Alarming Signs Of Low Potassium Levels And How To Prevent Them

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These Are Alarming Signs Of Low Potassium Levels And How To Prevent Them
Alarming signs of low-potassium levels. Find out the various signs and symptoms. Learn how to prevent or overcome the situation.
The alarming signs of low-potassium levels may  be manifested through the heart, muscles or the nerves. Potassium is an important mineral that helps in the proper functioning of the entire human body. Our body contains at least 98% of potassium. When its level becomes lower even just a bit, it indicates an irregularity in its function. And this may cause side effects in the entire health. This mineral is important for the functions of the heart, muscles and the nerves.

Alarming signs of low-potassium levels 

High blood pressure
Potassium is essential in the regulation of your blood pressure level. This is attributed to its ability to minimize the effects of sodium in the body. It can also help relax blood vessels to prevent you from high blood pressure. Consumption of potassium-packed foods will be helpful to let your body avail of its potassium requirement. Avoid eating salty foods because they can cause your blood pressure level to soar.

Constipation
Low levels of potassium slows down the function of the digestive system. Because of this, it may affect your digestion process thereby resulting to constipation. Watch the kind of foods that you eat. Avoid dairy products like cheese, ice cream, and more other dairy products. Furthermore, avoid red meat, chips, frozen dinners, cookies, or fried foods because they can cause constipation.

Heart Palpitations
Heart palpitation is one indication of  the alarming signs of low-potassium levels. Lack of potassium can pose danger to your heart’s health. If you are deficient with this mineral, you may suffer from irregular heartbeat and palpitations. Potassium is essential to bodily health because it affects the function of all muscles especially, the heart muscles. It may also interrupt the electrical impulses that later results to arrhythmia– a condition in which the heart beats with an irregular or abnormal rhythm– especially to those with heart troubles. You may experience sudden pounding of the heart or a speedy heart rate. To prevent you from cardiovascular diseases and strokes, eating foods rich in potassium is highly recommended.

More Alarming Signs of Low-Potassium Levels

Feeling of tiredness or general fatigue
Constant feeling of tiredness for no apparent reason is a sign that indicates a deficiency in potassium. It’s an alarming sign of low-potassium levels. If your potassium levels are low, it gives you the feeling of being exhausted despite getting enough sleep. Potassium deficiency affects the normal function of cells and organs because this mineral provides them the ability to function correctly. So when you are having constant bouts with general fatigue without reason, it is time to seek medical advice.

Feeling dizzy or fainting
A significant drop in your potassium levels can make you feel dizzy as if you’re going to faint. This is an alarming sign of low-potassium levels. It is a result of having a slow heartbeat as an effect of having a low level of potassium. If you get to experience these conditions, you need to see your doctor immediately to get medical attention.

Tingling and numbness
These conditions are another alarming signs of low-potassium levels. Since potassium is very vital to keep our nerves healthy, lack of this mineral may give us a burning sensation. It may likewise give us a  feeling of numbness. Can you also imagine that feeling of being pricked with pins and needles?

Weak muscle, muscle fatigue, muscle cramps
When your muscles feel weak, fatigued or cramped, you are experiencing muscle cramps. These may indicate levels of potassium and you are manifesting alarming signs of low-potassium level. A drop in your potassium level will let you experience aches and spasm. This is because  potassium is important in bringing about smooth muscle contraction. Potassium plays a significant role in maintaining your muscle strength. So if you have any of these experiences, it’s time to seek medical attention.

Feeling bloated
A body that lacks potassium will have a hard time regulating the levels of sodium. When this happens, it will eventually lead to salt-induced bloating. This is the bloated feeling you experience after taking in too much sodium. You become uncomfortable and your blood volume rises causing pressure to the heart.

Methods to distinguish alarming signs of low-potassium levels and how you can prevent it:

Method 1

  1. Identifying the alarming signs of low-potassium levels
    Watch for early warning signs.
    Initial signs of moderately low potassium can be traced if suffering from muscle aches, cramps, and unexplained weakness. It can also be traced from respiratory and severe gastrointestinal muscle weakness. If your potassium level is low, the neuromuscular cells won’t recharge quickly becoming difficult for the muscles to contract. Furthermore, faintness, muscle spasms, and muscle tingling or numbness are indications of worsening potassium deficiency. Refer this to your doctor immediately.
  2. Get an early diagnosis
    If you have severe or extended low potassium, this may affect the heart. This is a warning sign of low levels of potassium. Low levels of potassium can effect changes in its usual and normal function. It can also result to irregular heartbeats like dangerous arrhythmia if the case becomes severe. If the low-level condition takes longer, it goes on to affect the kidney. Hence, having low potassium would be as crucial as having excessive blood potassium. This is believed to be more dangerous. So if you get to experience heart palpitations, muscle pain, muscle weakness, numbness or irregular heart rate, these may indicate serious signs of too much potassium. Additionally, this may even lead to a possible cardiac arrest and death. It is best to visit your doctor immediately.
  3. Take note of the of circumstances that can lead to low potassium
    You should be aware of the circumstances affecting your well-being like bouts with diarrhea, dehydration, vomiting, constipation or weakness. Submit yourself to a potassium level test. Suffering from these condition may get you worried. They may be alarming signs of low potassium levels.

Method 2

  1. Get diagnosed
    Submit yourself to a potassium level test.
    First of all, have your potassium level examined. Next, undergo a potassium level test to determine the reasons why you are suffering from such conditions.
  2. Undergo electrocardiogram – ECG or EKG
    The ECG test will help you determine if something with your heart’s function is having problems.

Method 3

  1. Determining the cause
    First consult with your doctor about diuretic usage
    Patients suffering from high blood pressure may need to have diuretics for treatment. However, diuretics cause low potassium so before taking this, you should consult your doctor first.
  2. Assess your lifestyle for potential causes
    Potassium levels can be prevented by changes in lifestyle. If you drink too much of alcohol, take laxatives too often. The frequent experience of profuse sweating indicates alarming signs of low-potassium levels. Start seeking medical advice to change these habits. Furthermore, seek treatment to avoid alcohol addiction and ask advice on how to reduce use of laxatives through natural methods. You can also change your work or living environment that causes you to suffer from excessive sweating. Other conditions resulting to low potassium are chronic kidney disease, diabetic ketoacidosis, diarrhea, aldosteronism, hyperaldosteronism, and use of antibiotics. 

Sources of potassium that help prevent the alarming signs of low-potassium levels

Generally, the best way to increase your potassium level is to adjust your diet. Consume foods that are rich in potassium. But, it would always be smart to consult your doctor to avoid too much potassium.

List of foods that can be helpful in fighting off the alarming signs of low-potassium levels:

  1. Fruits
    Fruits like bananas provide a great source of potassium.Furthermore, bananas contain a healthy dose of potassium and help prevent muscle cramps. However, watch the amount of your banana consumption to avoid constipation. You can also eat other potassium fruit varieties like spinach, strawberries, avocado, broccoli, and Swiss chard. Additionally, you can include oranges, mangoes, kiwis, apricots, and dates to your list.
  2. Vegetables
    Another source of potassium are vegetables. Potassium can also be availed from carrots, sweet potatoes, and red peppers. These foods contain a lot of beta-carotene. Meanwhile, eating foods from this vegetables will help you acquire the right amount of potassium your body needs. Moreover, it will help you stay away from the alarming signs of low-potassium levels.
  3. Fish
    Other great sources of potassium are sardines and salmon. So if you feel like suffering from the alarming signs of low-potassium levels, eat enough portions of these foods. The potassium these heart-healthy fish contain will help provide the potassium requirement needed for good health.
  4. Meat
    Steak, when grilled, will help you get enough of the potassium you need. Additionally, you can get the most benefit of this hearty meal by combining it with tomatoes, leafy greens, and peanuts.

 

Reference and Resources

  1. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/symptoms-of-low-potassium
  2. http://www.prevention.com/health/5-signs-you-may-be-low-in-potassium
  3. http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/how-to-avoid-a-potassium-deficiency#2
  4. http://readanddigesthealth.com/2017/07/26/6-alarming-signs-that-your-body-has-low-potassium-levels-must-read/
  5. http://www.wikihow.com/Recognize-Symptoms-of-Low-Potassium

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