I know I have been posting alot lately about the way I have been feeling these past few months. I found out that I have low potassium & have started taking my pills for that today. I keep noticing a irregular heart beat, I have shortness of breath, very light headed very easy. I even thought today that I may have took to much insulin-So I checked my sugar, but I hadn't. I finally googled irregular heart beat to see if I could find anything else it could be other than low potassium & found out about Atrial Fibrillation. Diabetics have a 40% more chance to get this than a non diabetic would. The symptoms for this are

Palpitations, which are sensations of a racing, uncomfortable, irregular heartbeat or a flopping in your chest

Decreased blood pressure




Shortness of breath

Chest pain

& I seem to have a few of those symptoms which are not linked (that I have read) to low potassium. Do any of you have this? I am going to set up an appointment for next week to find out if I do infact have Atrial Fibrillation or if its just from my low potassium, or even both.

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The symptoms I have had are Irregular heart beat/palpitations, weakness, light headed, shortness of breath.
I have had this problem a few times. It was usually remedied with a big insulin dose, tons of protien and several electrolyte drinks. I buy electrolytes from the drug store and mix them into sugarfree sports drinks, because they taste nasty. Get lots of fluids. The electrolytes will help keep your potassium and sodium levels up. Potassium and sodium deficiencies are usually caused by overhydrating due to high sugars, and subsequent dehydration. But if you're potassium deficient, it works. I ended up developing Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia from the Artrial Fibrilation. No fun. I am really prone to it when I'm sick.
I wonder about this. Wide variations in blood sugar can cause disturbances in your electrolytes. In fact, one hallmark of DKA is the electrolyte problems. A number of studies have shown that high blood sugars often occur with electrolyte problems. One suggested way this happens is that when your blood sugar gets high (> 180 mg/dl) you excrete excess glucose in your urine and along with that you also excrete potassium and sodium. If this happens enough, you end up with low potassium and/or sodium.

Have you been having more highs lately or have you noticed being high preceding these events?

ps. I have had occaisonal electrolyte problems, but I found the potassium supplements "wanting." It seems food is a better source, like spinach, yogurt, fish, meat and nuts.
Interesting. Since diagnosis my control has been very good, but my potassium is slightly too HIGH.
Lately my sugars have been reading high. I have bronchitis right now & its knocking my sugars all around.
I had a wierd episode on Mother's day. I'd gotten sort of carried away, had a couple of days off, cranked up my running mileage, went for a bike ride and also had jammed my wrist wiping out chasing the dog around the house. The end result was that by the end of the day, after spaghetti dinner (slow acting carbs...boo!), I hypoed out. The paramedics came and got me going however in the course of evaluating me they noted a signifcant cardiac anomaly and all 3 of them were like "you need to see your doctor immediately!" so I went to the doc, they rx'ed $12K worth of tests which were all normal and said "you could go to a cardiologist...". I asked "wouldn't being zonked out of your gourd on insulin have some potential to produce an arrythmia too?" and, since the answer was "maybe, we're not sure", I blew off the cardiologist and have been fine since then. One never knows, of course...

I dunno if it's the same thing you were hit by but I have considered insulin a pretty "hard" drug for a while and it would not suprise me if it knocked me out of whack? It's probably not a bad idea to get it checked out though as I read several heart books while diagnosing myself (none of which mentioned my theory, oh well...) and there are all sorts of conditions floating around?
I have been diagnosed with an arrhythmia for several years (long before I had diabetes). If that is what you have it can indeed have all the symptoms you described. Arrhythmias, while very uncomfortable are not dangerous unless they are indicative of an underlying heart condition. Atrial fibrillation is a more serious type of arrhythmia, that you can acquire. My symptoms have gotten worse but I have had my heart rhythm checked and it hasn't advanced to Atrial Fibrillation. See a cardiologist and get the tests. Don't rely on information from the internet; not for your heart. Even though my symptoms are very disturbing, being tested and being told it isn't dangerous is quite reassuring.
Thanks everyone!




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