April 17, 2024

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Severe potassium deficiency can harm the heart

Severe potassium deficiency can harm the heart


Severe potassium deficiency can harm the heart.  The food that people eat in daily life is generally rich in potassium, so potassium deficiency usually does not occur.

Severe potassium deficiency can harm the heart

Potassium is an essential trace element for the human body. It provides support for many life activities of the human body. If due to some factors, such as diarrhea, excessive sweating, insufficient potassium intake, etc., it will cause many adverse symptoms. Severe potassium deficiency may even cause the heart to stop beating!


So how to supplement potassium in life?


The performance of potassium deficiency

First, understand low potassium. Under normal circumstances, low potassium does not necessarily cause symptoms. A series of symptoms will appear only when the human blood potassium content is below a certain level.

The blood potassium content of normal people is 3.5-5.5mmol/L, mild hypokalemia is 3.0-3.5mmol/L, moderate hypokalemia is 2.5-3.0mmol/L, and severe hypokalemia is <2.5mmol/L.

It should be noted that the reduction of serum potassium does not mean that the body is lacking potassium. When the body is lacking potassium, serum potassium does not necessarily decrease!


Therefore, the specific potassium deficiency should be judged based on clinical manifestations!

1. Cardiovascular system

Low potassium can cause reduced myocardial irritability, arrhythmia and conduction block!

People with milder conditions will have tachycardia, atrial or ventricular premature contractions, and atrioventricular block;

In severe cases, paroxysmal atrial or ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation may occur;

In addition, low potassium can aggravate digitalis and antimony poisoning, lower blood pressure, heart failure, ECG changes, etc. Serious illnesses can lead to death!


2. Neuromuscular system

Potassium maintains the normal operation of the human nerves and muscles. Low potassium can cause muscle weakness, numbness of the limbs, and even the inability to stand, walk, and turn over on their own.

In severe cases, hypokalemia can affect the respiratory muscles and cause breathing difficulties, affecting brain function and causing symptoms such as drowsiness, depression, and memory loss.


3. Other symptoms

Hypokalemia can also cause other symptoms in patients, such as:

Symptoms of the endocrine and metabolic system, the patient’s glucose tolerance decreases, and children who are short of potassium for a long time will cause growth and development retardation;

Digestive system symptoms, low potassium can cause gastrointestinal peristalsis to slow down, milder patients will experience abdominal distension, nausea, constipation, loss of appetite, etc., severer patients will cause paralytic intestinal obstruction.


How to supplement potassium in life

1. Eat foods rich in potassium

Potassium is widely present in animals and plants. As long as a normal diet is balanced and regular, it is generally not necessary to take special food supplements. However, for patients who do have potassium deficiency, they need to eat foods with high potassium content, such as:

Fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs, edible fungi, melon stems, fish, shrimps and crabs, etc. If potassium deficiency is severe, medications are needed.


2. Drug potassium supplement

If hypokalemia is severe and has caused symptoms, or those who have not caused symptoms but are potentially at risk, potassium supplementation measures should be taken as soon as possible. Usually potassium chloride is sufficient; severe patients who have caused severe symptoms should choose intravenous potassium infusion At the same time, it is necessary to treat complications caused by hypokalemia.

The food that people eat in daily life is generally rich in potassium, so potassium deficiency usually does not occur.

However, if diarrhea, a lot of sweating, and insufficient potassium intake occur, it will lead to potassium deficiency, leading to abnormalities in the cardiovascular, nervous system, endocrine system, and digestive system. At this time, potassium supplementation measures should be taken as soon as possible to relieve symptoms and reduce symptoms. hurt.

In addition, you should also pay attention to food hygiene in daily life, stay away from diarrhea, and pay attention to supplementing inorganic salts after strenuous exercise to prevent hypokalemia.



(source:internet, reference only)

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