Low levels of Potassium in the human body may inflict drastic consequences on a person’s overall wellbeing. Dig into this article and be aware of the side effects of low potassium.
Our body would cease to function without potassium. It’s an indispensable mineral which enables us to feel strong and healthy every day. Human body cells essentially contain large portions of potassium, majority of which remain inside the cells. The smooth muscular and cellular functioning, cardiovascular movement, the nerve transmissions and the muscle contractions wouldn’t be so efficient if not for our body’s richness in potassium. Hypokalemia is the medical condition wherein our body fails to retain minimum necessary amount of potassium required for its daily operation. The moment we experience a decline in potassium content, these bodily functions witness a simultaneous crunch! A patient suffering from immediate potassium deficiency would exhibit symptoms including weakness, irregular heartbeat, stomach disturbances as well as muscle cramps that occur quite frequently. Potassium monitors and regulates ‘aldosterone’, a very vital hormone which increases the re-absorption of sodium and water in our body and pumps up the secretion of potassium in the kidneys! Also, potassium plays the fundamental role of a catalyst for various body enzymes. So now you should be convinced that a low level of potassium might have a bad impact on a human being. Let’s have a look at the main side effects of low potassium.
Low Potassium Side Effects
As we lose large amounts of potassium through urine, apart from the dangers of hypokaleima, we may experience relentless nausea and recurrent vomiting. These symptoms may also be accompanied by frequent headaches and unbearable insomnia. Hence, it is best recommended to maintain a healthy diet with many fruits such as bananas and oranges to avoid these kinds of excruciating headaches and instances of frailty.
Diarrhoea And Constipation
Sporadic and unpredictable side effects such as constipation and diarrhoea are common. Victims tend to become thirsty and dehydrated as levels of potassium start plummeting.
Heart Attack Frights And Low Blood Pressure
If we ignore recurring symptoms such as muscles cramps, fatigue, mental confusion and irregular heartbeats, effects of low potassium intake may escalate to cardiac arrests and eventually death. Potassium plays a major role in the smooth performance of cardiovascular functioning. A drop in the levels of potassium may impede these processes thus triggering fatal consequences. Moreover, cholesterol tends to increase for the worse and out blood pressure may decline inducing more problems.
Extended periods of low potassium levels may lead to permanent scarring of the kidneys. If excess of potassium is released in our urine, then we lose our efficient aldosterone monitor and regulator. This negatively affects the levels of sodium and water in our body which inevitably gives rise to adrenal failure. Potassium is largely known as our natural diuretic primarily because it gets absorbed by our systems and approximately 85-90% of it gets excreted by our bowels. This mineral helps our body maintain the pH balance as well as a proper water balance.
Other Side Effects
As we should know, potassium greatly helps in intra-cellular nutrient transfer. If you’ve been wondering why your skin has been plagued with horrendous acne breakouts, maybe you should re-think about your potassium intake and set a new diet! Moreover, lack of potassium encourages the persistence of dreaded allergies. Ever wondered what speeds up the conversion of glucose into glycogen. Yes, it is potassium! Even building those covetable biceps and triceps is an easier task with high potassium levels. Low potassium would only turn them flaccid! God forbid, if a patient is suffering from problems such as ‘diabetic ketoacidosis’, related to renal salt transporters, it may lead to ‘hypokalemia’!
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