Easy Health Test To Investigate – No Cost
Items on this page:
- What is Potassium
- Potassium and Its Importance
- Potassium Deficiency and Its Effects
- Potassium Deficiency Test
- Signs of Too Much Potassium / Toxicity
The following tests are offered to investigate possible deficiencies that lead to many health and body imbalances. A lack of certain minerals such as Potassium and Magnesium can have a major effect on the entire biochemical system of the body and organs. Take a few minutes and note areas that may become evident in your health investigation that might lead to a Health Evaluation by our Team.
Potassium and Its Importance
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health, Potassium is a mineral that is needed for your body to work properly. It is a type of electrolyte. Your body needs potassium to:
- Build proteins
- Break down and use carbohydrates
- Build muscle
- Maintain normal body growth
- Control the electrical activity of the heart
- Control the acid-base balance
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- Blistering Skin
- Decreased Blood Sugar
- Deterioration of Memory
- Digestion Upset
- Dry Skin
- Ear Noise
- Granulation of Eyelids
- Heart Deterioration
- Improper Fat Digestion
- Lack of Sleep
- Muscular Weakness
- Nervous System Deterioration
- Skin Eruptions
- Yellow Coating on Back of Tongue
In the latest studies of diets with average healthy Americans and Canadians as a part of the research pool, the results have shown that the amount of potassium in the diet is lower than what is needed to sustain health… this sheds light on the increase of hypertensive drugs, diabetes, cancer and other metabolic diseases that ravage the population.
The Average Intake of Potassium By Adults
According to the National Academies’ Food and Nutrition Board, an adequate intake of potassium is 4.7 grams per day. In North America, however, the average man consumes approximately 3 grams and the average woman less than 2.5 grams of potassium per day. As such, most people can benefit from increasing their daily potassium intake.
Electrolytes are substances that help conduct electricity in your body. Potassium is one of the most important electrolytes in the human body, with others including chloride, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and sodium. As an electrolyte, potassium is vital to the healthy functioning of all of your body’s cells, tissues and organs. It also helps to control the amount of water in your body and maintain a healthy blood pH level. As you lose electrolytes in your sweat, you should always obtain a source of these important minerals during or after a bout of intense physical activity.
A balance of sodium and potassium is important for your body’s electrolyte functions. As your body works hard to maintain this balance, you can reduce the impact of a high sodium intake by consuming more potassium. Because of sodium’s impact on your blood pressure, a boost in your daily potassium intake can help you to maintain a healthy blood pressure or lower it to healthy levels. However, you cannot rely entirely on sodium and potassium to lower your blood pressure. In addition to obtaining regular exercise, your intake of fats, salt, cholesterol, protein, fiber, calcium and magnesium can also impact your blood pressure.
Potassium is particularly important for the ability of your skeletal and smooth muscles to contract. Because of this, an adequate intake of potassium is important for regular digestive and muscular functioning. Potassium is also vital to the health of your heart, as a normal heart rhythm arises from optimal muscular functioning. This is especially apparent if you have excessively high or low potassium levels, both of which can cause an irregular heartbeat. As heart arrhythmias are potentially life-threatening, you should always maintain an adequate daily intake of potassium.
High or Low Intakes of Potassium
Your body easily excretes excess potassium in your urine. Because of this, the National Academies’ Food and Nutrition Board do not publish recommendations for your maximum daily potassium intake. If you have damaged or impaired kidneys, however, you should not have more than 4.7 grams of potassium per day to avoid developing an irregular heartbeat. You should also be careful not to have too little potassium. A moderate potassium deficiency can increase your blood pressure, lead to salt sensitivity, increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and reduce the health of your bones. In addition to heart arrhythmias, excessively low potassium levels — a condition called hypokalemia — can cause glucose intolerance, weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps and stomach problems.
as a food additive ingredient, a salt substitute, or as pills used therapeutically to treat diuretic-induced hypokalemia. While potassium chloride can correct hypokalemia and reduce blood pressure, it cannot correct the low-grade metabolic acidosis induced by modern diets because chloride, in contrast to bicarbonate precursors citrates. In addition to its blood pressure-reducing effects, increased potassium intake has independent vascular protective properties.
In a series of animal models, including both stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive and Dahl salt-sensitive rats, the addition of either potassium chloride or potassium citrate markedly reduced the mortality from stroke, a reduction that was unrelated to any measured attenuation of hypertension (Tobian, 1986; Tobian et al., 1984).
In a more recent study with stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats in which aortic blood pressure was measured by continuous radio-telemetry, dietary potassium supplemented as either potassium bicarbonate or potassium citrate attenuated hypertension and prevented stroke (Tanaka et al., 1997).
However, supplemental potassium chloride exacerbated hypertension, increased risk of stroke (Tanaka et al., 1997), and amplified renal micro-angiopathy (Tanaka et al., 2001), in comparison with potassium bicarbonate or citrate.
Sodium Bicarbonate Deficiency
… is one substance demonstrated to increase acidosis in the body leading to an increase of cancer in the western diet. Potassium deficiency is directly linked to bicarbonate deficiency.
In raw foods, the conjugate anions (Since protons are positively charged and electrons are negatively charged, if there are more electrons than protons, the atom or molecule will be negatively charged. This is called an anion <pronounced; an-eye-on>), of potassium are mainly organic anions, such as citrate, that are converted in the body to bicarbonate. Hence an inadequate intake of potassium is also associated with reduced intake of bicarbonate precursors. Acting as a buffer, bicarbonate neutralizes diet-derived non-carbonic acids, such as sulfuric acid generated from sulfur-containing amino acids commonly found in meats and other high protein foods. In the setting of an inadequate intake of bicarbonate precursors, buffers in the bone matrix neutralize the excess diet-derived acid, and in the process, bone becomes demineralized.
Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis, according to an article published in the “Journal of Nutrition” in January 2008. Consuming enough calcium and vitamin D and performing weight-bearing exercise can help increase your bone density and limit your osteoporosis risk. However, other factors, including potassium consumption, may also affect the strength of your bones and your risk for osteoporosis. Excess acid in the body irritates bone calcium and leads to increased urinary calcium and reduced urinary citrate excretion.
Studies using potassium citrate, which increases urinary citrate excretion, had therapeutic effects for patients with kidney stone disease and hypo-citraturia refractory.
Considering the forgoing information, the resultant adverse clinical consequences are possibly increased bone demineralization and increased risk of calcium-containing kidney stones. In processed foods to which potassium has been added and in supplements, the conjugate anion is typically sodium chloride, which does not act as a buffer.
Because the demonstrated effects of potassium often depend on the accompanying anion and because it is difficult to separate the effects of potassium from the effects of its accompanying anion, studies indicate that supplementing with Potassium citrate instead of potassium chlorides is vital to rebalancing the system.
Increasing potassium from foods naturally high in potassium such as fruits, vegetables, and other potassium-rich foods, would help improve one’s life.
According to WebMD.com’s Guide to Potassium Citrate for Kidney Stones, Potassium citrate attaches to calcium in the urine, preventing the formation of mineral crystals that can develop into kidney stones. Potassium citrate also prevents the urine from becoming too acidic. This helps prevent uric acid or cystine kidney stones from forming.
Potassium citrate may also prevent the formation of:
- Calcium stones in people who have too little citrate in their urine.
- Uric acid stones or cystine stones in people who have urine that is too acidic.
Potassium citrate may be used to replace potassium that is lost when a thiazide medicine is used to prevent kidney stones.
Calcium stone disease is attributable to super saturation of the urine with calcium and other salts, the presence of substances that promote crystallization and a deficiency of inhibitors of crystallization. Citrate is a potent inhibitor of calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate stone formation whose excretion is diminished in some patients with stone disease following the spontaneously or secondary factors such as bowel disease and use of diuretic.
Urine concentrations of calcium and citrate (Citrate is an intermediate in the (Krebs) Cycle ) are the most important factors in stone formation.
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Signs of Too Much Potassium/Toxicity
Potassium can cause stomach upset, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, intestinal gas:
- Increase T-Waves
- Decreased P-Waves
- Cardiac Arrest
- Slow/Irregular Pulse
- Numb/Tingling Hands
- Decreased Blood Pressure
- Muscle Weakness
- Numb/Tingling Feet