Knowing the signs of low potassium is important so that you can cover any shortages and get back on track without any major complications. Potassium is used by each cell in the body, and it’s important to get enough of it each day.
Here are the symptoms that your potassium is getting low and you’re running the risk of a potassium deficiency.
1. General Fatigue
One of the most common low potassium symptoms is a general feeling of fatigue. This would be fatigue that is not brought on by overexertion, but that emcompasses the whole body with no explainable reason.
Fatigue is a symptom that is shared by several different conditions, so it’s best to consult with your doctor if you’re experiencing chronic fatigue.
They’ll be able to drill down to the real cause of the problem, and cross off anything more serious than low potassium levels.
Getting More Potassium: This is where a balanced diet factors in, because when you’re eating a variety of foods rich in potassium, you’ll also be getting an assortment of vitamins and minerals that will give you energy rather than leaving you feeling worn down.
2. High Blood Pressure
If you’ve noticed that your blood pressure isn’t where it should be, or if your doctor has told you to watch your blood pressure, consider taking in more potassium.
When you’re getting the right amount of potassium your blood pressure should come down, all else being equal. There are so many factors that contribute to high blood pressure that your best course of action is to have your doctor determine what is causing the problem.
Getting More Potassium: Eating foods that not only contain potassium, but also fiber is a great way to help your blood pressure numbers. Both potassium and fiber help with blood pressure, so fruits and vegetables are your best bet at getting your numbers down to healthy levels.
3. Heart Palpitations
Low potassium levels can cause a few different symptoms with your heart, like an irregular heartbeat rhythm and heart palpitations. These can range in severity from very slight to very noticeable, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on the frequency and adjust your diet accordingly.
Making sure you have enough potassium in your diet not only removes these heart-related symptoms, but helps protect your heart from heart disease including heart attack and stroke. That’s why this mineral is so important, and one that you’ll want to stay stocked up on.
Getting More Potassium: Eating fruits high in potassium is the best idea to not only avoid heart palpitations and other symptoms, but you’ll be helping your cardiovascular system even more because of the antioxidants fruit contains.
4. Muscle Weakness and Damage
When checking for symptoms of low potassium it’s best to focus on your muscles and how they’re feeling. If they feel weak and tired, or if they’re painful due to a strain or tear, it may be because you’re not getting enough potassium.
Potassium helps your muscles heal on a cellular level, and if you’re not getting enough it leaves them susceptible to these symptoms.
Getting More Potassium: Strong and useful muscles are worth the effort it takes to address your potassium needs each day. Have a daily banana, and work avocado into your meals, even eating it straight up as a snack. These are two delicious ways to insure that you’re potassium intake is adequate.
5. Tingling Sensation
Low potassium can lead to a tingling and numbness, which can be a subtle sign that often goes overlooked. If you find that you are having tingling in the arms and legs, along with another symptom on this list, you’ll definitely want to attend to your potassium intake.
This tingling sensation can also be caused by too much potassium, so it’s important to have a good idea of how much potassium you’ve been taking in, to differentiate between the signs of a potassium shortage or overload.
Getting More Potassium: Don’t try to compensate for a potassium shortage all in one day. Make a conscious effort to gradually increase the amount of potassium-filled foods each day until you are getting the recommended value.
This is one sign of low potassium that you’ll have to be careful with. Constipation can be caused by a number of problems, and it could mean you’re running low on fiber, getting too much fiber, you have a shortage of potassium, and many other potential causes.
Use potassium as part of an overall strategy to reduce the number of constipation occurrences you have, and talk with your doctor if dietary changes don’t produce the desired effect.
Getting More Potassium: Eating more potassium isn’t going to fix your current bout of constipation, but making sure you’re at least coming close to the daily recommended value will help prevent constipation that’s caused by low potassium. Focus on fruits and vegetables, as these will also contain insoluble and soluble fiber to help make sure you stay regular.
One symptoms that is reported from those with low potassium is dizziness or vertigo. This likely means that your potassium levels are very low, and you should make it a point to stop and eat a piece of fruit high in potassium, like a banana or avocado.
When you feel dizzy, be sure to get as low to the ground as possible to minimize the damage in case you faint. If this symptom persists even after an increase in potassium, see your doctor to determine the cause.
Getting More Potassium: It’s better to get your potassium from whole food sources like fruits, vegetables, and other foods high in potassium, than from a supplement. The body is better able to use up natural sources of potassium than synthetic, and it’s best to fill up your reserves throughout the day, not all at once.