Potassium is a mineral essential to many bodily processes. It aids in acid-base homeostasis, aids in protein and carbohydrate digestion, keeps the heart beating regularly, and promotes muscle building. Potassium deficiency can cause a wide range of symptoms and, in extreme situations, death. See a doctor if you have dizzy or other symptoms and suspect a low potassium level; he or she can confirm the diagnosis and propose a course of therapy.
Hypokalemia, or a lack of potassium in the blood, can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. Milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L) typically fall within the range of 3.75 and 5.20. If it drops below 2.5 mEq/L, it could be fatal. Constipation, weariness, muscle weakness, spasms, paralysis, and abnormal heart rhythms are all indications of a potassium deficiency, according to MedlinePlus. In the case that any of the aforementioned symptoms manifest, or if other symptoms arise, prompt medical assistance is essential.
Arrhythmia comes in a wide variety of forms. Some of these cause abnormally rapid heartbeats, while others cause abnormally slow heartbeats or even heartbeat gaps. According to the Texas Heart Institute, dizziness and fainting are just two of the many symptoms associated with arrythmia. Breathlessness, chest pain, and profuse perspiration are all symptoms that may accompany an abnormal heart rhythm, regardless of its source.
Low potassium can be caused by a number of factors. This includes extreme or prolonged diarrhea and vomiting, poor diet, excessive use of laxatives and drugs such as diuretics, states MedlinePlus.com. Since the kidneys are important for maintaining the proper level of potassium in the blood, any sort of renal disease can also induce hypokalemia. In addition, the adrenal glands secrete hormones that serve to regulate the level of potassium in the blood and medical diseases such as primary aldosteronism in which your adrenal glands generate too much aldosterone, can cause you to lose potassium. Due to its widespread presence in the diet, potassium deficits are extremely unusual outside of the contexts of extreme dietary restriction and disordered eating.
Potassium intake should average 2,000 mg per day for adults. Bananas, citrus juices, avocados, cantaloupes, tomatoes, potatoes, lima beans, flounder, salmon, cod, chicken, and other meats are all recommended by the University of Maryland Medical Center to help achieve this aim. It is vital to limit sodium intake when trying to boost potassium intake since the quantity of potassium needed in the blood is somewhat dependent on the amount of salt in the blood. Tomatoes and tomato products are a great way to get the potassium you need in your diet, with 1 to 2 grams of potassium per ounce (1,100 to 2,600 milligrams per cup). You can get between 800 and 1,000 milligrams of potassium from a cup of beans; between 1,000 and 1,600 milligrams from a cup of grapefruit or orange juice; and a little over 1,000 milligrams from a single potato. A medium banana, on the other hand, has just about 300–400 mg of potassium.
It is vital to adequately diagnose the underlying reason of dizziness, just as it is necessary to properly detect the underlying cause of low potassium levels. Take potassium supplements carefully under medical supervision, as hyperkalemia (too much potassium in the blood) can be fatal. Because the signs of hyperkalemia are so similar to those of hypokalemia, it is important to get your potassium levels checked. Checkups can help your doctor figure out if you need to treat any underlying issues or if dietary adjustments are sufficient.