15 Common Symptoms And Signs Of Potassium Deficiency

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Statistics show that around 90% of Americans do not reach their targeted levels of potassium intake in a day. Potassium deficiency is a condition known as hypokalemia, which is when a person lacks the proper amount of potassium in their blood, which affects important organs like the heart and brain. Potassium – which is considered an electrolyte – is one of the most essential minerals that the body needs. It helps maintain healthy blood pressure, regulates muscle contractions, it sends nerve signals through the body, and assists the body in regulating fluid.
Since the body cannot create its own potassium, it needs to get it from outside sources like supplements, vitamins, or better yet, potassium-rich food. When the body has a sudden loss of fluid due to instances that involve diarrhea, vomiting, blood loss or even just excessive sweating, potassium is also lost, which then causes trouble. Knowing the signs to watch out for when it comes to a lack of potassium within the body is very important to know, especially because it affects so many important bodily functions.
The following are 15 common symptoms and signs that will help you know if you have a potassium deficiency.

1. Muscle Cramping

Since potassium is such an important mineral when it comes to muscles and how they function, low blood potassium levels can cause them to cramp. Cramping is described as sudden and uncontrollable contractions, and oftentimes, they can also be quite painful. When the body lacks potassium, the brain cannot send the proper signals efficiently, which then causes the muscles to cramp. Cramping can last for seconds to minutes, hours to days. If you notice that they happen often, especially when accompanied by other symptoms on this list, be sure to speak to your doctor about possible potassium deficiency.