potasium question

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Lynnwood
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Date Joined May 2005
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   Posted 3/14/2013 9:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I saw the Rheumy Monday and the blood tests came back this morning. His office called with a prescription for Potassium -- mine is 3.2 where normal range is 3.5-5.2.

Ok, I'll take the supplement, but don't we need to figure out why it's low??? Does this mean my kidneys are misbehaving or what? I'm concerned that he isn't concerned!

My current meds are just Plaquenil, Wellbutrin, Trazodone, and general multivitamins (no changes in last 6 months).

Anyone had this?
Thanks,
Lynnwood

Lynnwood
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7720
   Posted 3/14/2013 9:22 PM (GMT -6)   
PS. He did extra blood tests as I was having a metallic taste in my mouth. Anyone have anything similar?
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator
DIAGNOSING LUPUS & LUPUS RESOURCES
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously" - Oscar Wilde

couchtater
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Date Joined Jul 2009
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   Posted 3/14/2013 9:31 PM (GMT -6)   
It might have something to do with you not consuming enough potassium or it might be your kidneys.

I take extra potassium but it's because I'm on 80mg of lasix a day. Low potassium can cause heart problems.
Joy
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Degenerative Disk and Facet Disease, and Allergies

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Lynnwood
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Date Joined May 2005
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   Posted 3/14/2013 9:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Exactly...so why no follow-up on the kidneys? Why no questions about my diet?

Actually, from what I've read its practically impossible not to get enough potassium in your food.
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator
DIAGNOSING LUPUS & LUPUS RESOURCES
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously" - Oscar Wilde

Lynnwood
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7720
   Posted 3/15/2013 7:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I too can read the internet.

Looking for someone with kidney issues who has had low potassium to chat with.

Particularly since none of those causes apply.
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator
DIAGNOSING LUPUS & LUPUS RESOURCES
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously" - Oscar Wilde

Bsime
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Date Joined Apr 2006
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   Posted 3/15/2013 1:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Lynnwood,
 
I have had low potassium issues since getting sick.  Lupus also hit my kidneys hard but they are functioning perfectly well but I do take meds (amlodipine, benazypril, and triamterene/hctz) for them just in case.  Some meds like diuretics can cause low K by stimulating your kidneys to excrete K but I think some of my problems might be related to absorption problems.  My GI tract has been strange ever since getting sick and I do not seem to absorb K or calories in general that well.  Eating bananas doesn't touch it and I take 2 K pills daily in addition to eating more K rich foods daily and my levels are still low normal. 
 
None of my doctors had a good explanation why my K was low and on essentially the same diet it was ok before getting sick in 2005.  From that I would conclude it has to do with my disease(s) but since it is controlled and nothing else is happening I am not concerned.
 
Bill
MCTD (SLE Lupus, polymyositis, scleroderma). Diagnosed 2005. Kidney, liver, GI tract, dysphagia, raynauds, barretts esophagus, quadriplegic in 2005. Recovered and now active in downhill skiing, golf, hiking. Meds: amlodipine, benezapril, omeprazole, potassium, folic acid, vitamins, maxide.

Remain Optimistic and you can overcome.

aimsgirl16
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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1470
   Posted 3/15/2013 1:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Lynn,

When your doctor checked your potassium, did they also run the kidney function tests? If you don't know, I would call and find out...actually I would call and find out even if they did to see what your creatinine and BUN are. I have always had low potassium even before kidney issues. Even now, being on hemodialysis, I still have to eat extra potassium AND occasionly take pills. Were you by any chance sick right before the labs were taken?

Good luck getting those horse pills down!!!
Amy
Lupus Moderater


dialysis from lupus nephritis

Bsime
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 3/15/2013 2:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Tip for taking the K horse pills.  I let them dissolve a little bit in my mouth before swallowing.  Had dysphagia and even though I can eat and drink anything, K pills are a challenge, particularly if I am tired or careless about taking them.
 
Bill
MCTD (SLE Lupus, polymyositis, scleroderma). Diagnosed 2005. Kidney, liver, GI tract, dysphagia, raynauds, barretts esophagus, quadriplegic in 2005. Recovered and now active in downhill skiing, golf, hiking. Meds: amlodipine, benezapril, omeprazole, potassium, folic acid, vitamins, maxide.

Remain Optimistic and you can overcome.

bluejeans
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 269
   Posted 3/15/2013 5:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I take 3 potassium pills a day (10 MEQ) mine is due to losing part of my small bowel to surgery. I do not absorb things well.
I would be concerned to and want to know the cause.
Post lymphoma, Spleenectomy, Lupus, Sjorgrens, RA, Anti-phosphoid syndrome, Fibromyalgia, GERD, short bowel syndrome, scolisis, arthritis of spine, spondylosis, splondylesis, DDD,DJD

Faith in God, the love of my family and a good attitude keeps me going.

Bsime
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 3/15/2013 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I know that lupus hit my joints, kidneys, and my gi tract.  When I was so sick I was not absorbing nutrients or drugs properly and even though I have been in remission for 7 years I think I still do not absorb everything normally. 
 
Bill
MCTD (SLE Lupus, polymyositis, scleroderma). Diagnosed 2005. Kidney, liver, GI tract, dysphagia, raynauds, barretts esophagus, quadriplegic in 2005. Recovered and now active in downhill skiing, golf, hiking. Meds: amlodipine, benezapril, omeprazole, potassium, folic acid, vitamins, maxide.

Remain Optimistic and you can overcome.

Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7720
   Posted 3/16/2013 4:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Amy, I didn't have the lab results, or even know what he checked, until just now. Bun and creatine are normal. Wasn't sick beforehand, unless you count a totally sleepless night with labs drawn at 11:30am. My TSH was just a tad low, but other than that & potassium everything is spot on.

Bill, I didn't know Lupus could affect potassium -- particularly since I haven't had any Lupus symptoms in almost 2 yrs. (Excepting hip pain.)

One thing I have learned with Lupus -- now I can swallow any horse pill you give me!! My sleeping pills are the same size as the potassium but have lots of angles & sharp corners. Pre-lubricate mouth & throat, position carefully on tongue, then a big swallow of water, with 2 or 3 right behind in case it gets stuck!

Thanks, friends!
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator
DIAGNOSING LUPUS & LUPUS RESOURCES
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously" - Oscar Wilde

Bsime
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 3/16/2013 7:58 PM (GMT -6)   
It does. I have been in remission for 7 years and still have low K and need to take the pills and eat bananas. It is possible it changed both my digestive tract and kidneys. Whatever it is, I deal with it just like old age. There is definitely no treatment or cure for that.

Bill
MCTD (SLE Lupus, polymyositis, scleroderma). Diagnosed 2005. Kidney, liver, GI tract, dysphagia, raynauds, barretts esophagus, quadriplegic in 2005. Recovered and now active in downhill skiing, golf, hiking. Meds: amlodipine, benezapril, omeprazole, potassium, folic acid, vitamins, maxide.

Remain Optimistic and you can overcome.

Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7720
   Posted 3/16/2013 9:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Bill, oh, Bill....<shakes head sadly>

I'm still hoping for that magic cure-old-age pill or potion, please don't rain on my parade before it even assembles! nono


tongue Lynn
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