How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. SH Your Own Question

Dr. SH
Dr. SH, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 8753
Experience:  Doctor of Medicine
28323552
Type Your Medical Question Here...
Dr. SH is online now

Over the last few years, I have had several blood tests, and

Resolved Question:

Over the last few years, I have had several blood tests, and all of these recorded a serum potassium level around 3.9 (within the normal range of 3.5 - 5.0). I understand that, while this level is not problematic, a somewhat higher level is desirable.
I already eat what seems to be a good diet, with many fruits and vegetables. (I eat fish, but not meat.) My magnesium levels are consistently high, while my sodium levels vary within the normal range. I am an active person, and I work out intensely (endurance exercise) for an hour several times a week.
I do also seem to have a persistent tendency to get dehydrated, despite drinking over 2 litres of non-caffeinated fluid a day.
What could be causing this? Are there other things I can be doing to increase my potassium level and improve hydration?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. SH replied 2 years ago.
Dr. Shahzad MD :

Hi there. Thank you for your question. I will be helping you out with your queries

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Do you have any symptoms that would suggest a low potassium level?

Customer:

Yes, in the past few weeks I have had some muscle cramps during a hot weather period. Last Sunday I went to Accident and Emergency, as I felt faint and had spasms. I was told I was dehydrated, even though I do drink a lot of water.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Are you a heavy sweater?

Dr. Shahzad MD :

meaning do you sweat a lot

Customer:

I should add I have a pain condition, which recently got somewhat aggravated when I over-extended my spine on a foam roller in the gym. Th

Customer:

Yes, I am a heavy sweater.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

thats the main thing, since you are a heavy sweater you will have to remain continuously hydrated during exercise

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Some people sweat a lot and this is natural.

Customer:

I was going to say my symptoms appeared when my pain condition got aggravated, possibly due to nerve root irritation

Customer:

I think it is possible that I have indeed been underhydrated over weeks or months. My skin has become moister as I increased drink three days ago. But potassium test two days ago was 3.9.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Was it tender to touch?

Dr. Shahzad MD :

or is it still tender to touch?

Customer:

Sorry, i don't understand the question: what do you mean might be tender to touch?

Dr. Shahzad MD :

I mean is the painful area still tender to touch?

Dr. Shahzad MD :

when you press the area does the pain increase?

Customer:

I am having persistent level of muscle spasm now due to irritated spine, and indeed it can get worse if pressed, but it is not crampy pain anymore, after increased hydration.

Customer:

I noticed improvement in general pain after hydration. I feel like it might improve further if I got more potassium, as spasms might decrease.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

I think that you should just rest for a few days and it will improve.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

it may be a muscle pull.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

I personally do not think its a nerve pain.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Since you perspire a lot naturally, you have the tendency to dehydrate quickly.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

So you need to keep yourself well hydrated all the time particularly when you are exercising in a hot and humid environment.

Customer:

I think I do have nerve pain - it is a reaggravation of old pain. I will hydrate more, but how can I improve potassium further? Should I supplement?

Dr. Shahzad MD :

I think that you should eat more red meat.

Customer:

Why would red meat help? I thought this is good for iron. Any alternatives?

Dr. Shahzad MD :

You can read about the top ten potassium rich foods here.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

It includes cooked lean beef as well.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/vitamins-minerals/10-high-potassium-foods.html#b

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Which is what I was talking about.

Customer:

Thank you for your help.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

You are most welcome
Wish you all the best
Please do rate me for my services before you leave by clicking on one of the smilies below.
I hope I provided excellent services.
Goodbye :)

Dr. SH, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 8753
Experience: Doctor of Medicine
Dr. SH and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me FROM a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O.
< Previous | Next >
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me FROM a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Family Physician

    Family Physician

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    2418
    GP with over 27 years experience including emergency medicine
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FA/FamilyPhysician/2013-8-31_191624_JA550x500Photo.64x64.jpg Family Physician's Avatar

    Family Physician

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    2418
    GP with over 27 years experience including emergency medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DO/DoctorRich/2012-9-12_72454_Doctorweb.64x64.jpg Dr. Natasha's Avatar

    Dr. Natasha

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    7887
    American Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, Ivy League trained
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrK99/newpic2.64x64.jpg Dr. K.'s Avatar

    Dr. K.

    Board Certified MD

    Satisfied Customers:

    255
    Board certified with experience in primary care.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/agketch/2008-7-14_184046_drketchresized.jpg Dr. Ketch's Avatar

    Dr. Ketch

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    76
    Medical Degree, Former Assistant Professor at School of Medicine at Yale University
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/JACUSTOMERjtu60wne/2011-2-14_183449_passportphoto2.64x64.jpg docwithheart's Avatar

    docwithheart

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    0
    Board certified pediatrician, with special experience in general pediatrics, hospital pediatrics, and pediatric cardiology
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/drappapo/2013-8-16_22576_drdavid.64x64.jpg Dr. David's Avatar

    Dr. David

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    224
    Treat children/young adults, former chief resident, multiple publications
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TA/tazechip/2012-6-7_135230_drpic.64x64.png Dr. Chip's Avatar

    Dr. Chip

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    12373
    20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
 
 
 

Related Medical Questions