Potassium Anyone?

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 1/14/2008 8:19 PM (GMT -6)   
During my last flare I was hospitalized for 2 weeks. I lost 50 lbs and was struggling to get better. One night in the hospital, the nurses were checking my vitals and asked me if my heart rate was usually this low. I was in a sleeping pill/demerol haze and was instantly scared. They were shaking me and asking again and again if my heart rate was usually low. I could feel my whole body shake with each slow heart beat. I told them I could not breath well and was rushed down to the cardiac care unit. After an EKG, and other tests, they concluded that I had a potassium deficiancy. So, I had to get 8 units of it through my IV with no pain killer. All my pain meds were cut in half due to the heart scare. I have NEVER felt so much pain in my life. It felt like my arm was being burned off with a torch. Theytried to cut down the potassium with the saline, but it still was terrible. I have had UC for 5 years now and have had several flares. Twice hospitalized and bed ridden for 3 months on the last one. I have taken everything from asacol to remicade and then some. 4 colonoscopies and several jugs of barium. Nothing was as horrible as that potassium. Anyone else had this experience? 

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 277
   Posted 1/14/2008 8:29 PM (GMT -6)   
YES! I had to have pottasium in my IV and it hurt so bad! Every time I complained about my IV hurting they would say "yeh that pottasium burns" Now i try to keep my pottasium up!!
UC diagnosed 1991
Asacal, zoloft, levoxyl, prednisone 40m 30m, Azathioprine 100m (started 1/9/08)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 1/14/2008 10:06 PM (GMT -6)   

Yes, I had potassium given to me after surgery.  The IV of potassium was far more painful than the incision.  I hope I never have to experience that again!


dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998
1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics
2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic
2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free

potty girl
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 835
   Posted 1/14/2008 10:19 PM (GMT -6)   
yes I had to get potassium also, I was to the point I couldnt stand, walk are lift my arms I was so low on potassuim and dehydrated at the same time, but honestly I felt so bad when I went in that I remembered it burning but at that point it was better then how I felt. They had me take potassium pills for 2 years after that. I still take them when in a bad flare. I think they piggy backed mine in to the iv, maybe thats why mine wasnt as bad.

synthroid .088 mg, lowpressor 50 mg x 2, cozaar 25mg x2, imdur 30 mg
nitroquick, proventol, plavix 75 mg, protonix 40 mg x 2, asacal 400mg x 9
carafate 1 gm x 4, zyrtec 10 mg, rhinocort aqua nose spray, fish oil,

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 1/14/2008 11:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm glad I eat alot of bananas...what terrible experiances you guys have had!!!

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 1/15/2008 9:30 AM (GMT -6)   
My first few rounds on pred, I had low potassium. The doc prescribed these HUGE pills I had to take. Even though they were hard to swallow, etc - after hearing about the IV stuff, I'm glad I didn't have to do that!
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 75mg, Aciphex, Effexor XR, Forvia and a Probiotic
Osteopenia (hip and spine) from prednisone use.  Started Azathioprine because I was steroid dependent.
Co-Mod for the UC forum
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 675
   Posted 1/15/2008 4:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I also had potassium through my IV while in the hospital for UC. Over my 10 day stay, they had to move my IV once a day because my veins were "blowing" from the potassium. I still have trouble keeping IV's running. I often have to have my Remicade IV moved because my vein 'blows" now. I never had this problem before the potassium - so I blame it all on that!
pancolitis. Osteopenia. multi-vitamin, calcium, omeprazole, benefiber, boniva, align.  Remicade since Dec. 2005. www.myspace.com/dmbarris
"The secret to my own happiness, my own good future, is within my own hands, I must not miss that opportunity"

Old Hat
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5190
   Posted 1/15/2008 9:20 PM (GMT -6)   
A person who does not have nausea & can swallow should be able to get potassium easily enough from fruit juice &/or bananas. It doesn't take a whole lot of juice to stabilize-- 1/2 cup (4 oz) daily can make a huge difference to your well-being. Potassium is a very important blood pressure regulator! / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC; currently on 3 Colazal daily for maintenance of remission)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 2/7/2008 12:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Raw goat milk from grass feed goats has a ton of very absorbable potassium
Diagnosed panColitis 1990.
Current Meds Asacol x4 twice a day. X6 1/15/08
Pred for flares. I still have my colon THANK YOU GOD!!!
vitamins-veggie juice-wheat grass juice--fish oil
Started 1/01/08 PRObiotics
Freindly bacteria:raw milk-kefir made with raw milk--natto--probiotics
1/22/08 cultued veggies(probiotic)
Antifungus:Caprylicacid, Pau D Arco, Black walnut hull, Oregano oil
grape seed extract. 2/04/08 garlic
Anti inflammatory:fish oil  1/15/08 started Turmeric
1/10/08 Started healthy diet again.1/22/08 cultued veggies(probiotic)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 2045
   Posted 2/7/2008 12:23 PM (GMT -6)   
It is very common for us IBDers to suffer from low pottasium.Can cause nasty cramping too, especially in the calf muscles
                                     keep the faith 

         asacol/proctifoam/Zoton (lansoprazole)/propranalol


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 2/7/2008 12:28 PM (GMT -6)   
My Gi says to make sure to get lots of potassium, especially when on steroids. He said to eat 3 bananas a day while on higher doses of pred. I now drink a lot of Oj (low acid kind, so much better for my reflux) whenever i start to feel tired and I can start to feel each heart beat i know to go eat a banana!
Kelly, 29

Left sided UC diagnosed 1/98 age 19, Pan colitis diagnosed 1/07
Currently on 4x3 Asacol, 15 mg pred, down to 10 mg 1/11/08!
75mg Imuran starting 8/23/07---bumped to 100mg 10/8/07--bumped to 125 11/14/07...
Taken off of Imuran temporarily 1/11/08-back on 1/16/08
Prontonix once daily for acid reflux, zofran twice daily for nausea

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