Potassium is necessary for the normal functioning of the heart and blood vessels. Also, for maintaining the acid-base balance and the nervous system functioning, the body needs potassium.
Athletes generally require higher doses of potassium than other people. An insufficient amount of this microelement in the body can cause malfunction of vital organs and the development of chronic diseases.
Causes Of Hypokalemia
Following are the causes of lack of potassium (hypokalemia) in the body:
- Diarrhea: Due to diarrhea, this nutrient starts to excrete from the body, causing potassium deficiency.
- Drinking Alcohol: If you are an alcoholic, your body will lack all the necessary nutrients, including potassium. Instead of eating potassium-rich meals, first, get rid of this addiction. An alcohol rehab center is the best option for quick recovery.
- Poor Diet: Not eating enough potassium containing food can also lead to its deficiency.
- Medication: Some medication hinders the process of absorption of essential nutrients in the body. As a result, a person becomes potassium deficient.
Symptoms Of Lack Of Potassium In The Body
A person can identify the lack of potassium in the body by the following symptoms.
You will feel apathy and drowsiness starting in the morning. Although you have just got up and even a couple of cups of coffee cannot save you from the constant desire to lie down and fall asleep. Most likely, you have a chronic lack of potassium or, in other words, hypokalemia.
If triggered, the result can be insomnia, decreased performance, mood loss, and depression. To restore balance in the body, it is necessary to eat as many potassium-rich foods as possible:
- Fresh cherries
- Dried fruits
- Died white mushrooms
Appearance Of Seizures
One of the most striking symptoms of a lack of potassium is the appearance of seizures or spasms. The trace mineral is an electrolyte that interacts with sodium and is responsible for the ability of muscles to contract. When the amount decreases, cells do not receive the required amount of electrical signals. This causes cramps or spasms.
Weakening Of Muscles
A deficiency of potassium in the body leads to muscle weakening. Typically, this situation is common among people who actively exercise, but do not pay enough attention to nutrition and diet. As a result, micro-tears are frequent, which causes severe pain. Potassium is also responsible for retaining moisture in tissues. Potassium deficiency can lead to dehydration.
Our body needs potassium to maintain the most important part of the human body – the heart. With a deficiency of this trace element, you can observe a rapid heart rate. At the first symptoms, you should consult a doctor, as the risk of myocardial infarction is high. The advanced arrhythmia can provoke deadly heart diseases, such as ischemia, angina pectoris, and stroke.
Potassium relays signals that stimulate lung contraction. With its deficiency, the lungs stop working at full strength and shortness of breath occurs. Blood circulation in the body gets disrupted. The risk of a choking attack during sleep is high. If breathing stops completely, immediate resuscitation is necessary.
Difficulty Emptying Your Bowels
Potassium is essential for normal digestion. With a deficiency of this trace element, constipation may occur, since peristalsis weakens. If the situation with constipation gets started, the result can be intestinal obstruction. In this case, you would require surgery.
Disruption Of The Urinary System
With insufficient potassium intake, the performance of the urinary system deteriorates. This can lead to the development of cystic formations in the kidneys, non-infectious nephritis, and other serious diseases.
Attacks Of Nausea
Unreasonable vomiting is another consequence of a lack of potassium in the body. If you feel nauseous between meals or even while eating, then it’s time to see a doctor. You probably have gastrointestinal problems.
Loss Of Sensitivity
Numbness in the limbs can also be one of the symptoms of a lack of potassium in the body. To keep the nervous system in order, you need to eat this trace element regularly. Due to the sharp decrease in the amount of potassium, there are fewer impulses going to the brain. It all starts with numbness of the fingers and toes; then the limbs lose sensitivity.
The Appearance Of Edema
Potassium deficiency leads to another nuisance – an increase in the amount of sodium, which retains water in the body. The result is edema, most noticeable in the morning. If a person eats sausages, fast food, spicy dishes, then due to the abundance of salt, blood circulation slows down, and edema appears. To correct the situation, it is necessary to revise the diet and start taking supplements containing potassium.
Increased Blood Pressure
Due to a deficiency of potassium in the body, blood vessels narrow. The brain and heart stop getting enough oxygen. Blood pressure increases and even minor stress can often have dire consequences.
During an increase in pressure, a person may experience nausea, faint. Experts do not recommend lowering blood pressure with pills. You just need to get at least 4800 mg of potassium per day.
If the pressure increases sharply, a person may begin to complain of lightheadedness, dizziness, blackness before the eyes. He/she can also become disoriented in space. Often, this condition resembles the abuse of certain drugs, in particular, diuretics.
Frequent Mood Swings
Serotonin is a good mood hormone. It maintains the balance of the nervous system. Potassium plays a vital role in the production process. When this microelement is not enough in the body, there is a frequent change in mood. It can lead to an instant transition from despair to unrestrained fun and vice versa. Panic attacks are common.
Our body requires all nutrients and minerals in proper quantity to function correctly. If they lack, the body suffers, and chronic diseases start to develop. If the above symptoms appear, you should see a doctor.