Low potassium (hypokalemia) has many causes. The most common cause of low potassium is excessive potassium loss in urine or from the digestive tract. Only rarely is low potassium due to not getting enough potassium in your diet.

The most common cause of excessive potassium loss is the use of prescription diuretics — water or fluid pills. Causes of potassium loss leading to low potassium include:

  1. Chronic kidney disease
  2. Diabetic ketoacidosis
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Excessive sweating
  5. Excessive use of laxatives
  6. Prescription diuretic (water or fluid pills) use
  7. Primary aldosteronism
  8. Vomiting

Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Aug. 17, 2011