How can I tell if I need more potassium?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

The only way to know for sure whether you need more potassium is to get a blood test.

Low potassium levels are associated with the following symptoms:

  • muscle weakness
  • excess tiredness or fatigue
  • spasms in the muscles
  • changes in your heart rate or heartbeat pattern, also known as your heart rhythm
  • constipation.

If you are experiencing any or all of these, talk to your doctor.

You may need more potassium if your current levels are too low. You need a normal amount in your body so your nerves and muscles work properly. If your potassium is low, you may have symptoms such as weakness, muscle cramps, abnormal heart beat or constipation. Your doctor will need to run a blood test to confirm your potassium levels.

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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.