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Women's Health

Low Potassium

08/02/2010

Question:

I went back to my doctor with burning pain in my chest and back. I tought that it was muscle pain. My doctor said that he was also concerned about low potassuim. I have to get a blood test every two months to check for side effects of my medicatoins and that included electrolytes. He said that my potassium was fine and agreed it was muscle pain. I can`t find any information about buring pain being a symptom of low potassium. Does this happen very often and if so does that mean that a person`s potassium is very low?

Answer:

There are so many reasons for a burning pain to be felt in one's chest and back. I do not know your age, as that would be important to know if it is due to heart problems.

With that said, if the potassium is low enough, the muscles will begin to cramp, which can cause the pain you are experiencing. However, if your potassium level is normal, and you are still having those pains, further evaluation would be required to determine the actual cause.

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Response by:

W. Fred Miser, MD W. Fred Miser, MD
Associate Professor of Family Medicine
Director of Ohio State Medicine Residency Program
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University