Please share Answers/ ideas. CFS? Epstein Barr? Low Potassium?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by 2bafriend, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. 2bafriend

    2bafriend New Member

    I have a friend who suffers with Fibro. She has had fibro for over 10 years, so obviously she knows what being tired and fatigued feels like and what is "normal" for her...

    The past month she has been VERY sleepy, exhausted, and able to sleep during the day...which in the past she has NEVER been able to do! She will literally go to lay down for a few minutes and be asleep within minutes. She has had days where she has slept all day, and still been able to sleep at night. She has had low potassium for about a year now. About 2 mths ago she took potassium supplements. Her potassium level was 3.0. She took 99MG 4 x a day for a month, they retested her levels and it only went up to 3.1

    She has been very concerned about the potassium. I went with her to her Dr. Appt today. She did tell the Dr. she wanted to get to the bottom of the low potassium. The Dr. thought maybe it was her water pill, but she has been taking 99mg of potassium 6x a day. The Dr. Said she was going to test her Iron, Potassium, and do an Epstein barr test for the chronic fatigue. She also gave her a Myers Cocktail.

    My questions: Do you guys think the Dr. is doing everything she can to help figure out what is wrong with her potassium. Her kidney functions are fine, the dr. immediately ruled that out a few visits ago.

    What can the Epstein barr test do? How will it help her? Will it tell her how fatigued she is? She has fibromyalgia, does the Epstein barr test show how sever that is? Has anyone else has hte Epstein barr tested and i guess i just want to understand what the POINT of this test is?

  2. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    The water pill could very well be the problem, even though she is taking potassium supplements, and if she is that low in potassium, she really should not be on a water pill (unless there is a really good reason for it, and actually low potassium can cause water retention, so she could be in a bad cycle of the water pill causing low potassium, which is causing more bloating which is making her continue to take the water pill which is causing more low potassium, etc)....also low potassium can be very dangerous, so she is right to be concerned, and if the Dr isn't, then something is wrong and she should find a new Dr.....also, low potassium could very well be the reason for her increased fatigue, etc. The dr should also be testing her magnesium levels, bc when these are low (and that is fairly common), they can cause the potassium to be low, is some more info on potassium:

    from the Linus Pauling website:

    An abnormally low plasma potassium concentration is referred to as hypokalemia. Hypokalemia is most commonly a result of excessive loss of potassium, e.g., from prolonged vomiting, the use of some diuretics, some forms of kidney disease, or metabolic disturbances. The symptoms of hypokalemia are related to alterations in membrane potential and cellular metabolism. They include fatigue, muscle weakness and cramps, and intestinal paralysis, which may lead to bloating, constipation, and abdominal pain. Severe hypokalemia may result in muscular paralysis or abnormal heart rhythms (cardiac arrhythmias) that can be fatal (2, 4).

    Conditions that increase the risk of hypokalemia (5)

    * The use of potassium-wasting diuretics (e.g., thiazide diuretics or furosemide)
    * Alcoholism
    * Severe vomiting or diarrhea
    * Overuse or abuse of laxatives
    * Anorexia nervosa or bulimia
    * Magnesium depletion
    * Congestive heart failure (CHF)"

  3. 2bafriend

    2bafriend New Member

    She hasn't taken her water pill in 3 days and will probably discontinue it. Her Dr. Agreed with her on this.

    The is the only symptom on the list for increased risk of hypokalemia.

    But what would the Epstein barr test have to do with anything?

    Thanks so much!
  4. 2bafriend

    2bafriend New Member

    I did e-mails her about the other was to get her potassium? back up. Do you have any links on why oral supplementation isn't always enough for the cells?

    Thanks so much!