How are the causes of hypokalemia (low potassium level) managed?

Updated: Dec 06, 2018
  • Author: Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Determine the underlying cause of the patient’s hypokalemia to treat the condition and prevent further episodes. Again, history and physical examination findings clarify the cause in the vast majority of cases. Look for clues to the etiology (see Presentation and Workup). Inadequate intake as a cause of hypokalemia generally indicates abuse by self or others. Consider psychiatric evaluation for suspected alcoholism or an eating disorder. Consider referral to abuse authorities if neglect (particularly in the case of an elderly person) or abuse is suspected.


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