Potassium is an essential element that we need for the functioning of the body. It works with sodium to maintain the body’s water balance. Increased intake of potassium may increase the amount of sodium excreted from the body and this is a protective effect against high blood pressure. The kidneys regulate the level of potassium in the body.

The functions of potassium in the body include:

• Reduces blood pressure
• Regulates heart function
• Play vital role in kidney function
• Important for normal muscle function
• Important for normal nerve function
• Important for fluid balance
• Necessary to maintain acid / alkali balance
• Needed for protein synthesis
• Required to convert glucose into glycogen

To put it very precise the cell functions need potassium.

Low level of potassium in the body brings many health problems. The symptoms of low potassium level include:

• Muscle weakness
• Muscle aches
• Low blood pressure
• Cramps in the leg and arm muscles
• Irregular heart beats
• Disturbances in heart rhythm
• Abdominal cramping and bloating
• Numbness
• Nausea or vomiting
• Large amount of urination
• Thirst
• Constipation
• Paralysis

Potassium deficiency, hypokalemia is very dangerous for our health and should be treated with foods rich in potassium. Supplements can be used, but the blood level of potassium must be monitored regularly. Here your dietician and doctor recommend you the necessary actions.

On the other hand, the symptoms of high potassium are very vague. Nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness and tingling sensations are the normal vague symptoms. That is why your doctor controls the blood levels of it always. The kidney function must also be monitored regularly.

Hyperkalemia is one of the dangers of high potassium levels and can be life threatening if not treated immediately. The other dangers are irregular heartbeat, slow and weak pulse rate, difficulty in breathing and paralysis. In this case your doctor recommend appropriate treatments to reduce potassium.

The food rich in potassium include fruits, vegetables, milk and meat. If supplements are given the blood level must be monitored regularly. Several medicines can affect the potassium levels in both ways. Your doctor must know all the medicines you take.