Most of us know that potassium is important for the maintenance of good health, but did you know that there are serious risks associated with insufficient intake of this essential mineral? Potassium deficiency can lead to fatigue, irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness and cramps, poor digestion, and other unpleasant symptoms. Also, if left untreated, it can cause serious problems. In this blog post, we’ll look at 8 potential risks of potassium deficiency, so you can make sure your diet includes the right amount for optimal health.

Reminder of the recommended daily intake of potassium.

The recommended daily intake of potassium can vary considerably depending on age and stage of life. Generally speaking, children should aim for an intake of around 4,700 mg, teenagers around 4,700 to 5,100 mg, and adults at least 4,700 mg. For pregnant or breastfeeding women, the recommendation is even higher: around 5,100 mg per day. Finally, older adults should aim to consume at least 4,500 to 5,000 mg of potassium per day.

The 8 potential risks of potassium deficiency.

  1. Impaired muscle function:

Potassium deficiency, or hypokalemia, can lead to disturbances in nerve and muscle function. This can lead to a wide range of problems such as muscle weakness or spasms, paralysis, fatigue, respiratory muscle paralysis, irregular heartbeats and arrhythmias.

  1. Reduced bone mineral density:

Hypokalemia has been linked to decreased bone mineral density and increased risk of osteoporosis due to loss of bone minerals such as calcium and phosphorus.

  1. Increased susceptibility to infections:

Potassium is necessary for the optimal functioning of the immune system. Without adequate levels of potassium, individuals may be more susceptible to infections, including colds, flu viruses, and other illnesses.

  1. High blood pressure:

Potassium helps regulate our blood pressure by balancing sodium levels in the body, which can reduce the risk of hypertension or high blood pressure when at normal levels. Low potassium levels lead to a significant increase in blood pressure levels, which can cause serious complications such as stroke or heart attack if the problem is not treated properly.

  1. Irregular heartbeat:

Low potassium levels also disrupt the electrical signaling inside your heart, leading to changes in heart rhythm, known as arrhythmia, which can lead to palpitations, fainting spells, and even fainting. sudden death in some cases if nothing is done.

  1. Gastrointestinal problems:

Hypokalemia can cause digestive issues such as constipation due to disruption of normal bowel contractions that help push food through the gastrointestinal tract, leading to uncomfortable digestive symptoms as well as nutrient malabsorption issues such as bloating, cramps and diarrhea.

  1. Metabolic syndrome :

Low potassium levels also contribute to metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by insulin resistance, high triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and excess abdominal fat – all of which increase the risk of serious diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

  1. Kidney damage:

A drop in electrolyte balance affects kidney functions, causing fluid imbalances that lead to other complications such as impaired urine formation and retention as well as kidney stones if left untreated quickly with medical intervention.

Many sources of potassium are available to increase your intake.

One way to increase your potassium intake is to incorporate more potassium-rich foods into your diet.

  • Fruits particularly rich in potassium are bananas, oranges, apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, dried prunes and raisins.
  • Potassium-rich vegetables include potatoes (especially with the skin), yams, sweet potatoes, spinach, and other leafy greens like Swiss chard and kale.
  • Legumes like beans and lentils are also an excellent source of dietary potassium; one cup of cooked beans can provide up to 800 milligrams of potassium.
  • Dairy products like yogurt and milk can also provide up to 300-400 milligrams of dietary potassium per serving.
  • Finally, nuts are another good source of dietary potassium; 30 g of almonds or peanuts contains about 200 milligrams of this mineral.

As well as increasing your intake of potassium-rich foods in your diet, you should also consider taking a quality potassium supplement to ensure you are meeting the recommended daily allowances. It is important to remember that not all forms of supplementation are created equal; When choosing a supplement, it is always best to opt for a product that is free from fillers or artificial ingredients.

Finally, if you suffer from pre-existing health conditions. Such as kidney disease or heart failure, always consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet or supplementation routine, to ensure that it is safe to do so.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.