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Monday, February 28, 2011

Weakness can be hypokalemia in PKD

Last week I received a text from my cousin who also has PKD. She complained to feel weak and easily fatigued. She was tired physically and emotionally because of what she is feeling. I advised her to have a blood workup to include serum potassium.

Her serum creatinine was not that high and everything seem normal except for her serum potassium which was quite low along with her hemoglobin.

Weakness and fatigue are the most common symptoms of hypokalemia or low potassium but many PKD patients are unaware they may have these as manifestations of hypokalemia. Palpitations can accompany these symptoms (palpitations happened to me before when i had hypokalemia).

Well, PKD patients, in case you didn't know hypokalemia can be manifested as weakness, I am telling you now it can especially that the kidneys play a role in its excretion and acid-base balance is an important regulator. The key is to do regular monitoring of blood exam results including your potassium levels.

My cousin was already OK when I saw her this morning. She had been on oral potassium the past days and was smiling already. She also ate potassium-rich foods like banana. She is due for another doctor visit.

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