What is Potassium Deficiency
Potassium Deficiency Symptoms Exposed
Did you know that a bunch of bananas may save your life? Why? This is because of its very high potassium contents. Potassium is one of the very important micronutrients needed for the body systems to function properly, and that explains why its deficiency is a major issue.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, potassium is needed for normal functioning of the body cells, tissues and organs as it an electrolyte that is needed for the transmission of electrical impulses in the body. When this micronutrient is deficient in the diet, it results in a host of signs and symptoms, which compromise the overall welfare of the individual.
In April 2013, a study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) showed that adequate potassium intake reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
What Causes Potassium Deficiency
The primary cause of potassium deficiency symptoms is its inadequacy in the diet.
Potassium is very important and that explains why many health agencies across the globe call for the inclusion of potassium-rich diets.
A fact sheet released by the Division of Office of Engagement of the Colorado State University also show that apart from its absence in meals, there are some other causes of the condition.
- Severe diarrhea, which leads to loss of electrolytes such as potassium in fluids
- Administration of certain drugs like diuretics
- Excessive physical exercise.
The Best Known Symptoms of Potassium Deficiency
There are numerous symptoms of this condition, and the good thing with these is that you can easily spot them yourself. With the deficiency of this mineral, you will notice the following:
- Sudden muscle cramps (as a result of loss of useful potassium ions needed in metabolic activities going on in the muscle cells)
- Anorexia (loss of appetite)
- General body weakness
- Fatigue or even a lethargic feeling.
What Can Be Done If You Suffer Potassium Deficiency
If you happen to notice any or many of the symptoms stated above, then you might be having a deficiency of potassium. But the good thing again is that there is nothing to worry about as it can be normalized and corrected. One way to do to that is to include potassium-rich foods in your diet. Superb examples of these include oranges (especially the juice), tomatoes, bananas, potatoes and white beans.
In a place where these food items are not available, potassium chloride can be used as a substitute for the normal table salt.
Another thing is to check the drugs you are taking as some of them, like the urine-forming diuretics mentioned above reduce blood potassium level (and this is called hypokalemia and is very dangerous for the heart).
Ensuring that one is not suffering from any organic or systemic disease is also important. However, never embark on self-medication. The only way you can be absolutely sure you are experiencing potassium deficiency symptoms is go for the standard deficiency tests.
Potassium Rich Foods I YouTube clip