Steroids (Hydrocortisone, Prednisolone) are used often for the treatment and recovery of patients who are suffering with asthma and acute asthma attacks. It is not advised to use it long term as it is so easy to become over-medicated with them. Now what happens there is that they do all kinds of things to your bones (making them brittle), your heart, your endocrine system and your immune system takes a battering. I have been on Prednisolone at varying doses from 5mg at the lowest (although this was never for more than a week) to 60mg. By this point, my body has started to really feel it. I pick up every infection and virus going, my skin was thin and it stretched beyond repair and my moods were made even more erratic and irrational, but my asthma wasn't responding as well as it should have been. It wasn't working as well as it could anymore.
Now what we want to do with the steroids is reduce them right down to 5mg, hopefully even stopping them completely in long term use, and only use them in acute situations.
All asthmatics use these in some way. I had only at this point used Sympathomimetics, such as Salbutamol and an Anticholinergic called Ipratropium Bromide. These are the best drugs for us to use as they relax the muscles around the airways and make it easier to breathe. Unfortunately, because my preventative treatments were not working anywhere near as well as they should have been, I was using MASSIVE doses of reliever medicine to stay stable enough to stay out of hospital. The result of this ends up being a really fast heart rate, low blood potassium levels and lets just say, it explains an awful lot.
Now the best thing we can do is to find out how to improve my Potassium levels with a supplement and I have started a Xanthine medication.
Usually symptoms of low potassium are mild. At times the effects of low potassium can be vague. There may be more than one symptom involving the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, kidneys, muscles, heart, and nerves.
- Weakness, tiredness, or cramping in arm or leg muscles, sometimes severe enough to cause inability to move arms or legs due to weakness (much like a paralysis)
- Tingling or numbness
- Abdominal cramping, bloating
- Palpitations (feeling your heart beat irregularly)
- Passing large amounts of urine or feeling very thirsty most of the time