low potassium levels...

littlejulie Member Posts: 311
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hi everyone,
I not too concerned about this but I thought I would mention it b/c it can be beneficial to everyone.

My mother was going to start her 4th cycle of chemo pills (5fu) but it's going to be postponed one week b/c her potassium are too low. Her blood levels are ok though. Her dose will be reduced as well. Instead of 2000 mg it will be 1800 mg.

Has anyone ever experienced low potassium?


  • Yup, Bert did when he had severe bouts of diarrhea. The low levels made him feel way of kilter and of course, the diarrhea didn't help. They bounced right back up though once the diarrhea stopped.

  • jsabol
    jsabol Member Posts: 1,145 Member
    Hi Julie,
    Potassium levels can drop with bouts of diarrhea or vomiting or physical stress. I had very low potassium levels when I developed a clot near my port, but the levels did not return to normal without supplements.
    (By the way, in case your mom needs supplements, Klor-con supplements are smaller, coated, and much easier to swallow than other potassium pills I tried...most of them were like packed sand, horse pills, coated with grit that I could not get down half the time...and I NEVER have trouble swallowing pills.)
    Unfortunately, I continued to have difficulty maintaining my potassium levels for the remainder of my chemo and afterwards. At first they thought it was because my kidney levels were a little off, but now that that's gotten better, I am being worked up for "adrenal gland insufficiency", which may or may not be related to chemo, depending to whom I speak! Hope your mom's levels stay OK...I could have lived on cantalope this summer!!
    Hang in there, the other Judy
  • grandma047
    grandma047 Member Posts: 381
    Hi Julie, Congratulations on your engagement!!! Yes, I did have low potassium. I still do. I take potassium every day. It's been low, off and on, since I had surgery. Hope your mom is doning ok otherwise with her chemo. Keep us updated.
    Love and prayers, Judy(grandma047)
  • kerry
    kerry Member Posts: 1,313 Member

    My potassium levels were low for a while also and the doctor put me on pills. They are very large "horse" pills and not the most pleasant to take - but my potassium levels went back to normal soon and I quit the pills.

    Congratulations on your engagement.

  • steved
    steved Member Posts: 834 Member
    Haven't had it myself bt have been warned of it with the treatment. It is also more likely if you have an ileostomy (less so with a colostomy as potassium is mainly absorbed in the large bowel). Dietary potassium is found particularly in bananas which I don't like butI have also had sugggested sports energy drinks which have a lot of added salts like potassium.
    It is good they are keeping an eye on it as if really low it can make you feel really unwell and be dangerous to the heart. It is good they have got it early and are doing things about it.
    Best of luck and cograts on the engagement,