What’s Behind Low Potassium? 9 Common Causes Explained!

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Common Causes Of Low Potassium Levels

Potassium is a very important mineral that you can take from foods and supplements to help the body to function more efficiently. Maintaining a balanced potassium level in the body is crucial for overall health. The condition where the levels of potassium in the body are lower than the normal range is known as hypokalemia. We will explore the common causes of low potassium levels in the body so that you can make necessary changes in your lifestyle choices to avoid this condition.

What Are The Consequences Of Having Low Levels Of Potassium In The Body?

Balanced levels of potassium in the body are beneficial for muscle health, heart health, efficient nerve functioning, and maintaining balanced levels of fluid in the body. When you are dealing with low potassium levels or hypokalemia, you may experience muscle weakness, fatigue, constipation, and irregular heartbeats. In severe cases, low potassium levels in the body can cause paralysis, which can lead to death as well.

Common Causes Of Low Potassium Levels In The Body

Some Common Causes Of Low Potassium Levels In The Body

1. It Can Happen When You Are Suffering From Diarrhea

If you are suffering from diarrhea, then you are at risk of losing potassium minerals from your body through the gastrointestinal tract. Children are at higher risk of decreasing their potassium levels when they are suffering from diarrhea.

2. Certain Kidney Diseases Can Lead To Low Potassium Levels

The kidney plays a crucial role in retaining and excreting potassium from the body, and when you suffer from certain kidney diseases, the function of the kidney does not remain efficient. Bartter syndrome is a type of kidney disease that can cause low potassium levels in the body.

3. Certain Medicines Can Cause Low Potassium Levels

There are certain medicines, like diuretics, that are used to prevent the pile-up of water in the body’s organs and help them to work efficiently. But, during the process, the flow of potassium through urination increases, resulting in the deficiency of potassium in the body. 

4. Lack Of Folic Acid In A Body

Folic acid is an important element for the human body because it helps in maintaining the RBC (Red Blood Cells), and deficiency of the same results in two diseases, i.e., Anemia and Hypokalemia.  So, you must consume Vitamin B to avoid the flow of potassium in your body.

5. Frequent Vomiting Can Be A Sign Of Low Potassium Levels

If you are dealing with frequent vomiting, then it can be a sign of low potassium levels or hypokalemia. Vomiting can occur due to many reasons, like food allergies and underlying health conditions. You should know that when you excrete potassium due to vomiting, you are at risk of low potassium levels.

6. Intense Workouts And Sweating Can Play A Role In Low Potassium Levels

Excess fluid loss from the body can be harmful and can cause low potassium levels. When you get involved in intense workouts, you sweat a lot, and due to this, potassium gets excreted from the body. Other activities that cause excessive sweating can also lead to low potassium levels.

7. Low Levels Of Magnesium Can Also Cause Potassium Deficiency

Magnesium plays an important role in regulating potassium in the body, along with maintaining heart, kidney, and muscle health. Magnesium deficiency can lead to low potassium levels as well, and therefore, you need to maintain a balanced level of both minerals in the body.

8. Eating Disorders Like Bulimia Can Be One Of The Reasons

If you are suffering from eating disorders like bulimia, then it can cause vomiting and other digestive issues, which can lead to low potassium issues. You may have to take water pills to manage your condition, which can also lead to hypokalemia.

9. Low Potassium Intake Through Diet

If you take low potassium through your diet, then you can have low potassium levels. It happens rarely because potassium is present in many types of foods like potatoes, tomatoes, beans, chicken, yogurt, bananas, etc. You should include these foods in your diet to increase potassium intake and overcome low potassium levels.


Potassium is a very important mineral to maintain our overall health, but maintaining a balanced potassium level is crucial. We have explained some reasons that can lead to low potassium levels. So, improve your lifestyle choices to prevent hypokalemia and consult your doctor for treatment if you are already dealing with low potassium levels.

William John, the chief editor of The Cropsite, is a man with expertise in general medicine who is enthusiastic about helping people from all corners of the world through his content writing. William John covers all the things related to general medicine and is a person who can be described as a walking encyclopedia of general health. His years of knowledge of general medicine have made him a proficient person who is skilled in understanding all aspects of a person’s physical health. With this decade of experience in general medicine, William John greatly contributes to creating content such as articles and product reviews that each reader of The CropSite can depend on for being authentic and backed by research.

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