FAQ - potassium deficiency
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Potassium Deficiency?

For a long time now I have been dealing with extreme tiredness and along with that an extreme dry throat. I found out from my Dr. after tests that I have a potassium deficiency. I don't want to go on prescriptions!! I would like to take care of this naturally. Any suggestions?

First, new studies indicate that potassium levels are low in patients with hyperthyroidism, muscular weakness is proportionate to potassium deficiency, and correction of thyroid hormone levels results in correction of potassium levels. Make sure that your doctor did include thyroid bloodwork with your other tests.

The richest sources of potassium are fruits and vegetables. People who eat large amounts of fruits and vegetables have a high potassium intake (8-11 grams/day) The potassium content of some relatively potassium-rich foods is listed in milligrams (mg) in the table below.

Food Serving Potassium (mg):

Banana 1 medium 422
Potato, baked with skin 1 medium 926
Prune juice 6 fluid ounces 528
Plums, dried (prunes) 1/2 cup 637
Orange juice 6 fluid ounces 372
Orange 1 medium 237
Tomato juice 6 fluid ounces 417
Tomato 1 medium 292
Raisins 1/2 cup 598
Raisin bran cereal 1 cup 362
Artichoke, cooked 1 medium 343
Lima beans, cooked 1/2 cup 485
Acorn squash, cooked 1/2 cup (cubes) 448
Spinach, cooked 1/2 cup 420
Sunflower seeds 1 ounce 241
Almonds 1 ounce 200
Molasses 1 tablespoon 293

Other excellent sources of potassium include avocados; chard; citrus fruits; grapefruit juice; dried lentils; green leafy vegetables; milk; brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, pecans and walnuts; parsnips; dried peaches; potatoes; sardines; and whole-grain cereals.

RECIPE FOR POTASSIUM BROTH. Many variations are to be found under the heading "potassium broth," and most natural health practitioners recommend one version or another, but the main constituents are the following vegetables, generally any vegetable of choice can be added to this base.

2 lb potatoes
1 lb carrots
1/2 lb peas
bones for stock, or a vegetable bouillon cube
4 oz cracked wheat or pearl barley

First, in a stainless steel pan, boil the stock bones, if using them. After about one hour, add the remaining ingredients and continue to simmer in plenty of water for about another hour. It is preferable to use the potatoes and carrots well scrubbed, but with their skins on, as this retains valuable nutrients. Keep any unused soup in the refrigerator.

Multivitamin-mineral supplements in the U.S. do not contain more than 99 mg of potassium per serving. The best way to increase sodium would be a 2 prong approach....taking a supplement & adding the rest by diet.

No RDA has been officially established for potassium, but practitioners recommend that the optimal daily intake should be in the region of 3,500 mg. The average daily intake is about 2,500 mg. However, in general, nutritionists recommend reducing salt intake and ensuring adequate supply by increasing the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables in the diet.

Outside influences that can affect your potassium level:
oral contraceptives
excessive exercise
malabsorption syndrome
vegetarians diet
eating disorders(bulimia and anorexia)
high levels of stress

Hope this info helps! Good luck!  (+ info)

Potassium deficiency?

Could anyone tell me the signs or symptoms of potassium deficiency?

Well potassium is a mineral that plays an important role maintaining the water and acid balance in blood and tissue cells, assists in muscle building, and transmits electrical signals between cells and nerves among many many other functions.
That said, some signs or symptoms of potassium deficiency are
* Fatigue
* Muscular weakness
* Confusion
* Skin related problems such as blistering, skin eruptions, dryness of skin etc.
* Temporary memory loss or problems such as weak memory etc.
* Heart related problems, such as heart deterioration and cardiac arrhythmias
* Digestive system also may get affected due to potassium deficiency leading to hypertension, improper sleep, nervous system deterioration, depression, constipation etc.
* In some cases ringing/noise in ear.

Potassium deficiency can be due to extra excretion of Potassium ( most common in excessive diarrhea and vomiting, and when using some medication like diuretics, cortisones and drugs for controlling high blood pressure) or lower quantity of Potassium in daily diet.

More patient information here:
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-effects-of-potassium-deficiency.htm  (+ info)

How do you develop a potassium deficiency?

I was 19 when I was diagnosed with a potassium deficiency. How is that possible? Does your body just stop producing potassium?

There can be more than one reasons of potassium deficiency (hypokalemia) in a person such as lower level of Potassium in daily diet (i.e. insufficient potassium consumption), excess potassium excretion through bowel motions or urine, if a person is undergoing medication that as a side effect causes lowering in Potassium level in body, if a patient is suffering from problems such as diabetic ketoacidosis, related to renal salt transporters (Bartter Syndrome or Gitelman Syndrome), it may lead to hypokalemia, if a person is suffering from diseases which cause excessive excretion of potassium through bowel motion or urination can lead to hypokalemia etc.  (+ info)

Is there something in Beer that Causes a Potassium Deficiency?

I've noticed that after nights of heavy beer consumption, I wake up with very painful leg cramps. I get these cramps occasionally (I assume as a result of a potassium deficiency) and eating a banana usually causes them to subside.

So, is there something specific in beer that would cause this? I don't get the cramps after drinking wine or liquor.
Also, I don't really get hung over. The leg cramps are my only complaint (no cotton mouth, headaches, dizziness, nausea, etc.)

It's not the potassium. Beer has about 95 mg of potassium per can, which doesn't compare with a banana at 420 mg, but it shouldn't cause potassium loss.

Potassium deficiency is extremely rare in otherwise healthy people, unless they are taking diuretics or corticosteroids.

Dehydration contributes to leg cramps, and drinking a lot of alcohol can dehydrate you. Hence cotton mouth in the morning. Alcohol, as you probably already know, is a mild diuretic.  (+ info)

can a potassium deficiency give you lef cramps wile you sleep?

My dad says that I might have a potassium deficiency because i wake up and have these really horribly cramps in my legs. I don't know.

Leg cramps are commonly caused by dehydration, too much caffeine or too much booze as well as by a deficiency of potassium (bananas), calcium (dairy products), magnesium (nuts) or vitamin B6 (dairy products).  (+ info)

How long does it take to get over Potassium deficiency?

I recently went to hospital to be treated for low potassium.. they took my potassium level from 1-3 to 4-3.. and prescribed me 30 of the big potassium horse sized pills to take daily.. how long will it take me to get back to 100%? Anyone?

You're back within normal potassium range. The only reason they've gave you potassium supplements is because it was low in the first place (so something must be wrong with your diet).

You should feel fine now, and be back to 100% a few days after coming out of hospital at the latest. But you might want to have a few more bananas in your diet.

Anyway, good luck.  (+ info)

What can cause a severe potassium deficiency?

A while back ago I was hospitilized with a Potassium level at a 2. What may have caused this?

Potassium levels typically fall due to potassium loss from the space outside the cell (that includes the plasma, which is what they measure in a blood test). This be due to increases potassium excretion or more potassium shifting into the cells. Potassium losses are increased in vomiting, diarrhea, and profuse sweating and can also be increased by most diuretics and other drugs. Certian chronic diseases can also increase potassium excretion, especially those that elevate the hormone aldosterone. Finally, there are some congential causes, such as the renal tubular acidoses. Potassium can be shifted into the cells by some hormones (insulin, epinephrine, etc.), by high levels or calcium or magnesium, and by acidosis. .  (+ info)

What is the treatment for Potassium deficiency?

Also, how bad would it have to be for the person to get hospitalized?
Ok, but I read somewhere that a potassium deficiency is rarely caused by not eating enough of the stuff, becuase there are a lot of foods rich in potassium, but you are more likely to get it through ecssesive diahoria and vomiting. So what would they do to stop that?

normal levels are 3.5 - 5.0. if you take some diuretics that pull potassium out, you need to take supplements a long with them, and yes thru diarrhea. either way you need to go to the doctor, get levels drawn. if its like 3.0 - 3.4, oral supplements are ok. if its any lower, you must go to the hospital. just listen to your doctor  (+ info)

I want to know whether potassium deficiency increases the frequency of urination, if not what does?

My mother who is an octogenarian is plagued by frequent urination at night. Hence I want to know the cause of this and how it can be checked.

There are many causes of urinary frequency.
Anything that increases urine production, such as fluid tablets or raised blood sugar levels, can cause frequency.
A frequent need to urinate without an increase in the amount of urine suggests an irritative cause such as a urinary tract infection (UTI) or other reasons e.g tumor.  (+ info)

What is a potassium deficiency and the symtoms and effects?

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-effects-of-potassium-deficiency.htm go here this is great article.Good luck  (+ info)

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