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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Potassium Deficiency - 7 Signs You Are Suffering From It!

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Dt. Neena LuthraDietitian/Nutritionist • 29 Years Exp.M.Sc - Dietitics / Nutrition, P.G. Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics, B.Sc. Home Science
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Potassium is an essential mineral which is known as an electrolyte. Electrolytes are responsible for maintaining the ionic balance of your body. Other electrolytes are sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphate, chloride. These electrolytes bear an electric charge which manages the electrical activity of your health system. Potassium also helps the muscles of the body to function properly. In fact, it has its contribution in regulating blood pressure; a crucial role for a healthy heart.

Potassium deficiency is a kind of medical condition which is known as hypokalemia. The normal level of potassium in the human body should be in between 3.5-5.0 mmol/L. But the deficiency in potassium can cause severe problems including muscle weakness, nerve disorders, heart problems, etc. Kidney is the organ which is known to manage the potassium balance by removing the extra potassium through urine.

Causes of potassium deficiency:

  1. Lack of potassium in diet
  2. Dehydration
  3. Diarrhoea
  4. Too much sweating
  5. Several medicines also cause potassium deficiency

Signs of potassium deficiency:

  1. You are getting wiped out too often: Like it is discussed before that potassium is responsible for your muscles to work actively. Each and every cell needs the required amount of potassium to work effectively. So, a little deficiency of potassium can leave you exhausted throughout the day. If your normal working routine leaves you exhausted and if you are sweating too often, then there is a chance that you are suffering from hypokalemia.
  2. High blood pressurePotassium plays an important role in maintaining the blood pressure by helping in relaxing the blood vessels. Low potassium can cause the blood vessels to get constricted, due to which your blood pressure increases.
  3. Muscle weakness: Potassium plays a significant role in building the strength of your muscles. Lack of potassium can easily cause muscle weakness, aches and spasms.
  4. Irregular heartbeatAnything regarding your heart problem can scare you badly; especially when you experience sudden skipped heart rate or when your heart rate doubles. Low potassium can cause such palpitations and skipped heartbeat.
  5. Feeling dizzy: Lack of potassium in your body can slow down your heart rate and make you feel dizzy or you may feel that you are going to faint. Though many other medical conditions can be responsible for such symptoms but hypokalemia is one of them.
  6. ConstipationPotassium deficiency can affect your overall health. You might encounter symptoms like bloating, abdominal cramping etc.
  7. Numbness and tinglingPotassium is significant in keeping your nerves healthy. Potassium deficiency can make you experience numbness, needle sensations on your feet, wrist, etc.

These are the signs that people encounter when they suffer from hypokalemia. Hypokalemia can make you feel extremely sick and it causes several diseases which are discussed above. It is always advisable to visit a doctor when you encounter any of these above mentioned symptoms. Consult an expert & get answers to your questions!


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