In the majority of cases, the prognosis of hypokalemia is benign. As soon as the potassium concentration in the plasma is restored, and the problem which caused it corrected, the hypokalemia usually does not recur and rarely there are consequences related to it. In some hormonal conditions such as primary hyperaldosteronism (PH), the plasma potassium will be persistently low and difficult to treat. The correct diagnosis has to be made so that the right choice of treatment is selected. If the PH is secondary to an adrenal gland tumor, surgery is indicated. On the other hand, if the case of PH is bilateral adrenal increased size, the treatment is with medications. Low potassium in the plasma can cause life threatening arrhythmias and needs to be avoided in order to reduce the changes of one of them causing a cardiac arrest.
If the correction of hypokalemia is not fast enough, for example, in cases of severe refeeding syndrome1, there are the possibilities of dangerous arrhythmias or sudden cardiac arrest.
- Hisham Mehanna, Jamil Moledina and Jane Travis, “Refeeding syndrome: what it is, and how to prevent and treat it,” British Medical Journal 336, no. 7635 (2008): 1495, https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a301.
Any information or statement present in this post does not replace your health care provider’s advice or treatment. This blog does not provide medical advice, prescribe medications or therapies, or diagnose conditions, it only expresses an opinion. If you have a health-related question or condition, confer with your healthcare provider.
- In order to quote from this article please use the following (Chicago style):
Marco A. Ramos, “Hypokalemia for Everyone. #8. Prognosis of Hypokalemia,” SMO Blog (blog), July 26, 2019, https://steemit.com/health/@secondmedicalop/hypokalemia-for-everyone-8-prognosis-of-hypokalemia
Read the other sections of this series:
What Causes Hypokalemia? A
What Causes Hypokalemia? B
What Causes Hypokalemia? C
How Common is Hypokalemia?
What Happens When Someone Has Hypokalemia?
Signs and Symptoms of Hypokalemia
Diagnosis and Tests Used in Hypokalemia
Treatment of Hypokalemia