Rhabdomyolysis

Get the details on rhabdomyolysis.

Hypokalemia

In hypokalemia, the patient's blood level of potassium is low. This is one of the things that can lead to rhabdomyolysis.

Symptoms

In many cases, if the hypokalemia is mild, it does not lead to any symptoms. However, it might cause the blood pressure to be slightly raised. Additionally, in some circumstances, it also leads to arrhythmias. If the situation is more moderate in nature, then additional symptoms can show up, especially those related to the muscles. For instance, they may be affected by pain, cramping, and weakness. The patient can also be constipated at this point. If the hypokalemia is severe, then further symptoms may be noted. It is at severely low levels of potassium where rhabdomyolysis has been noted as developing.

Causes

Many medical situations can lead to the development of hypokalemia. Of course, ingesting too little potassium is a possibility -- yet this by itself does not frequently lead to the situation at hand. If it is coupled with a particularly great loss of potassium, such as via fluid, then hypokalemia may result. Fluid loss by itself can be enough to lead to the situation.

There are various situations in which potassium can be lost through the urine, leading to hypokalemia. Particular medications may lead to this issue. Another example of urinary loss of this mineral is when it occurs in Conn's syndrome.


Diagnosis and treatment

If you suspect a case of hypokalemia, then talk with a medical doctor or other such qualified person for details related to diagnosis and treatment. The details shown on this website are not professional in nature and are not intended to be used for things such as diagnosis or treatment. This information is not meant to be a substitute for what you get from a doctor.

What the doctor prescribes as a method of treatment for the condition may be different due to various factors. For one, the severity of the hypokalemia is taken into consideration. If the situation is merely mild, then the physician might prescribe certain supplements or foods rich in potassium. Where the case is more severe, an IV may be necessary.

Treatment is also aimed at whatever the underlying cause of the low potassium level is. For instance, the person might have modifications to his diet. If diarrhea is leading to a loss of fluid (and through that, potassium) then treatment for that may be prescribed. These are just some examples.

More details on rhabdomyolysis

You can read further about rhabdomyolysis in general, or about additional causes that can lead to it.