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Low Potassium
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Low Potassium

Hello, first and foremost I suffer from OCD and severe Hypochondria.  I generellay show up in an ER becasue of some deadly disease I pressume I have.  I am currently 22 weeks pregnant.  My last Er visit Friday, the Dr. said my blood work, CHEM panels, CBC, hemmoult...everyhting was perfect.  When I asked for a copy, I came across low potassium levels of 3.4.  Boy did I freak, 2 years ago after a severe panick attack in the ER, my potassium was also low at 3.2.  Every time I go to the ER I have been suffering from severe panick and anxiety days prior.  AFter questioning a Dr. he sdaid the levels are low due to my anoxiety, can that be true????
Well then I decided to look up hypokalaemia, OOOOHHHH no, I came across adrenal gland tumors.  
My blood pressure has never been high, it's b/w 100/60 and 110/70 the highest.  All other electrolytes are in norm.  I had a CT abdominal and pelvic last Nov for a presummed kidney stone.  The CT was a noncontrast I belive.  The reading were. Normal unremarkable, spleen, liver, pancreas, adrenal gland, etcc... I belive that's what I rememeber reading.
1.Can the CT scan have picked up adrenal gland tumors?
2.DId the CT have to be with contrast or could it have picked it up if it was just a simple ER visit CT scan?
3. CAn severe anxiety and stress low potassium?
Does the abdominal CT pick up the adrenal glands, even w/o contrast?

God now I think I have adrenal carcinoma.  I can't shake this thought, could other things casue low potassium.
Please respond, I cna't live like this any longer.
2 weeks ago, I could of sworn I had colon cancer despite 9 negative hemmocults, 9 negative DRE
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To answer your questions:
1) The CT may be able to pick up adrenal gland tumors.  An MRI would be the better test if this is suspected.  That being said, the likelihood this being a tumor is very unlikely.

2) Difficult to say.  The CT may be able to pick up larger tumors, but an MRI would be the test of choice if this is suspecte.

3) I am not aware of anxiety leading to low potassium.  Dietary changes or variation as well as kidney disorders are possible.  

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
kevinmd_
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We just found out my mother has Addison's Disease which can show up during pregnancy or when you body is under severe stress. Her potassium levels are quite low. You may want to be tested for that, it's a simple blood test.
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Avatar_m_tn
3.5 is the cut off point on the low end for potassium (according to most sites) If you are slightly outside of this range odds are it isn't anything too serious. According to a site I read as many as 14% of all people have slightly low potassium levels. I have  had many blood tests through the years (have had cancer, benign tumors, kidney stones etc.) and every single one of my lab reports had some markers out of the reference range, and no one (out of many doctors and staff) were too concerned.

I am a hypochondraic too so I know the fear you are going through, just remember to keep things in perspective.
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I am a male, 41 years, and have had panic attacks and OCD for years. During my yearly trips to the ER during one of these panic attacks the Dr.s find nothing wrong except for low pottasium. They give me either pills or in 2 cases intravenus pottasium refils and I'm om my way. I have not been able to figure out why the pottasium drops or if there is a connection between the sudden nervousness and pottasium. Was reading random web sites and ran into this posting sounding almost exactly as my case.
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