Effects of Low Potassium – Hypokalemia
Effects of low potassium- potassium deficiency can be quite significant on your body, even fatal if the problem isn’t looked into, as it is an extremely important mineral for your health.
Potassium is found mainly in your cells and only in very small amounts outside the cells. The healthy potassium level in your blood is between 3.5 to 5.0 milliequivalent per liter (mEq/L). Anything below 2.5 mEq/L can be extremely serious.
What Causes Hypokalemia?
• A diet high in sodium or low potassium.
• Chronic diarrhea.
• Excessive urine excretion.
• Certain medications with side effects and diuretics.
• Surgeries that involve the bowel.
• Vomiting and diarrhea.
• Excessive sweating.
• Magnesium deficiency- hypomagnesemia.
• Extensive burns and injuries.
• Alcohol abuse.
Benefits of Potassium:
• Smooth functioning of muscles and cells and muscle contractions.
• Nerve transmission.
• Helps prevent fatigue.
• ATP hydrolysis.
• Maintaining the proper level of body fluid.
• Control of heartbeat and cardiovascular functioning.
• Reducing blood pressure.
• Acting as fuel for muscles by converting glucose into glycogen.
• Assisting the functioning of kidney.
• Providing protection against allergies and acne.
The Effects of Low Potassium:
Mild hypokalemia will present mild or no symptoms at all, but the more severe potassium deficiency is, the worse the symptoms are likely to get.Common symptoms and effects of low potassium include:
• Skin dryness, blistering and acne.
• Myalgia and muscle weakness, problems with muscle coordination.
• Disturbed heart rhythm- arrhytmia.
• Glucose intolerance.
• Frequent constipation and bloating.
• Confusion and anxiety.
• Constant thirst.
• Weak memory or temporary memory loss.
• Nervous system deterioration, anxiety and depression.
• Hallucinations- seeing or hearing things that don’t exist.
• Ringing noise in ears.
• Numbness and tingling.
• Muscle cramping in legs or arms.
• Weakness of skeletal and lung muscles.
• Heart attacks in severe cases.
To avoid hypokalemia and mal effects of potassium deficiency, a healthy and balanced diet is recommended. Please note that most foods include potassium and a good diet will provide you with the sufficient amounts of potassium. Tomato, beans, watermelon, dried fruits, grapes, orange, banana, spinach and eggs are examples of foods that are rich in this mineral.