How can a potassium deficiency be detected and how can we reverse it? These questions will be answered in the following article where you will learn to identify the signs that indicate a lack of potassium in the body.

Potassium is an important mineral for fluid balance and plays a critical role in the body for the conduction of electrical impulses in nerve and muscle cells . The potassium level is precisely controlled by the body.

The required amount of potassium is obtained from food and when it is too much, it is simply excreted. For various reasons, however, potassium deficiency occurs in the blood from various factors, and can even result in serious health problems.

Causes of Potassium Deficiency

As a general rule, the presence of potassium is guaranteed in the body, since potassium is in many foods and can be adopted in a normal diet that generally have an adequate supply of potassium. If gastrointestinal upset occurs with vomiting or diarrhea, with fissures in the intestine from the use of laxatives or diuretics for a long period, this can trigger a lack of potassium in the blood.

Even when excessive salt intake and alcohol abuse, or excessive sweating and lack of fluid supply, it can cause potassium levels in the body to drop. Therefore, athletes, the elderly, and patients with bulimia are particularly affected by potassium deficiency also known as hypokalemia .

Potassium Deficiency: Symptoms and Signs

The lack of potassium in the body manifests itself through some very general symptoms, such as: fatigue , headache , dizziness or nausea , these belong to a series of internal symptoms. But there are also other visible symptoms that are constipation, muscle cramps , paralysis and circulatory problems .

One of the most important functions of potassium in the body is to regulate fluid balance and the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, as well as participation in muscle and nerve function. So if symptoms occur in these areas, this may indicate a deficiency of potassium in the blood . It is dangerous if potassium deficiency has implications for heart muscle function that can cause arrhythmia among other cardiovascular problems.

How to compensate for potassium deficiency

To make up for a potassium deficiency, it usually doesn’t take much effort. People who suffer from it should consume foods preferably strong in their potassium contribution levels such as the following foods:

Foods that provide potassium

Whole grains, avocados , bananas, potatoes and nuts to eat as these help to raise potassium levels in the blood. Potassium supplements should only be taken under medical supervision.

An easier way to get a higher amount of potassium is to cook potatoes or legumes. Potassium is soluble in water and therefore remains in the cooking water. This water can be used after cooking, as a base for a soup or sauce and at the same time correct the potassium deficiency.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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