What is Potassium Deficiency?
Mineral found in foods, an electrolyte which conducts electrical impulses throughout the body is called potassium.
We need potassium in our body since it help our muscles cutract, regulates fluids and mineral balance in our body cells and it helps maintain normal blood pressure. It can improve pur liver, heart functions and kidney, for elderly people, potassium can reduce the risk of possibly bone loss.
Symptoms of low potassium can often go unnoticed as sometimes they are too mild to be very noticeable and other times they can be confused with symptoms of a separate condition.
Potassium deficiency most often has an effect on the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, muscles, heart and nerves as it is required for the proper function of these bodily systems.
The most common symptoms are:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Confusion or hallucinations
- Weakness, tiredness or cramping in arm or leg muscles.
- Fainting, usually caused by low blood pressure
- Irregular heart beat
- Swelling of the face, feet, ankles, and abdomen
- Tingling or numbness
- Stomach cramps and bloating
Many of the abovementioned symptoms can be due to factors other than lack of potassium, but if you are feeling dizzy, experiencing an irregular heartbeat or you are having severe muscle cramps, it is advisable to seek medical attention immediately.
The major causes of potassium deficiency are excessive sweating, diarrhea, and general dehydration. Also, not eating enough foods rich in potassium can lead to its deficiency.
The best way to make sure that you are always potassium efficient is to consume a diet that is rich in potassium. Thankfully, it just so happens that the foods highest in potassium are also great for your overall health.
The foods that are highest in potassium:
- Banana (420 mg of potassium)
- Potato (500 mg of potassium)
- Chard (510 mg of potassium)
- Spinach (350 mg of potassium)
- Broccoli (350 mg of potassium)
- Nuts (400 mg of potassium)
- Kidney beans (600mg of potassium)
You must know that daily intake of potassium for an adult is a bit less than 5000 mg. It isn’t very hard to get enough potassium, as long as you include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein in your diet.