Potassium Deficiency: What Are The Signs and The Treatment?


Heart disease, chronic kidney stones, decreased bone density,weakness, cramps, fatigue…

If your body is deficient in potassium, it will not work properly. However, surveys show that most Americans do not seek to meet the 4,700mg needed for daily consumption. Increasing the rate of people suffering from muscle weakness, cramps, and fatigue. Also heart disease, chronic kidney stones, and decreased bone density.

On the other hand, a person may have a lack of this nutrient because it gives more emphasis to iron and calcium. Its importance is great, it regulates the nervous function, muscle contraction, and normal heartbeats. Thanks to potassium, the nutrients move to the cells. Minimizes the impact of sodium on blood pressure. A diet rich in potassium helps you fight hypertension.

Your body will always warn you when it is deficient in potassium. The signs they present are known as hypokalemia. In the examinations, less than 3.5mg / l of potassium in the blood indicates the deficit of this mineral.

Signs of potassium deficiency

The symptoms are difficult to notice in most cases, they attack the elderly more strongly. It is common in people recently hospitalized, with heart disease or if you take a diuretic. In all cases, the signs presented are:

Cramp and muscle weakness: potassium is responsible for making normal muscle contractions. If you feel the body as gelatin, with weakness or spasms, it is a sign that you are not ingesting enough potassium.

Constipation: if you feel painful bowel movements or difficult to pass and you have trouble going to the bathroom it could be a potassium deficiency. Be careful constipation can cause general malaise and swelling.

It could also be because of lack of fiber, so before believing it is because of potassium, discard little fiber intake.

Uncommon heart rhythm: be careful if you have a cardiac arrhythmia. Potassium is tasked to regulate the beating of the heart. Low levels of potassium will cause abnormal heartbeats.

Fatigue: Fatigue has many causes. And it may give you an indication of potassium deficiency, before you come across this diagnosis, look at your lifestyle.

Other symptoms that can give you an indication of potassium deficiency are:

-Go excessively to the bathroom.
-Have constant thirst
-Loss of appetite
-Abnormal mental activity
-Treatment for lack of potassium

Take a blood test: do it, first of all, it’s the only way you can confirm it. Otherwise, the following steps could cause you to become potassium intoxicated.

Eat foods rich in potassium: the best sources of potassium are fruits and vegetables. Half a cup of plum has 637mg, a banana has 422mg. Tomatoes, beans, and squash are also rich sources of this nutrient.

Consume potassium supplements: for this, you should first check with your doctor. Generally, they do not have more than 99mg of potassium, but it helps as a compliment. Follow the instructions to the letter, otherwise, you may have certain health risks.

Risk factors of hypokalemia

-Chronic diseases that can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
-To the female sex
-Some medicines like diuretics, laxatives, antibiotics that they keep. relationship with penicillin.
-People over 65 years.

In many cases, the lack of potassium is a symptom of another ailment. These can be:

Barter syndrome is a hereditary kidney disorder. It is the increase in aldosterone levels that forces the kidneys to excrete more potassium.

Cushing’s syndrome causes an increase in cortisol levels can promote the loss of potassium through urine.

Metabolic alkalosis: it is increasing the pH of the tissues. Its symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea induce the loss of potassium from the body.

The body needs potassium for the following reasons

You will always need potassium for your body to function with complete normality. And to build muscles and break down carbohydrates generating energy and for better growth. But the most important thing it does is:

For the muscles of the heart to work better: this is the most important role that potassium plays. It helps all the muscles in general, but with greater emphasis on those of the heart. Reduces blood pressure and provides greater longevity to this vital organ.

Reduce risks of strokes: research indicates that a diet rich in potassium and magnesium helps reduce the risk of suffering from this disease. Special in men with high blood pressure.

Prevent bone loss: potassium can prevent or delay bone loss through urine. It is necessary for the formation of bones. That is to say that it is essential for people who have just suffered some fracture. It can prevent osteoporosis if you consume the indicated daily amount.

Transmission of nerve signals: creates an electrical gradient through cell membranes. The nerve signals use these gradients to do their job.

Contract muscles: this nutrient helps transport calcium to the cells through sodium and potassium pumps. Helping to contract the smooth, skeletal and cardiac muscles.

By nature, our kidneys are the ones that regulate the amount of potassium sufficient for our body and how much it will expel. This function is performed by aldosterone (adrenal hormone) in the organ.

Are you giving your body enough potassium daily?

Many people do not consume potassium properly. And it is much more harmful to those people who opt for processed foods. You should worry about knowing if you have a potassium deficiency. Since it is important for the health mainly of the heart.

The good news is that if you want to confirm that you have a potassium deficiency, it appears in a simple blood test. And you can prevent it by eating lots of fruits and vegetables like bananas, prunes, and beans.

The daily recommendation for adults is 4700mg and for children between 3000 and 4500 milligrams according to their age. On the other hand, babies only need 400mg and nursing mothers a little more than the average 5100mg.

You should consider taking potassium as a priority. Remember that your body needs it to be able to function with complete normality. Learning to recognize and treat potassium deficiency is crucial to avoid complications in the future.