8 Signs You Have A Potassium Deficiency

Hello there, everyone! Potassium is one the most important nutrients for your body. It helps you regulate fluid balance and maintain a healthy nerve function. This is why a lack of potassium causes serious problems.

Now you might be wondering, “How do I know if I have potassium deficiency or not?” Starting from digestive problems to heart palpitations and fatigue, there are many signs and symptoms of potassium deficiency. In this article, we will be talking about all of them and more. 

1. Breathing Problem

Many people report breathing difficulties when they have potassium deficiency. Why does it happen? You see, when potassium relays the signal to your lungs, it stimulates it in order to expand and contract.

This allows you to inhale and exhale air. Now imaging if you don’t have enough potassium in your body. There will be nothing in your system to stimulate your lungs. This can cause breathing issues. What’s even scarier is that this is not where your problems end. Your heart will begin to beat normally. If not taken care of, the lack of potassium can damage your lungs.

2. Stiffness Of Muscles

One of the main functions of potassium in your body is to regulate blood flow through your muscles. When there is a lack of potassium in your blood, the vessels may contract due to a lack of oxygen.

Due to this low amount of oxygen, blood flow in your body will also slow down. This leads to muscles stiffness. If this is allowed to go on, your blood vessels will rupture.
You might also get muscle spasms if this condition is left untreated. It must also be noted that muscle stiffness and spasms may be caused by other problems. For example, fatigue, fever or simple activities that drain your energy.

So don’t jump to conclusions. Instead, go to a doctor and tell them about your symptoms.

3. Fatigue

In most cases of potassium deficiency, fatigue is a known symptom. Are you wondering what fatigue has to do with potassium deficiency? As we stated earlier, potassium regulates blood flow through muscles. As there is no potassium to regulate the flow, there is a lack of oxygen. When there is a lack of oxygen, your body gets tired easily. This makes your muscles weaker. This is why you feel fatigue.

Apart from that, there is one more factor at play here. In the absence of potassium and scarcity of oxygen, your heart is forced to pump blood at a faster rate. This puts pressure on your arteries and veins. It can also burn tons of calories. As a result, you’ll lose a lot of energy in the process. When you are drained out of energy, you are left with a body that is exhausted and fatigued.

4. Issues With Your Heartbeat

In the last two points, we spoke about how a lack of potassium and oxygen causes the heart to pump blood at a faster rate. This basically means the heart needs to put in more effort. As a result, your heart starts to beat faster, while at other times, it skips a beat. This feeling is common with people who have anxiety, depression and stress. In case you are wondering, yes, potassium affects your mood. More on that a little later though.

Coming back to the point, this problem with your heartbeat may also lead to arrhythmia. It is characterized by irregularities in your beat and is often a symptom of an underlying heart problem. If you really don’t want to deal with any of these issues, we would recommend that you consume potassium regularly. It is not that hard. Bananas, oranges and apricots are quite high in potassium. So the next time you visit the grocery store, make sure to get a lot of them!

5. Feeling Numb

Imagine waking up one morning and realizing that you can’t feel your arms, legs or feet. How scary does that sound? Well that could very well be the case if you have low levels of potassium in your blood. We aren’t saying this to scare you. It’s just important for you to know. You see, potassium is important for your nerve function. These nerves send signals from your brain to the rest of your body.

Without potassium, your brain can’t really send them properly. Even when it does, the signals are very weak. This is why you feel numb, it is the brain trying to send signals, but is failing to do so. Although, it is not just the lack of potassium that causes this problem. If it happens sometimes when you have nothing to worry about, but if it persists then please rush to the doctor.

6. Cramps

Cramps are very common in potassium deficiency. When we say cramps, we don’t really want to specify any particular type. They can occur anywhere. You can even get cramps in your abdomen if you have a potassium deficiency.

If you feel stiffness and do not report it to the doctor, this stiffness will evolve into cramps or spasms. Who would have thought that a simple lack of potassium would lead to this? This is why you should make sure to consume as much as possible. This way, you will be able to prevent most of the problems we are mentioning in this article.

7. Mood Swings

Many people have related potassium deficiency to fatigue. How are they related? Well, remember we spoke about heartbeat problems? This is somewhat related to that. Due to the lack of potassium, the heart is under a lot of pressure. The brain tries to send important information, but the signals are weak in the absence of potassium. As a result, the stress levels start to rise. Over time, this leads to depression and anxiety.

The lack of oxygen in the blood also plays a major role. As a matter of fact, it was found that around 20% of people with mental disorders also had low potassium in their blood. Now that should be convincing enough! Of course, more research is required to understand if these disorders can be dealt with by consuming more potassium. One thing is for sure, if you have a healthy intake of potassium, you won’t have to deal with them.

8. Constipation

Due to low levels of potassium in your body, food passes through your gut very slowly. As a result of this, you may have constipation. Although, lack of potassium isn’t the only cause of constipation.

It may be the result of too much dietary fibre. It could also occur if you have dehydration. It is also seen in people who have stomach problems. So once again, we would suggest not jumping to conclusions. If you are indeed facing a problem with your gut, going to the doctor and telling them about your symptoms is always the best option. 

 

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