Potassium is the third most abundant mineral found in the body. A vital electrolyte, potassium helps to regulate blood pressure, prevent water retention, encourage muscle activity and ensures efficient working of all cells within the body. Among the many functions of this integral nutrient, the most important include eliminating toxic body waste, maintaining optimum PH levels and producing energy for everyday activities. This important element is found sufficiently in numerous fruits and vegetables and can also be consumed in form of supplements.
Low potassium levels occur when the percentage of potassium found in the blood supply is lower than normal. This condition is medically known as hypokalemia and is potentially life threatening. When this essential nutrient if found deficit in a person’s diet, it usually results in a host of symptoms and sufferings to occur simultaneously which may eventually lead to compromising an individual’s overall health and welfare. The most frequent signs of having potassium deficiency are stated below.
Tiredness or cramping of body muscles specifically in the arms and legs is a common after effect of having low blood potassium levels. Potassium ions are not only required to carry out the metabolic activities occurring in all cells but also controls both voluntary and involuntary muscles of the body, its absence therefore causes muscle spasms, twitches, restless leg syndrome and even paralysis in extreme cases.
Irregular Heart beat
This is a serious side effect that may range from mild to severe depending upon the severity of potassium deficiency that the body is undergoing. As potassium helps to regulate blood pressure therefore, a potassium deficit person may experience heart palpitations and faintness. In cases like such it is imperative to seek medical advice immediately.
This include depression, delirium, hallucinations and being in a constant state of complete confusion whenever the potassium levels within the body fall very low.
As shortage of potassium is the basic cause of lowering the urine citrate, this may lead to the formation of kidney stones by disrupting the natural filtration and excretion process.
Dry skin is yet another after effect of being potassium deficient. Absence of this nutrient will harden the body tissues making them much less elastic and more susceptible to bruising and rashes.
Normal blood potassium levels are between 3.5 to 5.0 mill equivalents per liter of blood. Being aware of the signs of potassium deficiency can help you seek treatment before the symptoms become too severe, damaging and irreversible. Seeking professional advice from health care personnel will allow you to undo the harming and painful effects of hypokalemia efficiently and effectively.
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