Hypokalemia - Potassium deficiency

Hypokalemia is when the amount of potassium in the blood is too low. It’s an electrolyte. Electrolytes conduct electrical impulses throughout the body. The adult human body contains about 250g of potassium. It is entirely present in the cell, while normal human plasma contains only about 5 milliequivalent of potassium of potassium per liter.

Potassium needed to keep human muscles, nerves and heart working well. Its main functions are: regulating muscle contractions, sending nerve signals, and regulating fluids. Human also need potassium for a healthy digestive system and bone health.

Common signs and symptoms of potassium deficiency include muscular cramps and twitching, muscular weakness, muscle aches and stiffness, tingles and numbness, even actual muscle damage, reduced or absent reflexes, fatigue, fragile bones, irregular heartbeat and other cardiovascular irregularities, changes in blood pressure, kidney failure, lung failure, digestive symptoms, and disturbances in conductivity and contractibility of heart muscle.

The skin and muscle tone will be bad. The flesh does not cling firmly to the body’s bony framework. Lines and wrinkles fill the face and neck.

Potassium depletion results in muscular weakness and mental confusion and is reflected in electrocardiographic changes and loss of smooth muscle motility e.g., in the intestine.

Mental symptoms can include nervous disorders of various types, anorexia, insomnia, a slowdown of cognitive processes, and depression. Death in potassium deficiency may result from cardiac or respiratory failure or from paralytic ileus.

There are certain health situations that can make a person more susceptible to suffering from a deficiency of potassium. These include alcoholism, health conditions requiring the use of certain types of diuretics, periods of high stress and illnesses or conditions that result in extended periods of diarrhea and vomiting.

Some situations of people own making can contribute to potassium deficiency. These include excessive caffeine intake and a diet made up of mostly processed foods. Millions living in today’s civilization and eating its commercialized, processed foods have a potassium deficiency.

Consuming excessive amount of salt daily can also attribute to the decrease of potassium in the human body.

However, hypokalemia is rarely caused by dietary deficiency alone. It can be caused by a number of factors, including fluid loss, malnutrition, shock, using certain medications, and medical conditions like kidney failure.

Deficiency can occur as a result of vomiting, diarrhea and chronic usage of purgatives. It may also occur as a result of urine loss in wasting disease and starvation, overdosage with drugs.

Prevention is always better than trying to cure illness or repair damage. Risk of developing hypokalemia can be reduced by eating a diet full of foods that contain potassium. If the patient had been diagnosed with hypokalemia or potassium deficiency, ensure he eat foods like: lentils, oranges, bananas, dried apricots, low fat milk, spinach and broccoli, brown rice, yogurt.

Potassium supplements are usually the first course of action for levels that are too low. Supplements are mostly effective if kidneys are in good shape.
Hypokalemia - Potassium deficiency

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