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What Are The Signs Of Potassium Deficiency? (And In Which Foods To Find It)

What Are The Signs Of Potassium Deficiency? (And In Which Foods To Find It)

Potassium is an essential mineral for the body and its deficiencies can be dangerous for our health. Do not ignore the following 8 signs. Potassium ensures the proper functioning of muscles, especially in terms of muscle contraction, including that of the heart muscle. Namely, it also guarantees the proper functioning of the kidneys. The list of benefits that potassium brings to our body does not stop there, so it is essential to know how to recognize the signs of a deficiency given the importance of its role in our body.

Potassium Deficiency

The roles that potassium plays are many and varied, and so can the effects of a mineral deficiency. Here are 8 signs that could mean hypokalemia, a significant potassium deficiency.

1. Fatigue and weakness
When you feel tired even after a full night's sleep, feel sluggish and sluggish during the day and can't find the cause, it may be due to a lack of potassium. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of hypokalemia.

2. Muscle cramps
Potassium plays an essential role in muscle contraction. Thus, a deficiency could be responsible for painful and involuntary tetany of the muscles. As the Mayo Clinic explains, cramps are often associated with mineral deficiencies, including potassium, calcium and magnesium.

3. Digestive problems and constipation
Potassium plays an essential function in our digestion, allowing the brain to send signals to the muscles located in the digestive system. When present in insufficient quantity, these signals slow down, which can manifest as constipation or bloating.

4. Heart problems
A heart rhythm disorder can mean a potassium deficit. If you experience arrhythmia or heart palpitations, this may be due to hypokalemia.

5. Tingling and numbness
An adequate dose of potassium in the body is linked to the proper functioning of the nervous system. A potassium deficit could therefore cause tingling, numbness and muscle pain.

6. Difficulty breathing
In the most extreme cases, a severe potassium deficiency can cause breathing difficulties. If this deficiency is not treated, it can lead to respiratory arrest.

7. Blood pressure problems
Potassium helps regulate blood flow. A drop in potassium in the blood could therefore have effects on your blood pressure. According to an article published in the Swiss Medical Journal, the mineral has a hypotensive effect, especially in people whose sodium consumption is excessive.

8. Malaise and nausea
If you experience discomfort, nausea, and sudden weakness, this can be explained by hypokalemia. Some of these symptoms may be related to digestive problems.

To prevent potassium deficiency, it is therefore recommended for an adult to ingest nearly 4700 mg of potassium per day. These needs vary depending on your condition and for children, do not hesitate to ask your doctor for advice. As for natural sources of potassium, they are diverse and varied. Here are some of them and their potassium content:

- Cooked white beans: 1061 mg of potassium in a cup of beans
- Potato with skin, baked: 530 mg of potassium per 100 g of potato
- Tomato puree: 580 mg of potassium for half a cup
- Banana: 422 mg of potassium per medium-sized banana
- 70% dark chocolate: 218 mg of potassium for 30 g of dark chocolate

Caution :
Be aware that too much potassium in the body is just as harmful and can cause hyperkalemia. Eat a balanced diet and do not hesitate to consult your doctor for more information.