Potassium is an essential mineral that your body needs to maintain its blood and tissue cells. It also helps your body to build muscles and facilitate the release of electrical signals between your cells and nerves.
A lack of potassium in the body can cause hypokalemia. It is a serious condition which is manifested by dry skin, weak muscles, fatigue and slow reflexes.
If left unchecked, potassium deficiency can cause heart problems and paralysis.
Here are some of the adverse effects of potassium deficiency in the body. You should know them so that you can address them as early as possible.
1. It increases your risk to high blood pressure and osteoporosis.
Low potassium level is manifested by abnormally dry skin, because potassium is the mineral that helps to maintain the normal fluid levels of the cells in your body.
If you are deficient in this mineral, you can develop sensitivity to sodium which can lead to high blood pressure.
Without potassium, nothing can prevent your body from using the alkaline compounds that are present in your bones. This can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis.
2. It can cause fatigue, irritability, and confusion.
When your potassium levels are low, you will feel tired and weak. This is because potassium helps your body to use glucose which is its main source of energy. And when your energy is extremely low, your muscles will also become weary and achy.
Potassium is an electrolyte that helps to maintain the normal movement of electrical impulses within your body. Low potassium levels can slow down the movement of these impulses, and it can result to irritability, confusion, anxiety and depression.
3. It is the origin of many muscular aches and discomforts.
Potassium is the mineral which is responsible for the normal contraction of your muscles. If you are deficient in this mineral, you will likely experience a lot of muscle symptoms which include cramps, slow reflexes, and restless leg syndrome.
If these symptoms are not addressed immediately, it can grow worse because severe potassium deficiency can do damage to the muscles by causing their fibers to break down. This can trigger the release of muscle fibers into the bloodstream and damage your kidneys in the process.
4. It can cause paralysis and problems in your digestive system.
When the transport of electrical signals between your cells and nerves is hampered, paralysis can occur. This condition is more common in the digestive tract than in the other parts of your body.
When the normal function of your digestive tract is impaired, your body will lose its ability to digest food efficiently. This can lead to intestinal cramps, constipation, and bloating.
5. It can trigger heart problems.
Potassium deficiency can cause abnormal beating of your heart. This condition, which is known as dysrhythmia, makes a person experience a sudden and rapid beating of his heart, chest pain and dizziness. This is a serious condition and it can be fatal because it can cause your heart to stop beating completely.
These are some of the known adverse effects of potassium deficiency. Prevent it naturally by eating potassium-rich foods on a regular basis.
Natural vegetable sources of potassium include spinach, parsley, lettuce, broccoli, peas, lima beans, tomatoes, and potatoes.
Fruits that are loaded with this mineral include oranges and other citrus fruits, bananas, apples, avocados, raisins, and apricots.
You can also get potassium from beef, chicken, and fish.