Low potassium and flare ups in the chest

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so far this year I have had 2 flare ups in my chest wall which feels like I'm having a heart attack and sent me to the ER both times but this last time was bad as I had low potassium it made my anxiety real bad, hard to breath and overall chest tightness and the fatigue was crazy my potassium seems to be low every time they have checked on it . I try to eat foods rich with potassium but my appetite is not so there. does anybody else experience these problems with RA?

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  • Posted

    Mine isnt necessarily RA related but I have congestive heart failure which is when my potassium issues came into play. Between my heart meds as well as constant sweating from pain meds, I am always dehydrated. Dehydration causes electrolyte problems, hence the low potassium. What have your potassium levels been? I now know when my potassium is low so i can usually fix it myself so i can avoid the ER. I am sure you have experienced the joy of IV potassium replacement so its something i try to avoid at all costs. Depending on how low it goes, Ive had some serious symptoms from it. At one point i had full body paralysis which i think i was at 2.0 potassium level. MY heart rate also shoots up so that may be where your anxiety is stemming from. It causes such weird sensations that anxiety is not a surprise at all and it happens to me also. I have potassium tablets and powder to add to liquid so i can regulate it on my own for the most part. I highly suggest you increase your water intake. Are you on any diuretics for anything that could be causing more fluid loss?

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    • Posted

      my potassium only gets slightly low but I still feel the effects from it, they give me potassium pills to up it, I couldn't imagine it at 2.0 probably feels like your dying. I did just have blood work, A high sensitivity crp done and my levels where at 8.7 which puts me at high risk for cardiovascular disease . I also think all the meds I am currently on for my RA and blood pressure plays a big role in potassium loss as I am on a water pill when my blood pressure meds and I experience diarrhea from all the rheumatoid arthritis medication on the days it doesn't agree with me.

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    • Posted

      It is the water pill then that is dropping your potassium. Thats extremely common. I am on Lasix for heart failure but it has to be combined with potassium pills or it gets crazy low. However, I know what it feels like as its starting to drop so i can usually fix it myself now. Keep up with the pills and eat foods rich in potassium and you should be good. Especially if its not dropping that low. I have some GI diseases also so the potassium pills can cause me to have nausea and vomiting depending how they are being maintained at the time. Ive had the best luck with the powder version but its not always available. There have been many times I have needed IV replacement therapy and its quite awful so avoid it if you can by taking the pills. It is extremely painful and burns like hell over 4 hours each time. I am a tough cookie but even that gets to me lol.

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