Potassium is one of the most important minerals for our health. It is present in all the cells in our body, and plays a variety of important functions. Only 2% of the potassium in our body is found in the bloodstream, and the mineral is so important for our cells that even a small lack of it can cause big problems.
One of the main roles of potassium is to control the electrical activity of cells in the heart, muscles and nerves. If the levels are even slightly reduced, you may experience some kind of problem with the function of these organs.
Main causes of hypokalemia (low potassium levels)
The main cause of low potassium levels in the body is reduced level of potassium in the gastrointestinal tract or kidneys, which itself is caused by constant use of some drugs, vomiting, diarrhea and frequent use of laxatives. In order to prevent bigger problems, it’s vital to recognize the early symptoms of hypokalemia and act on time.
Here are the 6 biggest signs of low potassium levels:
Feeling weak and tired all day long may actually be caused by low potassium levels. Our body cells need the mineral to function properly, so lack of it can cause the cells to lose energy and work improperly. If you’re experiencing fatigue without an apparent reason, we suggest visiting a doctor and checking your potassium levels.
Surprisingly, bloating can be a sign of low potassium levels. When lacking potassium, the body is finding it hard to regulate the levels of sodium, which can lead to bloating.
3. Tingling and numbness in the extremities
Potassium deficiency has been known to cause tingling and numbness in the arms and legs. If you experience this, we suggest checking your potassium levels.
As potassium is important for the function of our blood vessels and muscles, lack of it can cause high blood pressure and other irregularities. This is why it’s important to consume potassium-rich foods in order to keep your potassium levels in check.
You can find the mineral in apricots, avocado, kiwi, cantaloupe, bananas, strawberries, oranges, fish, grass-fed beef, green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, peas, beets and tomatoes as well.
5. Heart palpitations
Lack of potassium can cause irregular heart rhythm as it doesn’t allow the muscle to work properly. The electrical impulses in the heart are in control of our heart rhythm and are dependent on potassium, which is why potassium deficiency causes irregular heartbeat.
Lack of potassium can cause bloating and constipation, as well as other digestive problems as well.
If you’ve recognized any of the symptoms mentioned on the list, we suggest visiting a doctor ASAP. Potassium deficiency is not a simple problem, and should be resolved sooner rather than later.