Potassium Side Effects And How Does It Work?

potassium side effects

Potassium is a mineral that plays many important roles in the body. Potassium sources include fruits (especially dried fruits), cereals, beans, milk, and vegetables.

Potassium is widely used in the treatment and prevention of low potassium levels, in the treatment of high blood pressure, and in the prevention of stroke.

Effective for

Low potassium levels in the blood (hypokalemia). Taking potassium by mouth or intravenous (IV) prevents and treats low potassium levels in the blood.

Likely Effective for

High blood pressure

Numerous studies show that taking potassium can lower blood pressure. Potassium appears to work best in people with high blood pressure, low potassium levels, high sodium diets, and African Americans. People with high blood pressure should aim to eat a diet that provides 3500-5000 mg of potassium daily. This potassium diet is expected to lower blood pressure by about 4-5 mmHg in people with high blood pressure.

Possibly Effective for


High potassium intake in the diet has been linked to reducing the risk of stroke by 20%. Taking potassium supplements has also been linked to a reduced risk of stroke. High-quality research is needed to confirm this organization. There is some evidence that intake of magnesium and potassium-containing salts after exposure improves nerve and nerve function. But taking salt that contains potassium without magnesium does not seem to help. And the people included in the study lived in areas where low potassium was found. It is unclear how taking potassium and magnesium salts promotes recovery after being beaten by people living in areas where sufficient potassium is available.

Insufficient Evidence for

Dental pain

Some studies show that the use of toothpaste containing potassium nitrite reduces tooth sensitivity. However, these toothbrushes may not work as well as other standard toothbrushes.


Preliminary studies show that taking potassium lowers pre-meal sugar levels in people with prediabetes. But it does not appear to improve insulin or HbA1c. Nor does it appear to improve the body’s ability to break down and remove blood sugar after a meal.

Potassium is safe for most people when taken orally in an amount of up to 100 mEq of total potassium, or when given intravenously (IV) by medical professionals.

Potassium Side Effects

  • Stomach upset
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Acne
  • Excessive drinking
  • Allergies
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Blooming
  • Blurred vision
  • Cancer
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Colitis
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue and mood swings in the early stages of menstruation
  • Fever
  • Gout
  • Headache
  • Heart disease
  • Child’s colic
  • Insulin resistance
  • Anger
  • Ménière’s disease
  • Symptoms of menstruation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle paralysis
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Skin problems
  • Depression
  • Insomnia (insomnia)

How does it work?

Potassium participates in many bodily functions including nerve signal transduction, muscle tension, fluid balance, and chemical diversity.


Is it safe to take a potassium supplement daily?

Because of this potential danger, the FDA limits over-the-counter potassium supplements (including multivitamin-mineral pills) to less than 100 milligrams (mg). That's just 2% of the 4,700 mg recommended dietary intake for potassium.

Does potassium affect sleep?

This could be linked to potassium, Livescience reports. Studies have shown that potassium supplements may boost sleeping through the night, but good food sources are beans, leafy greens, avocados, baked potatoes, and to a lesser degree, bananas.

Does caffeine deplete potassium?

Taking an excessive amount of caffeine (e.g. overdrinking caffeinated beverages) sometimes causes hypokalaemia. Although the detailed mechanism has not been clarified yet, an increased loss of potassium via the urine stream caused by the diuretic action of caffeine is proposed as one of the possibilities.

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