Potassium deficiency symptoms and natural therapy

How to make up for a lack of potassium in the body

Did you know that even the slightest lack of potassium in the body can cause serious heart problems, nervous system and muscles damage? It is one of the most important minerals necessary for our body to function properly. It helps the body maintain the correct balance of fluids. Although this mineral is not mentioned often you should know that the recommended daily intake of potassium for adults is about 4.7 grams, and this quota can be filled by eating foods like bananas, white beans, avocado and melon.

It is therefore essential that you consume food with this mineral every day, as this will allow the body to detoxify. In the text you will find out more about what are the symptoms of hypokalaemia, what causes it, and how to compensate for a lack of potassium in the body naturally.

What are the symptoms of hypokalaemia and how to recognize it?

People who do not get enough of this mineral through diet expose themselves to serious health risks and problems. Our body works so that it immediately indicates that something is wrong and sends us warning signals. We will show how a deficiency of potassium manifests itself through symptoms, as well as possible consequences if you do not react in a timely manner.
Constant fatigue and lack of energy

The first signs of potassium deficiency are a sense of weakness, tiredness and lack of energy. This will easily be assessed by yourselves, if you have a normal and sufficient sleep. It is important to know that the first reason is irregular and unbalanced diet, and often is one of the culprits and enhanced intake of sodium (salt) in food is also an additional problem.

Centuries ago, at a time when the fields were not processed industrially, foods rich in potassium were much more prevalent in the diet, and the salt was far less. Today the situation is reversed, as it is manifested in humans. It is therefore very important to pay attention to the levels of NaCl intake through food, because the more you consume it, the mineral potassium will be needed in even larger quantities for the body to function normally.

Problems with the heart beat

Often the feeling of a constant fatigue is accompanied by unpredictable arrhythmias, there is the so-called irregular heartbeat and rapid heart even though you are not under a physical workload. Lack of potassium in the body causes trouble to this vital organ, because it cannot properly pump blood through our body.

These symptoms of hypokalaemia are not to be taken lightly, especially if you already have heart problems, so it is important that you, first of all, correct the diet and reduce salt intake.

High blood pressure indicates a lack of potassium

In addition to the previous symptoms, if you do not respond properly, high blood pressure almost always occurs. Potassium in the blood is the most important mineral that makes blood vessels relaxed allowing them to circulate blood normally to the capillaries and organs.

The lack of potassium in this case is manifested in the form of narrowing of the arteries and veins, which automatically leads to high blood pressure.

Dizziness and loss of consciousness

As a result of all previous symptoms a sudden dizziness, severe and intense headaches accompanied by blurred vision may occur. At the very least, there is also passing out, which is very dangerous because it can lead to serious physical injuries caused by falls. Potassium in the body is important to keep your brain supplied with enough blood, and if these symptoms occur more frequently you need to contact your doctor.

Indigestion and intestinal problems due to hypokalaemia

Vomiting, diarrhoea, bloating and constipation can also be one of the indicators when the potassium content in the organism is in question. The stomach and digestive system requires the input of minerals at the recommended levels in order to properly function and eliminate toxins from the body.

As soon as the levels of potassium are low, your intestines will certainly suffer, so be aware of these symptoms and rewrite your diet. This will avoid the risk of diseases such as Crohn's disease, because the digestive system enables full and proper absorption of nutrients.

Numbness of the arms and legs with muscle spasms

The nervous system and muscles need potassium to function properly. As we've already mentioned how this mineral is necessary and good for the heart, the same is the case with all the other muscles in the body.

Lack of potassium in the body will cause numbness of arms and legs, as well as sudden and uncontrollable spasms in the limbs, which is a serious warning that you need to take seriously.

Increased secretion of urine and a constant thirst

Another indicator of low levels of potassium is a frequent need to urinate. This is almost always accompanied by increased thirst, although the body regularly infused liquid.

The reason for this is an irregular bladder and kidney function, as potassium deficiency is detrimental to all the organs of the urinary tract and leads to its uncontrolled ejection through the urine.

Psychological disorders, depression and hallucinations

In situations where there is a very low level of this mineral in the body, various problems with the psyche can occur, which are acute in nature. However, if this happens, the lack of potassium should be taken seriously as a major cause, and as soon as possible take even effervescent tablets to make up the lack of it.

What are the main causes of a lack of potassium? 

There are numerous causes for the lack of potassium in the body. Most often it happens that the body releases this mineral in the urine due to intake of certain drugs or diuretics.

Increased sweating is also another indicator, since then, there is an increased loss of electrolytes from the body, and it is very dangerous to ignore this problem because it can lead to dehydration. Additionally, vomiting and diarrhoea are one of the causes for the lack of potassium in the blood.

An improperly balanced diet is one of the main enemies of this mineral. In fact, if you practice some a diet in order to lose a few pounds, you need to make sure that you take in two essential vitamins and elements in order for your body to be working properly. Lack of potassium occurs in bad and exhausting diets, so it is best to consult with a nutritionist before you decide to take that step.

Furthermore, certain disorders of the kidneys can be the cause of the sudden loss of mineral from the body. These are the most common chronic insufficiencies and an acute renal failure of organs, which is caused by a deficiency of potassium. After this, magnesium deficiency usually occurs, and often leads to a secretion of adrenal gland disorder, or a lack of adrenaline in the body.

What foods should be included in the diet that are rich in potassium? 

One of the biggest problems with today's diets is that they contains more sodium and less potassium. Therefore, it is necessary to change eating habits, and above all you need to do stop eating junk food that is full of bad fats, additives and salt.

Interestingly, the doctors discovered that the potassium in the diet may help us to reduce the risk of getting a stroke by a 21 percent, and prevents the emergence of a heart disease. Therefore it is necessary to look for foods high in potassium and give your body the necessary dose of this mineral.

First of all, it can be found in sweet potatoes. The concentration of potassium in this food was highest when considering all of the others, because one tuber contains a whopping 0.7 g of K and only 131 calories. Therefore, you will now love potatoes more, whether you eat them baked, mashed or stuffed, it is delicious and very healthy.

Next to it, you probably have already known that tomatoes are rich in potassium and certainly be happily eaten during summer. However, homemade tomato sauce is an even better source of this mineral, because only one-quarter of a cup of this drink will give your body 0.6 g of K! So you will surely prefer making dishes that are based on this food.

Surely you already know by now how bananas are rich in potassium, and you probably love them because of their pleasant taste. This fruit is one of the best allies when symptoms of hypokalaemia occur, because one banana contains 0.4 g of this mineral.

Apart from these, rich in potassium are: beans, Swiss chard, spinach, salmon, homemade yogurt, shells, dried plums, carrot juice, tuna, soy, melon, and juice squeezed from oranges and avocados.

When potassium tablets have to be taken

Most people who take care of proper nutrition and therefore have a regular potassium intake will not need to take it through a variety of medications. However, there are persons who have symptoms of hypokalaemia and need to take potassium in tablets.

Most often these are the people who use diuretics or pills. In addition, the lack of potassium through supplements should be compensated by persons engaged in heavy physical work, athletes, people with Crohn's disease, as well as those who generally have indigestion.

In the end, the majority of smokers and those who drink alcohol are prone to have low levels of this mineral in the body and are in need of drug therapy.

What are the recommended daily dosages of potassium?

When it comes to the intake of this mineral in the body, it depends primarily on the age and therefore it varies. Lack of potassium besides food, can always be taken with the help of supplements and most often multivitamins that can be used only with permission of your doctor.

In general, the recommended daily dose of potassium is:
  • Infants up to 6 months: 0.4 grams
  • Infants 6 to 12 months: 0.7 g
  • Children 1 to 3 years: 3 g
  • Children from 4-8 years: 3.8 g
  • Children from 9-13 years: 4.5 g
  • Teenagers from 14 to 18 years: 4.7 g
  • Adults over 19 years: 4.7 g
  • Lactating women: 5.1 g

In each of these cases, it is recommended to consult your doctor. By a detailed analysis he/she will determine the extent to which potassium deficiency is present and will propose an adequate therapy. This avoids all the possible occurrence of side effects, as well as the emergence of contraindications, given that the use of supplements of this mineral is not advisable for those who are taking medications for diabetes and heart disease.