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What causes hypokalemia?

Hypokalemia is not usually caused by a diet deficient in potassium. Commonly, too much potassium is lost through urination or through the digestive system due to diuretics (water pills) that cause water containing potassium to be expelled in the urine; diarrhea or vomiting; overuse of laxatives; kidney disease; bulimia and other eating disorders; adrenal gland diseases such as Cushings syndrome; and some antibiotics. Hypokalemia can result in kidney damage if the body is deficient in potassium for a long period of time.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.