Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the body. It maintains the body’s fluid balance by acting as an electrolyte and plays an important role in regulating nerve signals and muscle contractions.
A diet rich in potassium helps balance blood pressure. Other benefits include regulating heartbeat, protecting against osteoporosis, and helping prevent kidney stones.
Does Potassium Lower Blood Pressure?
We all now know that high salt consumption is associated with high blood pressure. Studies show that increasing potassium intake for people with high blood pressure has positive effects on cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure. Yes, you heard right, a diet rich in potassium provides a cardiovascular-friendly effect by lowering blood pressure.
How Much Is The Daily Potassium Requirement?
A healthy adult needs 4,700 milligrams of potassium through diet. Requirements may be increased in athletes, individuals with high blood pressure, kidney stones, osteoporosis and heart diseases. Its requirement is less in individuals with kidney failure.
Although potassium has many health benefits, we would like to underline that, like all other vitamins and minerals, both deficiency and excess intake can lead to some health problems.
What Is Potassium Deficiency (Hypokalemia)?
Symptoms such as muscle aches, constipation, fatigue and burnout may indicate low potassium levels.
Potassium is very important for the functioning of muscle and nerve cells and for heart health. Therefore, its deficiency is equally dangerous. Changing blood potassium levels can affect nervous system signals, causing irregularities in muscle contractions and heartbeat.
What Causes Potassium Deficiency?
Situations that increase fluid loss such as vomiting, diarrhea and diuretic drugs, a diet poor in potassium, kidney diseases and magnesium deficiency can cause potassium loss. A decrease in blood potassium level below 3.5 mEq/L is defined as hypokalemia, that is, low potassium.
Is Low Potassium A Sign Of Cancer?
Low potassium levels can cause a number of health problems but are not specifically identified as one of the symptoms of cancer. Potassium is an important electrolyte in the body and plays a role in many biological processes such as nerve conduction, muscle contraction, water balance and cell functions.
However, cancer is not usually associated with significant potassium levels. Cancer symptoms often vary depending on its type and extent of spread. If you think you have symptoms of cansus, it is important to talk to a healthcare professional. If you think there is a problem with your potassium levels, it is important to see a doctor and have appropriate tests done if necessary.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with potassium deficiency, this does not mean that the person has cancer. If you are in doubt, you can talk to your doctor about this situation.
What are the Symptoms of High Potassium?
If you have symptoms such as muscle fatigue, heart palpitations, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, your blood potassium level may be elevated. High potassium, or hyperkalemia, is defined as the level of potassium in your blood being higher than normal. Normally, the blood potassium level should be 3.5-5.3 mEq/L, but being above 5 is hyperkalemia.
While excess potassium is removed through urine and sweat in healthy individuals, kidney disease, some medications, and excessive potassium intake may cause hyperkalemia. For this reason, if you have symptoms of high potassium, be sure to consult your doctor and nutritionist.
How To Measure Potassium?
If you are experiencing the symptoms I have mentioned and you suspect that your potassium level is high or low, it would be beneficial to have your blood potassium level checked. Potassium level can be measured by taking a blood sample under the supervision of a specialist physician.
Potassium Rich Foods
If your potassium levels are low, you can consume the following foods by talking to your doctor:
- Sweet potato
- Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, broccoli and parsley
- dried fruits
- Foods containing potassium, such as beans and lentils
Potassium is found widely in many foods, especially fruits and vegetables. The daily potassium requirement of an adult can be easily met with an adequate and balanced diet. For this reason, deficiency in a balanced diet is not common.
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- Potassium – Dilarakocak.com.tr