronic, you are somewhat acclimated to it. If you are not on diuretics, your losses are likely due to diarrhea. I would increase your daily loperamide dose and take it every day, not on an “as needed” basis. You can take up to 8 per day. If you get constipated, increase your fluids and fiber and possibly reduce the loperamide. If you are concerned, call your doctor about a potassium supplement. As an alternative, try using salt substitute, which contains potassium chloride. Your kidneys are supposed to retain potassium when your levels run low. If you have not had kidney function labs done, you should (BUN, creatinine).


Thanks for your reply Jan

I normally take 4-5 loperimide daily and when my output is more frequent or water than normal, I take another two.

My output is no more frequent or loose than normal: 3 to 4 BMs per day, sometimes 5 but never less than two.

Once or twice per week, normally when I've consumed more fluids than normal, one or two BMs are very watery but this rarely last.

It's the Omeprazole, which is prescribed Once per day, which I only take when suffering from indigestion.




Do you like white beans?  They are very high in potassium.  Mix a can of white beans (also called Navy beans) with a can of tuna, chopped onion, and a slice tomato.

Also, do you like cooked spinach?  Cook spinach in water 5 minutes and eat the spinach and drink the cooking liquid. Add some chicken, other vegetables for a nice soup. 

Thanks for your suggestion Winterberry.

Prior to my low potassium results, I didn't necessarily eat a potassium enriched diet, but when taking a closer look at the everyday food I do eat, they are certainly not lacking potassium.

I actually eat very well and other than porridge oats, no food aggregates my J pouch, in fact, neither does the porridge, it just affects my output

I now eat more bananas than I did previously, otherwise my diet is very much the same as always.

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