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Low Potassium Levels Can Be Scary

During the summer months it is really important to drink plenty of liquids, especially water. My daughter, Ralphi, our official professional photographer for OGP was hospitalized with low potassium levels. It took me by surprise as I rushed her to the hospital with heart palpitations, tremors, and such severe dizziness we thought she was going to lose consciousness. I thought there was something really awfully wrong.
When all the lab results came in I was both relieved and surprised that my healthy teenager had low potassium levels and the symptoms were so severe. The doctor gave her fluids and potassium supplements before leaving the hospital. She is no different then most of us consuming coffee or caffeine in the morning, Coke at lunch and dinner and before bed a cup of hot tea. According to her doctor, we all need to pay attention to our fluid intake. If you have a cup of coffee then you need to have the same amount of water afterward to stay hydrated. Coffee or caffeine of any kind dehydrate you and you need to put those fluids back in your body. He also explained that if a person weighs 150 pounds, then that person needs to drink about 75 ounces of water per day.  Another example would be if you weigh 90 pounds then you need about 45 ounces of water a day to stay hydrated. The formula is 1/2 your body weight in pounds is converted to ounces.
Ralphi may not be producing enough potassium in her body and we will be checking her again in two weeks to see if her levels are still low. If they are low she will take supplements to help her body. In the mean time, she is drinking plenty of bottled water and eating foods rich in potassium, such as bananas, avocados, squash, and potatoes, both sweet and white. If you or you are with someone who experiences these symptoms it is important to seek medical attention to get the proper fluids and to get tested for any other underlining medical conditions. I am glad Ralphi is feeling better. She experienced a scary situation that was lifestyle changing. Stay hydrated this summer because it could save you a trip to the hospital!

-Tamara, Founder

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