SIGNS OF DEFICIENCY
Low Blood Sugar
Stomach Pain & Gut Obstructions
Many years ago, while on vacation, I noticed that my hands and fingers were swollen. To combat this, my friend offered me one of her water pills, which I gratefully accepted. About 2 or 3 hours later, I felt weak, dizzy, and light-headed. I felt as if I was about to faint. This was my first experience with a potassium deficiency. I learned, the hard way, that if one is taking a drug, like Lasix, it must be coupled with increased water and a consumption of high potassium foods, like a banana or orange juice. I also learned not to take anyone else’s prescription drugs.
Potassium is an essential macromineral. It is also an electrolyte, like sodium and magnesium. It partners with sodium to manage the water within the body. Sodium works outside of the cells while potassium works inside of the cells in order to maintain a proper fluid balance, preventing water retention or dehydration. Potassium supports blood pressure and helps to maintain proper pH levels, beating of the heart, muscle mass, and repair of body tissue. It is essential for proper muscle function, cardiovascular health, bone strength, and the transmission of nerve impulses sharing messages between your brain and your body. Potassium loss can be the result of diarrhea, vomiting, or low water intake during a flu or gastric ailment.
Optimal daily potassium intake from food for a healthy adult is 3500 to 4700 mg daily. Great sources of potassium are bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, apricots, cooked spinach, kale, beet greens, soy and lima beans, cucumbers, baked potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, yams, wild salmon, and avocado. Most of us can easily get what we need from food. If you are unable to consume enough dietary potassium or if you have been ill, you can top it up with supplements purchased at your local health food store. An average dose may be one or two 250 mg capsule of potassium citrate daily with meal.
We are continuously reminded to drink 8-10 glasses of water daily. Some people overdo their water intake thinking that it will help them lose weight more quickly. This can result in a depletion of potassium causing kidney stones or heart malfunction.
Our webinar, The Kidneys, includes:
- a discussion on how a diet low in potassium and high in sodium is associated with hypertension;
- that 95% of our potassium is found inside of our cells;
- that a natural diet rich in fruits and veggies can give us a 100:1 ratio of K: Na;
- how 2.5 to 5.0 grams of potassium per day can give significant drops in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels, and much more.
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