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Have you ever noticed how TV commercials always mention the importance of vitamins and minerals for your body? Well, it is because the daily growth and functioning of our bodies depends on the vitamins and minerals we eat. Therefore, maintaining the balance of such nutrients is important.
One such mineral that your body needs is potassium. It has many roles to play in your body. Potassium is one of the electrolytes in the body, which is needed for the cells to function, besides other electrolytes like sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. These electrolytes help in regulating our blood pressure, affect the hydration and muscle function in the body.
Potassium is an essential mineral that helps in regulating muscle contraction, maintains healthy nerve function, regulates fluid balance, and promotes a healthy cardiovascular system. And if you’re dealing with potassium deficiency, it can raise your risk of high blood pressure, kidney stones, lower bone turnover, urinary calcium excretion, and salt sensitivity.
Low potassium is medically known as hypokalemia and if your problem is temporary, you might not feel any symptoms. Once your potassium levels fall below a certain level, there are certain signs and symptoms that can show up to indicate deficiency.
Low potassium levels in your blood can cause weakness, fatigue and sometimes light headache. Every cell in your body needs the right amount of potassium to function and its deficiency might cause you to feel dizzy, faint or light headed.
Potassium plays a key role in smooth muscle contraction and growth. So, when levels are low, you might experience cramps, aches, and spasms. You might experience these cramps any time of the day and they can increase while exercising.
Digestive problems have many causes, one of which is potassium deficiency. Low potassium levels in your body can affect the bowel function, thus leading to constipation, bloating and cramping.
Since potassium plays an important part in maintaining blood pressure, you may experience episodes of high blood pressure. Without enough potassium in the body, blood vessel walls can become constricted, which results in hypertension. Our body needs potassium, because it helps relax blood vessels, thus preventing high blood pressure problems.
Severe hypokalemia can also lead to breathing problems. Potassium regulates the contraction of all muscles, including heart muscles. Very low levels of potassium can lead to irregular heart rhythm or breathing issues. Seek medical care immediately, if you experience abnormal heart rhythm.
So ladies, keep these symptoms in mind and track your potassium intake to avoid complications related to potassium deficiency.