Potassium is an important mineral needed for many bodily functions. It helps maintain proper acid-base balance in the body, plays a role in the digestion of proteins and carbohydrates, helps the heart maintain a normal rhythm, and supports muscle growth.
Low potassium levels can lead to a variety of symptoms and in severe cases can be dangerous to health. If you are experiencing dizziness or other symptoms and think your potassium level is too low, see your doctor who can confirm a diagnosis and make treatment recommendations.
A simple blood test can help determine if you have hypokalemia, a low level of potassium in your blood. Typical diameters range from 3.7 to 5.2 mEq/L, or milliequivalent per liter. A level below 2.5 mEq/L is considered life-threatening.
Low potassium levels can cause symptoms such as constipation, fatigue, muscle weakness, nervousness, paralysis, and irregular heartbeat, MedlinePlus said. If any of the above or other symptoms appear, you must seek medical help to prevent serious complications.
There are many types of arrhythmia. Some make the heart beat faster, while others make it slow or even beat the beats. All forms of arrhythmia can cause a variety of symptoms including dizziness and fainting, notes the Texas Heart Institute. An abnormal heart rhythm from any cause may be accompanied by shortness of breath, chest pain, and sweating.
A variety of conditions can cause low potassium levels. These include severe or prolonged diarrhea and vomiting, poor diet, excessive use of laxatives, and medications such as diuretics, notes MedlinePlus.com. Since the kidneys are responsible for maintaining the proper level of potassium in the blood, any type of kidney disease can also cause hypokalemia.
Also, the adrenal glands release hormones that help regulate potassium levels in the blood, and in medical conditions such as primary aldosteronism where your adrenal glands produce too much aldosterone, it can cause you to lose potassium. As potassium is found in many food deficiencies due to diet is rare and is often seen only in those who are severely restricted in their diet or have an eating disorder.
Most adults need about 2,000 milligrams of potassium daily. To help achieve this goal the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends eating bananas, orange juice, avocados, cantaloupes, tomatoes, potatoes, lima beans, flounder, salmon, cod, chicken, and other meats. Since the amount of potassium required in the blood depends in part on the amount of sodium in the blood, it is important to limit the intake of sodium when trying to increase potassium intake.
To meet your potassium needs add tomatoes and tomato products to your diet as they can contain between 1,100 and 2,600 milligrams per cup. Most beans contain 800 to 1,000 milligrams of potassium per cup; one cup of grapes or orange juice can contain between 1,000 and 1,600 milligrams and potatoes with a little over 1,000 milligrams per pot. The average banana contains 300 to 400 milligrams of potassium.
Just as there are many causes for low potassium levels, there are many causes for dizziness so the underlying cause must be properly examined. Also, very high levels of potassium or hyperkalemia can be life-threatening so it is important to take the ingredients only under medical supervision.
The symptoms of hyperkalemia are similar to those of hypokalemia so it is necessary to have a blood test to see where your potassium levels are. Your doctor may perform tests to determine if any underlying medical conditions require treatment or if a change in your diet is sufficient.
How does low potassium make you feel?
In hypokalemia, the level of potassium in blood is too low. A low potassium level has many causes but usually results from vomiting, diarrhea, adrenal gland disorders, or use of diuretics. A low potassium level can make muscles feel weak, cramp, twitch or even become paralyzed, and abnormal heart rhythms may develop.
Can low potassium cause balance problems?
This results in more prolonged contractions, such as muscle cramps. stop muscle contractions. Low blood potassium levels can affect this balance, causing uncontrolled and prolonged contractions known as cramps.
Can you be hospitalized for low potassium?
Someone who has hypokalemia and shows symptoms will need hospitalization. They will also require heart monitoring to make sure their heart rhythm is normal.
Can low potassium cause panic attacks?
An imbalance of potassium can cause many different side effects including anxiety and new research suggests a potential for sleep disturbances. If you have low levels of potassium, you may experience an increase in your anxiety symptoms. Anxiety is an abnormal feeling of worry, fear, apprehension or nervousness.