Deficiency of potassium in the body can have very adverse affect on body, particularly on nerves and muscles. Reading the early symptoms of potassium deficiency in the body can allow you to take prompt medical attention before the condition worsens.
Potassium helps muscles and heart work effectively and plays important role in proper regulation of blood pressure. It also works to generate and preserve nerve cells and replace glycogen with glucose. People with low potassium level in their body can get exposed to health conditions like kidney stones, fatigue, acne and allergy.
Symptoms Of Potassium Deficiency
Potassium deficiency or hypokalemia can produce a wide range of symptoms depending on the level of potassium shortage. A minor drop in the level of potassium may cause mild form of dysrhythmias (unusual heart rhythms), constipation, fatigue, palpitation and muscle weakness. However, a sharp drop can put organs like gastrointestinal tract, muscles and kidney to distress, besides causing slow heartbeat and lightheadedness.
A major drop of potassium level in blood may lead to severe health disorder including stopped function of the heart, fainting caused by low blood pressure and increased amount of urine. Rarely, patients with very low potassium in their body also show unusual psychological behavior like depression and hallucination.
What Causes Deficiency Of Potassium?
You may be at risk of developing shortage of potassium in your blood if your body eliminates more potassium than what it takes in. Potassium may get eliminated from body due to excess sweating, diarrhea and vomiting. People who consume low potassium food can also develop the health condition.
Certain diseases cause the body to release more amount of potassium in urine or excrement resulting in the condition. The side effects of some medicines restrict the body from storing proper amount of potassium leading to potassium shortage.
Certain health disorders do not allow the body to absorb potassium from diet sources. Medical conditions like diabetic acidosis and kidney failure frequently make the body potassium deficient. Hereditary disorders like Bartter syndrome and Gitelman can also trigger potassium deficiency by causing defects in renal salt transporters.
Home Remedies For Potassium Deficiency
Shortage of potassium in the body can be handled effectively by bringing changes to our diet sources. High potassium food sources include orange, banana, avocado, carrot, dried fig and kiwi. Some other potassium enriched foods which are easily available include butter, wheat germs, bran, milk, molasses, peanut and spinach.
Deficiency of potassium in the body due to excessive sweating can be compensated with the re-hydration process. More consumption of water can do the trick but sports drink or electrolyte solution can show immediate result.
Chronic constipation and diarrhea which are important triggers of potassium deficiency should be removed. Diarrhea patients should check the symptom by staying hydrated otherwise they would continue to drop off potassium level. People suffering from constipation should include high fiber food in their diet and consume plenty of water.