Feeling tired and week all the time accompanied by a constant swelling in the ankles and hands, could be an indicator that you may be suffering from low levels of potassium.
Namely, potassium is a mineral present in a long list of foods and an electrolyte too, i.e. it helps in the conduction of the electrical charges in the body that contract the muscles or the force which provides the movement of our body. Most of the potassium in the body is stored in the cells and even tiny, externally-caused changes in the level of this mineral can have a negative impact on the nerve, muscle, and heart health.
With this in mind, in order to find out if your potassium levels may be low, continue reading the article to learn about the major symptoms of potassium deficiency that you may experience if this is the case.
Main Symptoms of Potassium Deficiency
- Nausea and vomiting
- Numbness and tingling sensations
- Swollen face, ankles, feet, and abdominal region
- Irregular heartbeat
- Fainting as a result of low blood pressure
- Depression, delirium, hallucinations (extreme cases)
- Stomach cramps
- Weakness and fatigue
- Cramps in the arms and legs, from mild to severe
What Are the Potential Causes for Potassium Deficiency?
Even though one contributing factor is poor diet, there are numerous other causes that increase your chances for this illness. Some of these causes include diarrhea, excessive sweating, and dehydration. This is why athletes often consume beverages that are abundant in electrolytes after strenuous workouts due to sweating profusely. Some medications like diuretics may also lead to potassium deficiency.
Since we acquire potassium solely from foods (our body cannot produce it naturally), it is essential to eat the right foods that will provide the RDA of this important mineral. Below, check out several tips on how to best optimize your potassium levels through your diet.
How to Ensure You Get enough Potassium from Your Diet?
Here is a list with the foods which are most abundant in potassium (make sure you eat them on a regular basis):
- Kidney beans, 600 mg per ¾ cup
- Sweet potatoes, 500 mg per ½ cup
- Chard, 510 mg per ½ cup
- Halibut, 430 mg per 75 grams
- Banana, 420 per one banana
It is pivotal to also mention that the RDA of potassium for adults is less than 5000 mg.