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Dr Basu
Dr Basu, Experienced Specialist
Category: Health
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Experience:  MD
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Recently I had some blood work done and the results indicated

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Recently I had some blood work done and the results indicated low potassium 3.4 (normal 3.6 - 5.1, low AST 13 (Normal 15.41) and low ALT 12 Normal 14-54) values. Would would be the likely cause and how long with adding potassium rich foods can I expect it to take to return to normal values?

mysticdoc :

The views expressed by me are for educational purposes only and do not establish a doctor patient relationship.

mysticdoc :

Hello,

mysticdoc :

Thanks for your question.

mysticdoc :

Low AST and ALt do not have any clinical significance.

Customer:

okay

Customer:

is the potassium level something I should be concerend about?

mysticdoc :

they only bear some significance if you have advanced liver disease but that will cause other clinical symptoms of liver disease.

mysticdoc :

Low potassium an be due o the dehydration.

mysticdoc :

Medications like diuretics also can cause low potassium.

Customer:

Okay so if I increase my consumption of potassium rich foods like bananas and tomato juice will that be enough to raise my potassium

mysticdoc :

In some cases, excess aldosterone production in the body can cause low potassium but also associated with high blood pressure.

mysticdoc :

Yes correct.

Customer:

The medications I take should actually increase potasium (Ramipril and Toperlol)

mysticdoc :

Ok in that case, excess aldosterone in the body should be ruled out.

mysticdoc :

known as hyperaldosteronism.

Customer:

And how is that identified?

mysticdoc :

by checking serum aldosterone level.

Customer:

okay

Customer:

My potassium level in july was normal, i've been dieting and think this is probably the culprit but need some reassurance I guess

mysticdoc :

yes likely.

mysticdoc :

follow a potassium rich diet for now.

Customer:

Is a potassium level of 3.4 something I should be concerned about?

mysticdoc :

no --but should be kept above 3.6 preferably above 4

Customer:

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX been making myself sick with worry over this.

mysticdoc :

please do not worry.

mysticdoc :

best wishes

Customer:

Thank you.

Customer:

At what level does someone need to worry?

mysticdoc :

below 3

Customer:

Okay, thank you again for your time and help, you've helped ease my mind. Final question. If I continue to add bananas and tomato juice to my diet how long does it typically take to correct? I've been eating 2 bananas and a glass of OJ and Tomato Juice everysince I found out that my potassium was low. And how long should I wait to ahve my blood rechecked?

mysticdoc :

Usually it should correct within 5 to 7 days.

Customer:

Awesome, thank you :)

mysticdoc :

so get your blood checked after a week.

mysticdoc :

And continue with this diet.

mysticdoc :

very welcome

Customer:

Thanks again for your time.

mysticdoc :

best wishes

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