HOW TO RECOGNIZE A SHORTAGE OF POTASSIUM
Potassium is an essential mineral to the human body. It helps to regulate muscle contractions, fluid balance, and it helps to maintain a healthy nerve function. Potassium is an electrolyte, which means that it can efficiently conduct electricity. That is why it works so well with muscle contractions. It’s also the third most abundant mineral in your body. A potassium deficiency is also known as Hypokalemia and comes with multiple symptoms.
Potassium is a important mineral to the human body. Since our body is unable to create this mineral itself, we need to get potassium from our foods.You can find potassium in many foods, like bananas, cantaloupes, apricots, grapefruits, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, eggplants, plankton and many more fruits and vegetables. Low-fat or fat-free dairy products often also contain high amounts of potassium (1
A survey from 2013 found that about 98% of the American popular do not maintain the recommended daily intake of potassium. This phenomenon can be explained through the Western Diet, as it uses mainly processed foods rather than fresh fruits and vegetables (2
There are certain groups of people that have a higher risk of creating a potassium deficiency. Those people may benefit from using potassium supplements next to their daily meals. It is, however, important to note that if you suspect you have a shortage of potassium, you should always consult a doctor before taking any supplements.
People at risk of getting a potassium deficiency are:
- People with a chronic bowel disease, like Crohn’s disease,
- People who abuse alcohol,
- Smoking people,
- People that live in hot climates,
- People with gastrointestinal diseases which cause severe vomiting or diarrhea,
- Malnourished people, including people with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia,
- People that consume foods from potassium-deficient soils.
A shortage of potassium can be recognized by the following symptoms. If you recognize one or more of these symptoms, it is advisable to contact your physician.