Potassium is a natural mineral that is required by the human body for a number of purposes. The mineral is classified as an electrolyte and is present in all bodily tissues and cells. Potassium primarily contributes to overall muscle function, but also plays a role in digestive health, kidney function, blood pressure regulation and more. Obtaining an adequate supply of potassium on a daily basis is usually not a problem, as the electrolyte is found in a large variety of food options, but there are some individuals who are at a higher risk of suffering a potassium deficiency. Identifying the symptoms of a potassium deficiency, a condition known as hypokalemia, can help to reduce the risk of experiencing complications.
We will discuss why potassium is important, what symptoms may signal a lack of adequate potassium intake, consider how much potassium you need, and also take a look at some of the best foods to eat if you need to up your intake of this electrolyte. We will also consider the potential causes of potassium deficiency and talk about particular risk factors that individuals can potentially avoid to reduce their risk of suffering from low potassium levels.
Identifying the symptoms of low potassium levels in the body can help to provide early treatment and avoid some complications from developing. There are a number of potential complications and symptoms that may develop when potassium levels in the body become too low. Let’s take a look at ten common symptoms that a person may experience when they suffer from a potassium deficiency.
Potassium Deficiency Symptom #1: Muscle Weakness
Muscle weakness is the most common symptom associated with a potassium deficiency. Potassium plays a key role in promoting muscle strength and the overall wellbeing of muscle tissue. The muscle weakness can make it more difficult for an affected person to properly move their legs and arms.
Potassium Deficiency Symptom #2: Muscle Cramps
In addition to muscle weakness, many individuals who suffer from a lack of potassium in their body also experience muscle cramps. Muscle cramps may be mild or severe, and can affect a number of different muscle groups in the body.