Approximately 98% of Americans have poor potassium intake. The blame is on the Western diet that lacks essential minerals and vitamins. Moreover, most people today favor processed food, which adds more to the problem.
Poor potassium levels in the body are unhealthy. It can lead to a medical condition called Hypokalemia.
What is Hypokalemia?
Hypokalemia is a medical condition wherein the body has extremely low levels of potassium. According to experts, a person with hypokalemia has below 3.5 mmol of potassium per liter.
Many causes can lead to potassium deficiency. Below are the primary reasons behind hypokalemia.
- Excessive loss of body fluid due to heavy sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, and eating disorders
- Increased sodium count in blood because of kidney disease, too little water intake, and loss of water due to diarrhea and vomiting
- Folic acid deficiency
- Kidneys and adrenal glands are not functioning well
- Intake of medications and laxatives that makes you secrete excessive water
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
What are the Signs of Hypokalemia?
Many individuals with hypokalemia are unaware they are already manifesting its symptoms. It is because potassium deficiency has mild effects on the body, but it could get worse when it progresses.
Below are the different signs of hypokalemia that you might experience.
#1 Fatigue and Weakness
Fatigue is the first sign of hypokalemia. Potassium deficiency causes the muscles the produce weaker contractions. As a result, the body is unable to move and perform its primary functions. Likewise, it affects how the body utilizes other nutrients. For example, poor potassium levels impair insulin production, which could lead to hypertension.
#2 Muscle Cramps
Spams and muscle cramps happen when there is an extremely low amount of potassium in the blood. Potassium helps in sending signals from the brain to stimulate contractions. If potassium is deficient, the brain is unable to relay signals effectively, which results in cramps.
Arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat is another symptom of hypokalemia. Potassium helps regulate heartbeat. Thus, low levels of this mineral consequence heart palpitations.
#4 Digestive Problem
Potassium sends signals from the brain to the muscles in the digestive system. Low levels of potassium, the brain cannot relay signals effective on the digestive system. As a result, the digestive system functions slower and weaker. It is harder to digest food, which could also lead to bloating and constipation.
Paresthesia or persistent tingles and numbness could occur in different parts of the body. Potassium deficiency weakens the nerve signals, which results in numbness. It usually occurs in the hands, arms, legs, and feet.
Indeed, potassium is an essential mineral and one of the primary electrolytes that have many functions in the body. If there is an extremely low count of potassium in the body, it could affect the general well-being of a person.
You can avoid potassium deficiency by eating the right kinds of food. Moreover, taking supplements that enhances potassium levels in the body helps. These are only primary solutions on how to defeat hypokalemia. You can find out more details on how to stay healthy here at knowyourhealthproducts.com.
In a nutshell, be conscious of what is in your diet. Make sure to eat well-balanced meals daily to avoid health problems like potassium deficiency. Remember, you are the only one who can protect yourself from illnesses.