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Dementia – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

old man

Dementia is a general term to describe a decrease in mental ability. This disorder is characterized by a decrease in memory or a condition in which a person has difficulty remembering something from his memory .

People with dementia will generally experience depression, mood swings and behavior, difficulty socializing, until hallucinating. Patients are unable to live independently and need the support of others. Keep in mind that not everyone who experiences memory loss or decreased brain function can be associated with dementia.

Symptoms of dementia

The symptoms of dementia can vary greatly, at least two of the following mental core functions must be significantly impaired so that a person can be considered affected by dementia:

  • Memory / memory
  • Communication and language
  • The ability to focus and pay attention
  • Reasoning and consideration
  • Visual perception

Dementia is often mistaken for being called senile / memory loss because many people consider this to be a normal part of the aging process. Many dementias are progressive, meaning symptoms begin to appear slowly and gradually get worse.

If you or a loved one is having difficulties in memory / memory or other changes in thinking ability, don’t ignore them. Check with your doctor immediately to determine the cause.

Professional evaluation can detect treatable conditions. If symptoms lead to dementia, early diagnosis allows one to get the maximum benefit from available treatments.

Causes of Dementia

Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells. This damage disrupts the ability of brain cells to communicate with each other. When brain cells cannot communicate normally, brain functions such as thinking, behaving and regulating feelings can be affected.

The brain has many different areas, each responsible for different functions (for example, memory, consideration and movement). When cells in a particular area are damaged, the area cannot perform its function normally.

One type of dementia associated with brain cell damage is Alzheimer’s. When certain proteins in brain cells increase, it makes the brain cells difficult to stay healthy and communicate with each other.

The brain region called the hippocampus is the center of learning and memory in the brain, and brain cells in this area were the first to experience damage. That’s why memory loss is one of the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Meanwhile, memory problems caused by the following conditions can improve when this condition is treated or treated:

  • Depression
  • Drug side effects
  • Excess alcohol use
  • Thyroid problem
  • Vitamin deficiency

Diagnosis of Dementia

Doctors diagnose Alzheimer’s and types of dementia based on medical history, physical examination, laboratory tests, and characteristic changes in thinking, basic daily activities and behaviors associated with types of dementia.

Doctors can determine that a person has dementia, but it is difficult to determine precisely the type of dementia because of the symptoms and changes in the brain from different dementia. In some cases, your doctor may diagnose dementia and not determine the type. To get the diagnosis right you can visit a neurologist.

Dementia Treatment

Treatment of dementia depends on the cause. In progressive cases, including Alzheimer’s disease, there is no cure and no treatment that slows or stops its development.

But there are temporary drug treatments that can improve symptoms. The same drug used to treat Alzheimer’s is one drug that is sometimes prescribed to help other types of dementia. In addition, non-drug therapy can also alleviate some of the symptoms of dementia.

Some risk factors for dementia, such as age and genetics cannot be changed. But researchers continue to explore the impact of other risk factors on brain health and prevention of dementia. Some of the most active things from research in risk reduction and prevention include cardiovascular factors, physical fitness, and diet.

  • Cardiovascular risk factors: Changes in blood vessels in the brain associated with vascular dementia. Vascular dementia often presents with changes caused by other types of dementia. These changes can interact to cause a faster decline or make the disorder worse. You can help protect your brain with several similar strategies to protect the heart, such as: not smoking, maintaining blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar within the recommended limits and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Physical exercise: Regular physical exercise can help reduce the risk of several types of dementia. Evidence shows that exercise can directly benefit brain cells by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
  • Diet: What you eat can have an impact on brain health through heart health. Evidence Research shows that a heart-healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, can also help protect the brain. The Mediterranean diet includes eating relatively little red meat and multiplying grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, shellfish, nuts, olive oil and other healthy fats.

Is that a hematocrit? This Means When Low or High!

man on lab

Every human being must have a hematocrit. Hematocrit is expressed in percentage form. There is a way to find out hematocrit levels. Hematocrit levels that are too low or too high can indicate a problem in the body.

Still want to know more details about hematocrit? Read more to find out things about hematocrit. Know the definition of hematocrit, hematocrit test, how to measure hematocrit, normal hematocrit levels, if hematocrit is low, if hematocrit is high, and how to overcome hematocrit levels is not normal.

What is a hematocrit?

Hematocrit is the ratio of the number of red blood cells to the total blood volume. So, it can also be said that the hematocrit is the percentage of red blood cells in the blood. That way, hematocrit levels are expressed in percentage form.

For example, a 30% hematocrit level means that there are 30 mL of red blood cells in 100 mL of blood. Figures on hematocrit levels have an important meaning that shows your health condition. Hematocrit levels can be seen by doing a hematocrit blood test or it can also be through a routine blood test or complete ( Complete Blood Count ).

What is a hematocrit blood test?

A hematocrit blood test is a test performed to measure the percentage of red blood cells in the blood. Actually, a hematocrit blood test is part of a complete blood test or routine hematology ( Complete Blood Count ).

Most of these complete or routine blood tests are to measure the concentration of blood cells, namely red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The results of a routine blood test that shows the concentration of red blood cells is a hematocrit blood test.

What are the benefits of a hematocrit blood test?

A hematocrit blood test has several benefits. The benefits of a hematocrit blood test can help doctors diagnose medical problems and determine how well your body is. Usually a hematocrit blood test is performed to test for anemia, leukemia and malnutrition.

Side effects of hematocrit blood tests

Does the hematocrit blood test have side effects? Maybe this question crossed your mind. A hematocrit blood test does not have dangerous side effects if according to the procedure. Side effects of a hematocrit blood test are only temporary, such as slight bleeding at the time the blood is to be taken.

Although it does not have harmful and long-term side effects, you still need to be vigilant. If you have an area where blood is swollen or bleeding doesn’t stop within a few minutes after being pressed, then immediately tell your doctor to get immediate treatment.

How to measure hematocrit?

It has been explained that a hematocrit blood test is a test to measure hematocrit. On routine blood tests, hematocrit is also measured with other blood cells. Then, how to measure hematocrit? Certainly the hematocrit is measured through a blood sample taken using two methods.

1. Using an automatic machine

Blood samples taken can be measured using an automatic machine. The machine is a machine that is also used to measure blood in addition to a hematocrit. In these machines, hematocrit is measured by measuring the amount of hemoglobin and the average number of red blood cells.

2. Using a centrifuge

In addition to using automatic machines, hematocrit can also be measured using the manual method. This manual method uses a tool that is a centrifuge. A small blood sample of about 0.05-0.1 mL is placed in a thin capillary tube.

The tube is centrifuged for several minutes. Red blood cells will gather below to a small area consisting of white blood cells and then serum. How to measure hematocrit levels is to divide the height of the red blood cells with the total height of the liquid in the capillary tube.

Normal hematocrit level

Normal hematocrit levels are not hit flat for everyone. The normal range of hematocrit is influenced by several factors. Factors that affect normal hematocrit levels include age and sex, pregnancy, height of residence, and hematocrit test methods.

The following are normal hematocrit levels for several categories:

  • Newborn: around 55% – 68%
  • Babies aged 1-4 weeks: around 47% – 65%
  • Babies aged 1-2 months: around 37% – 49%
  • Infants aged 3-11 months: around 30% – 36%
  • Babies aged 1-9 years: around 29% – 41%
  • Children aged 10 years and over: around 36% – 40%
  • Adult male: around 38.8% – 50%
  • Mature women: around 34.9% – 44.5%
  • Adult pregnant women:
    • around 30% – 34% for the lower limit
    • around 46% for the upper limit
  • Population at altitude:
    • around 45% – 61% for men
    • around 41% – 56% for women

If hematocrit levels are low

If someone has a low hematocrit level, it means that the percentage of red blood cells is at the lower limit of normal hematocrit levels for the same category. Low hematocrit conditions can be referred to as anemia.

There are several reasons that cause low hematocrit levels. Some causes of low hematocrit levels include boils, injuries, bleeding, surgery, illness, overhydration, malnutrition, bone marrow problems, and abnormal hemoglobin.

That is the reason why the hematocrit level becomes low or is at the lower limit. In addition to causes, you must also be curious to find out indications when hematocrit levels are low. It has been mentioned earlier that abnormal hematocrit levels including low hematocrit levels can indicate a problem in the body.

The following are indications of low hematocrit levels, namely:

  • kidney failure
  • hemolytic anemia
  • leukemia
  • lymphoma
  • sickle cell anemia
  • chronic inflammatory disease
  • internal bleeding
  • bone marrow disease
  • lack of some nutrients

If hematocrit levels are high

In addition to low hematocrit levels, abnormal hematocrit levels are also characterized by high hematocrit levels. High hematocrit levels mean that the percentage of red blood cells is at the upper limit of normal hematocrit levels in the same group.

High levels of chemotherapy indicate an abnormal increase in the number of red blood cells. Usually, people who live in high places have high hematocrit levels too. So is the case with chronic smokers.

There are several other things that cause high hematocrit levels. Some causes of increased hematocrit levels are genetic, dehydration, tumors, lung disease, bone marrow disorders, and abuse of dopping drugs .

Not only low hematocrit levels indicate a problem. High hematocrit levels also indicate several problems. The following are some of the problems of high hematocrit levels:

  • dehydration
  • kidney tumors
  • lung disease
  • congenital heart disease

How to deal with abnormal hematocrit?

Can low or high hematocrit levels be treated? The answer is yes. Abnormal hematocrit levels can be cured but have different ways depending on the causes that make hematocrit levels abnormal.

Patients with low hematocrit levels can be treated with iron parenteral fluid, transfusion, and drugs to stimulate the production of red blood cells. In patients with high hematocrit levels can be treated by blood loss. This method is usually due to polycythemia rubra vera.

However, at hematocrit levels that are only slightly low or slightly high do not need to be treated either by using drugs or by procedures. An abnormal hematocrit level will be monitored by a doctor. Monitoring hematocrit levels is by doing a hematocrit blood test or it can also be with a routine blood test.

Migraine – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

headache

Migraine is a headache that causes a throbbing sensation on one side of the head. Headaches that are felt during migraines also vary, often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.

Migraine is an intense headache, sometimes weakening a person’s physical condition. The most common types of migraines are those who have aura (classic migraine) and migraine without aura (general migraine).

Migraine can be started in childhood or it may not occur until early adulthood. Women are three times more likely to experience migraines than men. Family history is one of the most common risk factors for migraines.

Causes of Migraine

What causes migraines? Researchers have not identified the exact cause for migraines. However, researchers have found several factors that can trigger this condition. This includes changes in brain chemistry, such as decreased serotonin levels.

The factors that can trigger migraines include:

  • Bright light
  • Extreme weather such as very hot or very cold
  • Changes in air pressure
  • Hormonal changes, such as estrogen fluctuations during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause for women
  • Drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks
  • Foods such as cheese, salty foods, or processed foods
  • Eating additional foods, such as aspartame (artificial sugar) or monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Eat foods that have tyramine additives, which are found in soy products, fava beans, hard sausages, smoked fish, cheese, and Chianti wine
  • Excessive stress
  • Loud noise
  • Physical activity
  • Eat late
  • Lack of sleep
  • Consumption of certain drugs, such as oral contraceptives or nitroglycerin
  • Inhale unusual odors

If you have a migraine, your doctor may recommend making a journal that contains daily activities. The journal contains daily activities, what foods are eaten, and what drugs are consumed before migraines occur so that they can help identify triggers.

Symptoms of migraine

What are the symptoms and phases of migraine? Symptoms of migraine can begin 1-2 days before the headache itself. This is known as the stage of prodormal migraine. These symptoms include:

  • Food cravings
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Yawning often
  • Hyperactive
  • Irritability
  • Stiff neck

Some people may also experience aura after the prodromal stage. The aura can be visual disturbances such as seeing flashes of light, motor such as twitching in some parts of the body and speech disorders such as difficulty speaking clearly. Following are the forms of aura in migraine:

  • Difficulty speaking clearly
  • Feeling tingling in the arms and legs
  • See flashes of light
  • Seeing a form of shadow that doesn’t actually exist
  • Temporary visual loss

The next stage is known as the attack phase. This is the most acute or severe phase when the actual migraine occurs. Symptoms of an attack phase can last from 4 hours to 3 days. Symptoms of migraine can vary from person to person. Some symptoms may include:

  • Feel dizzy or faint
  • Increased sensitivity to light and sound
  • Nausea
  • Gag
  • Pain on one side of the head

After the attack phase, a person will experience a phase of postdrome. During this last phase, a person will often experience changes in mood and feelings, which can range from feeling happy and very happy, to feeling very tired and apathetic.

Migraine Risk and Complications

What are the risks associated with migraines? Migraine headaches can cause risks and complications, both from the headaches themselves and from medications given to help relieve migraine symptoms.

Sometimes migraine headaches can last a long time, occur anywhere from 3-15 days or more in a month. Because headaches affect the ability to think clearly, sufferers may experience difficulties at school or at work.

Consumption of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as paracetamol in high doses or for a long period of time can cause erosion of the stomach wall and gastric bleeding. Taking drugs for more than 10 days a month for more than three months can cause excessive headaches.

Medications prescribed for migraine are drugs that stimulate serotonin increase. In the long run, consumption of this drug also results in a side effect known as serotonin syndrome. These medicines include:

  • Duloxetine
  • Fluoxetine
  • Paroxetine
  • Sertraline
  • Sumatriptan
  • Venlafaxine
  • Zolmitriptan

Too much serotonin can cause hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, agitation, diarrhea, and a fast heartbeat. In some cases, this condition can be life threatening. As usual, make sure to take this medicine according to a doctor’s prescription.

Other steps you can take at home to reduce migraine pain include:

  • Lie in a quiet place, dark room
  • Massaging the scalp
  • Place a cold cloth over the forehead or behind the neck
  • Many prevention techniques, such as avoiding headaches if you really know what the trigger is

Treating Migraine

How to treat migraine? There is currently no single drug for migraine. Treatment is intended to prevent and reduce symptoms that occur.

Lifestyle changes that might help reduce migraine frequency include:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Reduce stress
  • Drink lots of water
  • Avoid certain foods
  • Regular physical exercise

Some people also find that special diets can help, such as gluten-free.

Consider seeking further treatment if the changes above do not relieve symptoms or frequency of migraines. Treatment of migraine symptoms focuses on avoiding triggers, controlling symptoms, and taking medication.

Uretritis – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

toilets

Uretritis is a swelling of the urethra. The urethra is a tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. Pain when urinating is the main symptom of urethritis.

Urethritis is usually caused by infection by bacteria. The condition of urethritis is usually cured with antibiotics. Uretritis is not the same as urinary tract infection (UTI). Uretritis is inflammation of the urethra, while UTI is a urinary tract infection.

Both of these diseases may have the same symptoms, but require different treatment methods depending on the cause of urethritis.

Urethritis can affect people of all ages. Both men and women can develop these conditions. However, women have a greater chance of developing conditions than men.

This is due to a portion of the male urethra which is the length of the penis, much longer than a woman’s. A woman’s urethra is usually one and a half inches long, which makes it easier for bacteria to enter the urethra.

Causes of urethritis

Most episodes of urethritis are caused by infection by bacteria that enter the urethra from the skin around the urethral opening. Bacteria that commonly cause urethritis include:

  • E. Coli and other bacteria present in feces.
  • Gonococcus , which is sexually transmitted and causes gonorrhea.
  • Chlamydia trachomatis , which is sexually transmitted and causes chlamydia.
  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2) can also cause urethritis.
  • Trichomonas is another cause of urethritis, a single-celled organism that is sexually transmitted.

Sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia are usually confined to the urethra, and can also extend to the female reproductive organs, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

In men, gonorrhea and chlamydia sometimes cause epididymitis, epididymal infection, tubes on the outside of the testes. Both PID and epididymitis can cause infertility.

Urethritis Types

There are various types of urethritis classified according to the causes of inflammation. They are gonococcal urethritis and nongonococcal urethritis.

Gonococcal urethritis is caused by the same bacteria that causes gonorrhea sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This type accounts for 20 percent of cases of urethritis.

While nongonococcal urethritis is urethritis caused by other infections that are not gonorrhea. Chlamydia is a common cause of nongonococcal urethritis, but can also be caused by other sexually transmitted infections.

These causes can include injury, such as from a catheter or other types of genital trauma. While many patients have one type of urethritis or another, it may have different causes of urethritis at once. This is especially true for women.

Urethritis symptoms

The main symptom of urethral inflammation from urethritis is pain when urinating (dysuria). In addition to illness, urethritis symptoms include:

  • Feeling often or urgently to urinate.
  • Difficulty starting urinating.
  • Causes itching, pain, or discomfort when someone does not urinate.
  • Pain during sex.
  • Discharge (fluid) from the urethral or vaginal opening.
  • In men, blood in semen or urine.

Symptoms in men

Men with urethritis may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Burning sensation when urinating.
  • Itching or burning near the opening of the penis.
  • Blood in semen or urine.

Symptoms in women

Some symptoms of urethritis in women include:

  • More often want to urinate.
  • Discomfort when urinating.
  • Burn or irritation at the opening of the urethra.
  • Fluid discharge from the vagina can also present with urinary symptoms.

People who suffer from urethritis may also not have real symptoms. This is especially true for women. In men, symptoms may not be obvious if urethritis develops as a result of chlamydia or sometimes trichomoniasis infection.

For this reason, it is important to undergo testing if you may have been infected with a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Urethritis diagnosis

You may get a diagnosis of urethritis when the doctor records your medical history and asks for your symptoms. If you experience painful urination, your doctor may suspect an infection. He may immediately treat it with antibiotics while waiting for the test results.

Tests can help ensure a diagnosis of urethritis and its causes. Urethritis tests can include:

  • Physical examination, including the genitals, stomach and rectum.
  • Urine tests for gonorrhea, chlamydia, or other bacteria.
  • Check any discharge under a microscope.
  • Blood tests are often not needed for the diagnosis of urethritis. But blood tests can be done in certain situations.

Uretritis Treatment

One of the urethritis drugs that you can use is antibiotics. Antibiotics successfully cure bacterial urethritis. Many different antibiotics can treat urethritis. Some of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics include:

  • Adoxa, doxycycline (Vibramycin), Monodox, Oracea.
  • Azithromycin (Zmax), Zithromax.
  • Ceftriaxone (Rocephin).

Meanwhile, urethritis drugs caused by trichomonas infection (called trichomoniasis) are usually treated with an antibiotic called metronidazole ( Flagyl ).

Tinidazole ( Tindamax ) is another antibiotic that can treat trichomoniasis. Your sexual partner must also be treated to prevent reinfection. It is important to be retested after three months to make sure the infection is completely clean, including your sexual partner.

Uretritis because the herpes simplex virus can be treated with:

  • Acyclovir (Zovirax).
  • Famciclovir (Famvir).
  • Valacyclovir (Valtrex).

Often, determining what organism causes urethritis cannot be identified with certainty. In this situation, your doctor may prescribe one or more antibiotics that tend to cure infections that may be present.

Hypokalemia – Definition and Causes

tired

Hypokalemia is a condition where the level of potassium in the body is very low, below 3.5 mEq / L. Potassium or potassium are minerals in the body. Nearly 98 percent of potassium is found in cells. Small changes in potassium levels outside the cell can have severe effects on the heart, nerves and muscles.

Potassium is important to maintain some body functions:

  • Muscles need potassium to contract
  • The heart muscle needs potassium to beat properly and regulate blood pressure.

The kidneys are the main organs that control potassium balance by removing excess potassium into the urine.

If potassium levels are low (hypokalemia), you can feel weak because the cellular process is disrupted.

  • The normal potassium level is 3.5-5.0 mEq / L (mEq / L for milliequivalents per liter of blood and this is the unit size used to evaluate electrolyte levels). Low potassium is defined as potassium levels below 3.5 mEq / L.
  • Nearly one in five people hospitalized have low potassium levels.
  • People with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, patients with AIDS, alcoholics, and those undergoing bariatric surgery have a higher incidence of hypokalemia than others.

Causes of Low Potassium

Low potassium can occur for various reasons. The use of diuretics, diarrhea , and the use of chronic laxatives are the most common causes of low potassium levels.

Diseases and other drugs can also reduce potassium levels. Women and Afro-American races are at high risk of developing hypokalemia.

Other causes of hypokalemia include:

Kidney damage:

  • Certain kidney disorders such as renal tubular acidosis, for example, chronic renal failure and acute renal failure
  • Magnesium deficiency
  • Leukemia
  • Cushing’s disease (and other adrenal disorders)

Potassium loss through the stomach and intestines:

  • Gag
  • excessive use of enemas or laxatives
  • Diarrhea
  • After ileostomy surgery

Drug effects:

  • Water pills (diuretics)
  • Medications used for asthma or emphysema (beta-adrenergic agonist drugs such as bronchodilators, steroids, or theophylline)
  • Aminoglycosides (a type of antibiotics)

Shifting potassium into and out of cells decreases potassium concentration in the blood:

  • Use of insulin
  • Certain metabolic conditions (such as alkalosis)

Reduce food intake or malnutrition:

  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Alcoholism

Usually low potassium symptoms are mild. Sometimes low potassium effects can be unrecognized because they are almost invisible. There may be more than one symptom involving the gastrointestinal (GI), kidney, muscle, heart, and nerve tracts:

  • Weakness, fatigue, or cramping in the muscles of the arms or legs, sometimes severe enough to cause an inability to move the arms or legs due to weakness (similar to paralysis)
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps and bloating
  • Constipation
  • Palpitations (feeling your heart beating irregularly)
  • Frequent urination or feeling thirsty most of the time
  • Fainting from low blood pressure
  • Abnormal psychological behavior: depression, psychosis, delirium, confusion, or hallucinations.

Low Potassium Diagnosis

Sometimes the cause of low potassium is unclear. Your doctor can perform certain tests to rule out other conditions such as renal tubular acidosis, Cushing’s syndrome , and hypokalemia.

  • If electrolyte imbalance is suspected, a blood test will be performed to check potassium levels, kidney function (BUN and creatinine), glucose, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus if there is a suspected electrolyte imbalance
  • Because low potassium is known to affect heart rhythms ( arrhythmias ), doctors can recommend checking digoxin levels ( Lanoxin ) if patients use digitalis drugs
  • An antrocardiogram (ECG) or cardiac tracing is performed to detect electrical changes in the heart and some types of irregular heart rhythms that may be caused by low potassium.

Hypokalemia Medical Treatment

If you experience symptoms of low potassium, contact your doctor. If you have muscle cramps, weakness, palpitations, or feel faint and you use diuretics, contact your health professional or go to an emergency care facility or emergency department immediately.

Without symptoms, you will not know you have low potassium levels until you have a routine blood test or an electrocardiogram (ECG, ECG).

Hypokalemia Treatment at Home

If you monitor low potassium levels, avoid long and heavy physical activity because potassium loss occurs with sweating.

If dietary supplements, herbal supplements, diuretics (water pills), or laxatives cause low potassium symptoms, avoid taking this product and consult a doctor. Never stop taking prescription drugs without first consulting your doctor.

Potassium replacement therapy will be directed by the type and severity of the patient’s symptoms. Treatment begins after laboratory tests confirm the diagnosis. People who are suspected of having very low potassium need to have a heart monitor and start infusion.

Usually, those with low potassium levels who are still mild or moderate (2.5-3.5 mEq / L), have no symptoms, or who only have minor complaints only need to be treated with potassium given in the form of pills or liquids. This is preferred because it is easy to give, safe, inexpensive, and easily absorbed from the digestive tract. Some preparations, or doses that are too high, can irritate the stomach and cause vomiting.

If cardiac arrhythmias or symptoms are significant or if potassium levels are less than 2.5 mEq / L, IV potassium (intravenously, via an IV line) must be given. In this situation, the patient needs to be observed in the emergency department. Changing potassium takes several hours because it must be given very slowly intravenously to avoid serious heart problems and avoid irritating blood vessels where the infusion is installed.

Treatment of Hypokalemia

For those with very low potassium, potassium is needed through infusion and potassium taken.

WARNING:

  • If potassium is used with drugs such as ACE inhibitors, there is a risk of elevating potassium levels
  • Potassium-saving diuretics and salts-substitutes that contain potassium can also cause high potassium levels.

Low potassium follow-up
Usually doctors recommend certain doses for potassium supplementation and regulate blood levels taking 2-3 days later.

Doctors may consider switching to potassium-saving diuretics (water pills) if patients need to continue taking diuretics because of other health conditions.

Prevention of Hypokalemia

Changes in diet may be recommended if patients tend to experience low potassium levels. Examples of high potassium foods include:

  • Banana
  • Tomato
  • Orange

Do not use diuretics too often (water pills), and never use other people’s drugs. If the person is on certain medications, ask the doctor how often electrolyte levels need to be checked.

Hypokalemia Prognosis

Low potassium conditions can be treated. Reasons for low potassium must be sought, or most likely will be repeated. With the right therapy, there is usually no further problem.