Potassium is known as one of the most important minerals in your body. It is contained in all human body cells. Also called hypokalemia, a potassium deficiency commonly occurs in people who take diuretics. Besides, using some certain antibiotics, vomiting or diarrhea, using laxatives too much, eating disorders (like bulimia), chronic kidney disease, excess alcohol intake, a low level of magnesium, a folic acid deficiency, and excessive sweating, are also factors causing a low level of potassium. In order to know if you have potassium deficiency or not, you can have a routine blood test. The potassium level of those having enough potassium is from 3.6 to 5.2 mmol/L (millimoles per liter). And those who have blood potassium level under 2.5 mmol/L have to be cared immediately by medication. There are many symptoms of potassium deficiency; however, people often overlook this deficiency and as a result, it will devastate your body and even is life-threatening.
This is a new article in VKool page, which will show you top 8 early signs and symptoms of potassium deficiency. To write this, I collected information from several famous websites. Hope that after reading it, you will soon realize if you are suffering from a deficiency of potassium.
Top 8 Early Signs And Symptoms Of Potassium Deficiency In The Human Body
1. Muscle Weakness
The first of symptoms of potassium deficiency is to negatively affect the health of your muscles. It will weaken the muscle cell function and also damage your muscles. This, in turn, causes muscle stiffness and profound weakness, tenderness, and aching. In addition, your body needs to be provided with potassium for healing damaged cells in your muscles.
Hence, if you feel your muscles become tired and weak and tired without any reason, immediately go to see your doctor to get checked your potassium level.
2. Tingling Sensations
Another of common symptoms of potassium deficiency is the tingling sensations. Potassium is very important for your nerve health. If your potassium level is low, it can cause a negative effect on the electrical impulses passing from your skin, move through muscles and then move into your spinal cord and your brain. This, in turn, makes your outer extremities lose sensation and thus causing the tingling sensations.
In general, you often notice this sensation in your toes, fingers, feet, hands, legs, and arms. Besides, the low level of potassium can be also a contributor causing muscle twitching.
Hence, if you suffer from tingling sensations in legs or hands, gone with some symptoms mentioned in this writing, you may be at risk of potassium deficiency. In this case, a simple blood test is the best choice to determine it.
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3. Emotional Or Mental Problems
There are many symptoms of potassium deficiency and suffering from emotional or mental problems is one of them. Potassium is an important mineral for brain function and mental health. It is able to maintain nerve transmissions and your brain's electrical conductivity. Additionally, it is necessary for transporting serotonin which is a neurotransmitter promoting the happy feeling. This is the reason why the potassium deficiency is a factor causing mood swings, confusion, delirium, hallucinations, and depression.
An article published in 1992 indicated a connection among potassium, sodium, and magnesium in patients suffering from depression. Also, another 2009 study showed that hypokalemia may lead to depression.
You can get more symptoms of potassium deficiency by staying with us for our next post!
4. High Blood Pressure
This is one among top 8 common symptoms of potassium deficiency you should notice. Potassium, in fact, is capable of relaxing blood vessels and if your body is not provided with enough potassium amount, blood vessels may become constricted, causing high blood pressure. Plus, potassium also aids you in balancing out the negative effects caused by sodium. When your body lacks potassium, the sodium balance in your body will also get disturbed, and thereby causing an impact on your blood pressure. It is reported in a recent research that a low level of potassium is as important as the rich sodium amount, particularly among African Americans having high blood pressure. This research also indicated the connection between high blood pressure and low potassium.
Apart from high sodium and low potassium intake, there are various factors contributing to high blood pressure. Therefore, you'd better see your doctor to get diagnosed the exact reason causing this problem.
You can suffer from many symptoms of potassium deficiency, including constipation. Potassium not only is important for your muscle health but also plays a vital role to ensure proper digestive system, made of smooth muscles which have the ability to contract rhythmically and thus aiding in digestion. Hence, if your body is low in potassium, it can break down the involuntary muscle functions of your intestines and stomach. If these muscles function properly, it will be very beneficial in digestion, metabolism, and absorption. In contrast, if their function is poor, it can cause constipation. Along with constipation, you can suffer from some symptoms such as cramping, pain, and abdominal bloating. Because constipation may be caused due to various problems, you should talk to your doctor to get checked exactly.
6. Heart Palpitations
If you are suffering from any health problem related to your heart, it may inform that you are having a potassium deficiency. It is also one of the common symptoms of potassium deficiency. This symptom can make you experience heart palpitations and an irregular heartbeat rhythm without any explanation.
The lack of potassium may break down your rhythmic, which is the coordinated contractions of your heart controlled by electrical impulses. However, if your body has enough potassium, it will assist you in protecting your heart from strokes, heart attacks, and several heart diseases.
To sum up, do not care the reason causing heart palpitations, the first thing you have to do is to see a doctor. You have to solve this problem as soon as possible.
Read more: How To Stop Palpitations Naturally At Home
7. General Fatigue
General fatigue is another of 8 common symptoms of potassium deficiency. This fatigue type is not caused due to overworking or overexertion and you cannot know the exact reason causing this condition.
In fact, all body cells need an adequate amount of potassium to properly function, and the lack of this mineral may directly have an impact on the cell function as well as organ functions. Therefore, you can suffer from general fatigue if you have a deficiency of potassium.
If you are in this condition, you have to make an extra effort by doing your daily activities regularly. Because fatigue can be an early sign of unknown health problems, you should consult your doctor's advice to get the exact diagnosis.
8. Muscle Cramps
The last of top 8 symptoms of potassium deficiency is frequent muscle cramps, especially in your legs, arms, and feet. Potassium, in fact, is an electrolyte present in all body cells which include nerve and muscle cells. It acts with sodium to help control the cells’ electrical charges, controlling muscle functioning and contractions. When your body lacks this mineral, the body cells cannot receive or send the electrical signals properly to maintain muscle contractions. This will increase the risk of frequent muscle cramps. This cramp condition may last from seconds to minutes.
Because the deficiency of fluids from sweating can cause potassium deficiency, it is very important to provide your body with potassium after doing exercises. In case you experience cramps regularly, immediately make an appointment with a doctor to get treated.
Symptoms Of Potassium Deficiency – Additional Tips
In case you are get diagnosed exactly with potassium deficiency, let keep in mind some additional tips below to provide your body with an adequate amount of potassium:
- Vegetables which are rich in beta-carotene are also loaded with a high amount of potassium. Sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, red peppers, and Swiss chard are vegetables high in beta-carotene.
- Gradually add more potassium high foods in the daily diet until your body has enough potassium. Avoid trying to include the deficient potassium amount in a day.
- When your body lacks potassium, avoid doing strenuous physical activities because it can cause potassium deficiency through sweating.
- Avoid including too much potassium because it is also not beneficial for your health, particularly for your kidneys.
- Remember to consult your doctor firstly before taking any potassium supplement.
- Fishes, such as salmon and sardines, are also packed with plenty of potassium.
- Natural fruits are the best solution to help your body get this mineral. Some of the potassium-rich fruits are avocados, bananas, oranges, strawberries, kiwis, mangoes, dates, and apricots.
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You’ve read the writing about symptoms of potassium deficiency. Hope that this writing will help you to get an exact diagnosis for your condition. If you want to ask anything related this article, freely leave your question in the comment box. There are many other symptoms of potassium deficiency and if you know any of them, let share with us. Also, you can find more signs and symptoms of other health problems by visiting our main Health page. You are always welcome!!!