Hypokalemia: Signs of Potassium Deficiency

Vaibhav Saxena

, Health A2Z

Potassium is one of the streams of essential minerals which is often neglected by the people to include in the diet. This ignorant behavior towards this crucial mineral causes a condition named Hypokalemia, which is elaborately termed as Potassium Deficiency. According to many pieces of research and studies, potassium is a mineral which plays an important role in many vital functions of the body.


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Moreover, Potassium is critical to your body and on a contrary side, its deficiency can cause you serious health problems. Your body needs potassium to break down and use carbohydrates and proteins. It’s also used to help build muscles. Even after such crucial significance of potassium, the majority of people ignore to consume it and fails to meet the recommended intake of this mineral which is 4.7 grams of potassium a day for an adult.




What are the Signs of Potassium Deficiency?


Potassium Deficiency is medically termed as Hypokalemia which simply occurs when a regular human body encounters a low or minimal presence of potassium. The prime concern arrives is how to recognize the deficiency or Hypokalemia. We have curated a conducive list of most prominent signs and symptoms of Potassium Deficiency.


1. Muscle Cramps and Spasms:


Muscle cramps never seem to be chronic to people, however, the contractions are capable to create potential future problems in performing daily chores. Factually, Potassium deficiency in the blood are the prime causes of cramps and spasms as this mineral relays signals from the brain that stimulate contractions.



2. Weakness and Fatigue:


Here is a quick fact, Potassium is one mineral that is involved in the activity of Every-Single-Cell of the body! The aforementioned fact takes us to the acknowledgment that potassium contributes to the energy production of the body, however, when the body encounters Hypokalemia the energy levels of the body drops down and ultimately fatigue and weakness turn out to be the product.



3. Constipation:


Low levels of the potassium are proven to be one of the prime cause behind constipation. Ironically, the excessive amount of potassium can also cause the same of the problem of constipation so, always mind the amount of intake of potassium.



4. Tingling and Numbness:


Potassium is important for healthy nerve function. Potassium Deficiency can weaken nerve signals, which may result in tingling and numbness. While occasionally experiencing these symptoms is harmless, persistent tingles and numbness may be a sign of an underlying condition. If you experience persistent paresthesia, it’s best to see your doctor.



5. Mood Changes:


Hypokalemia causes disruption in the signal transmission from brain to other parts of the body which eventually causes mood swings and mental fatigue. It has been found that the majority of patients who have had or have been suffering from mental sickness have a potassium deficiency.


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What is Potassium Deficiency Treatment?


There is no “one-shot” treatment against Hypokalemia, in order to increase your potassium intake on must eat more potassium-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts. The health authorities have set the recommended daily intake (RDI) for potassium at 4,700 mg. Find the list of foods that are great sources of potassium, along with the percentage of the RDI found in a 100-gram serving.


1. White potatoes baked: 16% of the RDI
2. Sweet potatoes, baked: 14% of the RDI
3. White beans cooked: 18% of the RDI
4. Avocado: 14% of the RDI
5. Green Vegetables cooked: 26% of the RDII
6. Bananas: 10% of the RDI






The bottom line is that Potassium Deficiency is a condition that slowly yet drastically affects the body of an individual. It is recommended to keep the nutrition intake proper. With the proper diet and practices risks of Hypokalemia can easily be sidestepped.


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