Will lack of potassium cause fatigue and insomnia?

Insomnia – Potassium is one of the important nutrients in the human body. Lack of it can cause weakness, fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, muscle cramps and other symptoms. The foods we often eat all have potassium, and it is not easy to lack it, but there are still several situations where potassium is still lacking.

Many people know that drinking red bean water can reduce edema because it is rich in potassium. Our body has a mechanism to retain potassium and excrete sodium. There is a lot of sodium in the body, and water is easily retained in the body. Potassium can help excrete excess sodium.

In fact, potassium is involved in many functions in the body. It has important effects on nerve conduction, muscle contraction, body fluid balance, body waste and toxin metabolism, heartbeat control and blood pressure balance. Patients with high blood pressure must often hear that eating potassium-containing foods can help lower blood pressure.

When potassium is lost in the body, it will cause electrolyte imbalance. Leung Jiawei, consultant dietitian of “Dietitian’s Table”, pointed out that if electrolyte is slightly imbalanced, it will not affect the body, but if the difference is large, different symptoms will appear depending on the severity of the deficiency:

● Palpitation, arrhythmia, dizziness: At this time, potassium deficiency is the most serious, affecting the systemic circulation. Potassium is an important mineral that regulates heart circulation.

● Gastrointestinal symptoms: Represents moderate potassium deficiency, leading to slower gastrointestinal motility and digestive disorders. People will feel that their appetite becomes worse, and if they are more serious, they will have symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, flatulence, and constipation .

● Fatigue, emotional instability, and insomnia. These are symptoms of mild potassium deficiency. Potassium plays an important role in neuromuscular transmission, and a mild deficiency can affect muscle and emotional stability.

When potassium affects the muscles, fatigue, weakness, muscle weakness, cramps, and unresponsiveness may occur; when it affects the nerves, symptoms such as emotional instability, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia may occur.

Prone to potassium deficiency: partial eclipse, frequent sweating

Foods generally contain potassium, and it is not easy to be deficient in a normal diet. Most people feel fatigued and lack energy due to slight potassium deficiency at most. Liang Jiawei said that only people with extreme partial eclipses may be seriously deficient in potassium. For example, they often eat out and eat delicate foods such as fried chicken and pizza. It is difficult to get enough potassium.

Potassium is excreted from the body through urine and sweat. Potassium will be excreted during heavy sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you are engaged in hard work or usually have a high amount of exercise, people who sweat a lot, and those who have severe vomiting and diarrhea, pay attention to the supplement of potassium and other trace minerals.

Potassium supplementation diet: eat more fruits and vegetables, and eat less salty foods

There are many fruits and vegetables rich in potassium, such as dark green vegetables, yams, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, taro, beans, bananas, strawberries, durians, citrus fruits, watermelons, grapes and so on.

Banana is a well-known high-potassium fruit. With 100 grams as the unit, bananas contain 368mg potassium. Others such as durian have 440mg, spinach 510mg, white amaranth 507mg, taro 500mg, red amaranth 445mg, pumpkin 426mg, and their potassium content is higher than bananas. .

However, a banana is more than 100 grams, and it is convenient to eat. The disadvantage of high-potassium vegetables is that some of the potassium will be lost to the soup during cooking.

The human body’s mechanism is to retain sodium and excrete potassium, and to retain potassium and excrete sodium. The more sodium you take, the less potassium is absorbed. If the diet emphasizes taste and saltiness, it is not easy for the body to retain potassium, but to excrete it from the body. In addition, although meat has potassium, it also contains sodium and higher fat and calories. It is not the first choice for potassium supplementation.

Liang Jiawei pointed out that potassium is an electrolyte that is not easy to retain in the body and has a high excretion rate. Normally, there will be no symptoms of hyperkalemia caused by eating high-potassium fruits and vegetables, unless there are problems with kidney function, such as chronic kidney disease. Also because potassium is not easy to retain, even if it is specially supplemented with potassium, it will still be excreted, so as long as a balanced diet is the best way to “replenish potassium”.

In addition to eating potassium-containing foods to help regulate blood pressure, hypertensive patients can also use low-sodium salt instead of ordinary table salt. Because the general salt is sodium chloride, and the low-sodium salt is potassium chloride, cooking with low-sodium salt can control sodium intake and supplement potassium, which helps stabilize blood pressure. It should be noted that some patients with high blood pressure will have chronic kidney disease, so it is not suitable to use low sodium salt.

Also Read: Which is better with Cow’s milk or plant based milk?

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