What Causes Low Potassium Levels In Your Body – ? We didn’t think so. Chances are, you, like many other people, tragically underestimate the importance of potassium. When dissolved in water, this mineral becomes highly reactive and produces positively charged ions. Because of its special ability to conduct electricity, making it essential for a number of body functions, potassium is classified as one of the five essential electrolytes.

Research has linked increased consumption of foods high in potassium to a range of impressive health benefits. We’ll cover what potassium is, why we need potassium, how potassium functions in the body, and common signs of potassium deficiency. Plus, we’ll share a list of 15 potassium-rich foods.

What Causes Low Potassium Levels In Your Body

What Causes Low Potassium Levels In Your Body

Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the human body. Testing shows that the vast majority of potassium in your body—about 98%—can be found in your cells. Your muscle cells require 80% of these potassium reserves, with the remaining 20% ​​distributed between the bones, liver and red blood cells.

Foods That Are High In Potassium

Potassium acts as an electrolyte inside your body. When it dissolves in water or other liquid, it breaks down into positive ions that transmit electrical signals. Your body uses these signals to control a number of important processes.

Potassium is responsible for three main functions: balancing fluid levels, transmitting nerve signals, and regulating muscle contractions. When potassium levels drop too low or rise too high, the results can be quite serious.

Water makes up about 60% of our body weight as adults. Water exists both inside and outside our cells: the 40% that is inside our cells is called intracellular fluid (ICF), and the 60% that is outside our cells in places such as the blood, cerebrospinal fluid, and the space between cells. called extracellular fluid (ECF). ).

Electrolytes, particularly sodium and potassium, greatly influence the amount of water in both the ICF and ECF. Potassium is the main electrolyte found in your ICF, and it determines how much water is contained within your cells at any given time. Sodium plays a similar role when it comes to your ECF.

What Causes High And Low Potassium Levels In Seniors?

When everything is going right, there is the same concentration of electrolytes and a stable amount of water both inside and outside your cells. The technical term for the ratio of electrolytes to fluid is osmolality. The goal is to maintain equal osmolality between the ICF and ECF.

When osmolality becomes uneven, water from the side with fewer electrolytes shifts to the side with more electrolytes to balance the electrolyte levels. When water moves in or out of your cells, it can cause them to swell or shrink. In some cases, your cells may even burst.

Regulating fluid balance is a central health concern. Changes in cell volume, like those we discussed above, can have a particularly damaging effect on brain cells. When ECF volume drops, it can negatively affect blood flow to organs, including the heart.

What Causes Low Potassium Levels In Your Body

A diet rich in potassium, in addition to ensuring that you drink enough water to maintain adequate hydration levels, is an important part of maintaining balanced fluid levels.

Low Potassium Diet

The nervous system provides communication between the brain and body. This communication is transmitted in the form of nerve signals that regulate muscle contractions, heart rate, reflexes and many other functions.

Potassium plays a major role in the transmission of nerve signals. When potassium enters a nerve cell, an exchange of sodium and potassium begins, which generates the electrical charge necessary for signal transmission. And when it leaves the nerve cell, it repolarizes it, allowing the nerve signal to be processed.

The range of healthy blood potassium levels is 3.6 to 5.0 mmol/L. If blood potassium levels drop by just 1%, it can cause a serious imbalance. This, in turn, can disrupt the transmission of nerve signals throughout the body.

To maintain healthy nervous system function, it is important to meet your body’s minimum recommended amount of potassium.

Sodium And Potassium: What We Need To Know About The Signs And Risks Of Their Imbalance

As we said above, muscle contractions are one of the functions of controlling nerve signals. Changes in potassium levels negatively affect the transmission of nerve signals, which causes muscle contractions, including heartbeat.

Potassium is so important for muscle health that we include 12 milligrams of it in our sports training blend to improve endurance and reduce post-workout soreness.

Hypokalemia occurs when potassium levels drop too low. Hyperkalemia occurs when they rise too high. Both can be dangerous.

What Causes Low Potassium Levels In Your Body

The main danger associated with changes in potassium levels is changes in heart rate. Low potassium levels can cause arrhythmias, an irregular heartbeat, which may require treatment and even surgery. High potassium levels can cause the heart to weaken and over-expand, which can also lead to arrhythmias. When your heart can’t beat properly, it also can’t circulate blood to your brain, muscles, and other organs.

What Is Potassium Good For?

According to an article published in the Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cardiology, “hypokalemia is associated with an increased risk of arrhythmia in patients with cardiovascular disease, as well as an almost 10-fold increase in all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and heart failure mortality.” ” In other words, if you have heart problems, low potassium levels make those problems 10 times more likely to be fatal.

Hyperkalemia is also strongly associated with a higher risk of death in patients with heart and kidney disease, according to a 2017 study.

I hope you now understand how important it is to maintain potassium levels in your body.

However, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that less than 2% of adults living in the United States meet dietary recommendations for potassium intake. While this is certainly not ideal, it is unlikely to lead to potassium deficiency.

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In most cases, potassium deficiency occurs when the body quickly loses large amounts of potassium. Typical causes include prolonged vomiting, prolonged diarrhea, or other health conditions or situations that result in the loss of large amounts of fluid.

The NHANES data may have told you that getting too much potassium is unusual. There is no conclusive evidence that you can get too much potassium from food sources alone, although you can do so by taking excessive amounts of potassium supplements. There have been cases of people taking more potassium than their kidneys can process, sometimes with fatal consequences.

Research shows that in most cases, excessively high levels of potassium in the blood occur when the body tries to remove the mineral from the body through urine. Because of this, dangerously high potassium levels are more likely to affect people with impaired kidney function. Certain population groups have an increased risk of developing hyperkalemia (high potassium levels), including:

What Causes Low Potassium Levels In Your Body

Luckily, when it comes to potassium in your food, you have plenty of options beyond the most famous: bananas. In fact, bananas aren’t even the most potassium-rich food on our list! Many legumes, nuts, vegetables, fruits and types of fish contain high levels of potassium.

Low Potassium (hypokalemia) Causes

How much potassium should you consume daily? The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly recommends that adults consume at least 3,510 milligrams of potassium in food daily.

Based on information provided by SELF Nutrition Data, we’ve listed the amount of potassium contained in a 100-gram serving of 15 potassium-rich foods. For some foods we have also indicated the cooking method as this changes the potassium content.

In almost all cases, it is much better to get your potassium from whole food sources rather than from over-the-counter supplements. As we mentioned above, it is possible to overdose on potassium supplements. For this reason, regulatory agencies such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limit potassium supplements to less than 100 milligrams. Which, as you can see, is half what you’ll get from one serving of the foods listed above.

However, for people with a true potassium deficiency, doctors may prescribe high doses of supplements. Never take these types of medications unless they are prescribed for you, and always follow your doctor’s instructions.

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What Causes Low Potassium Levels In Your Body

If for any reason you are not happy with us or our products, simply contact our customer service within 60 days and we will happily refund 100% of your payment. Nina LutraDietician/nutritionist • 28 years of experience. MSc Dietetics/Nutrition, P.G. Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics, B.Sc. Home Science

Low Potassium Diet: Foods To Avoid

Potassium is an important mineral known as an electrolyte. Electrolytes are responsible for maintaining your body’s ionic balance. Other electrolytes are sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphate, chloride. These electrolytes carry an electrical charge that controls the electrical activity of your health system. Potassium also helps

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