When are activity restrictions indicated in the management of hypokalemia (low potassium level)?

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

Unless the patient has severe underlying cardiac disease, no activity restrictions are necessary in most cases. Instruct patients to discontinue exercise if muscle pain or cramps develop, because this may herald hypokalemia significant enough to produce rhabdomyolysis. Patients with hypokalemic periodic paralysis may need to modify exercise regimens to avoid periods of strenuous exercise.

Patients at risk for hypokalemia from sweat losses should have adequate potassium and fluid available during activities likely to result in significant sweating and should be given anticipatory guidance regarding symptoms of hypokalemia.


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