Potassium Deficiency: Causes And Symptoms


These days potassium deficiency has become common due to increase in salty diets. Therefore excess salt should be replaced with potassium rich diet. Potassium plays a vital role in muscle contraction, heart function and nerve conduction.

The normal potassium level of the body is 3.6 to 5 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). For an adult it is advised to intake 4.7 grams potassium per day. It is recommended for athletes to increase their potassium intake, because during training they lose lot of fluids. Low potassium level in the body is known as hypokalemia.

There are several causes of potassium deficiency some are as follows:

Certain medication causes potassium deficiency like steroids, diuretics and laxatives. Even some high blood pressure medicines and antibiotics cause this deficiency.
Potassium level decreases in the body due to excessive vomiting, diarrhea, and urination.
Sometimes it is caused due to hormonal imbalance.
Improper diet can cause potassium deficiency.
Chronic kidney disease may cause hypokalemia.

Symptoms of potassium deficiency are constipation, feeling exhausted, breathing difficulty, pain in the abdominal, feeling dizziness, experiencing numbness in hands and feet, dry skin and abnormal heart rhythms.

Therefore to avoid potassium deficiency in the body it is recommended to have potassium rich diet.


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