Treatment of Sodium and Potassium Deficiency
Since the element sodium is the most important intracellular cation, its depletion in the extracellular fluid leads to a decrease of cell volume and interferes with part of the life-sustaining functions.
To restore body fluid and electrolyte balance and correct these abnormalities, you need to take steps to increase levels of sodium and potassium as well as fluid and electrolytes. However, before we discuss how to do this, allow me to summarize what sodium and potassium deficiencies can do:
1) Sodium and potassium deficiencies reduce the amount of water in the body:
(dehydration). Symptoms include thirst and reduced urine volume and output (polyuria or oliguria), usually accompanied by dry skin.
The head also feels heavy, the chest tightens and breathing becomes difficult, muscles become weak and fatigue easily, there’s general weakness followed by loss of consciousness, the pulse goes feeble or is hard to detect, blood pressure drops, you fall into a coma or die in extreme cases.
And here are some potassium deficiency symptoms: muscle weakness, muscle cramps, fatigue, heart palpitations, nausea, and vomiting. You should also know that sodium deficiency can lead to hyponatremia (low blood levels of sodium), one of its symptoms being water intoxication.
2) Both deficiencies interfere with the proper performance (and therefore recovery) during exercise since they cause premature fatigue.
3) Sodium deficiency can lead to hypoglycemia, while potassium deficiency can disrupt carbohydrate metabolism and result in hyperglycemia.
At the same time, sodium is one of the most abundant minerals in your body. It’s vital for maintaining blood volume and pressure, transmitting nerve impulses, contracting muscles, and regulating kidney function. Sodium also helps your body absorb and retain fluids, nutrients, and electrolytes.
And while too much can increase blood pressure and interfere with other minerals in your body that perform important functions such as calcium absorption, the mineral is generally safe when taken orally in small quantities.
Potassium is a mineral needed for numerous physiological processes to take place properly – it’s needed by your body’s cells and organs to function normally, build proteins and muscle tissue, support proper electrical conduction in the heart (cardiac activity), balance fluid levels in the blood vessels, and get rid of waste.
It also works with sodium to maintain normal blood pressure. Potassium is found throughout your body, but more than 90 percent of the mineral is found in your cells, while the rest is outside of them.
We need to get sodium and potassium from external sources because we can’t produce or store them. That’s why the most important thing is to restore these elements that we lose on a daily basis. But, before you start taking anything, make sure your doctor approves of it (sodium and/or potassium supplements), otherwise, supplementation might do more harm than good to your health.
So, let’s take a look now at what you should do if you have insufficient levels of these minerals. To increase sodium levels in the body, you need to eat more salt or salted foods, but remember that there are many different ways for us to lose sodium so don’t over-consume it – salt is only one of them. And if you are hyponatremic, you need to do the opposite – reduce your sodium intake until you reach normal blood levels of the mineral.
To replenish potassium in your body, eat foods rich in electrolytes and drink plenty of fluids (as we mentioned above, water won’t be enough because it has no potassium). You can also take potassium supplements if your doctor thinks you need them.
And as for water, I don’t think drinking lots of it is the best idea since we can lose a lot of it through sweat and urine (very important to remember that), especially when we’re on a low-sodium diet – this can lead to mild to severe muscle cramps and low blood volume, otherwise known as hyponatremic encephalopathy.
Potassium is an essential mineral required by the body for numerous functions. The most important of these functions include maintaining the fluid balance of cells, controlling heart rate and rhythm of heart, the transmission of nerve signals to and from the brain, regulation of energy production of cells, among others. A number of health benefits are associated with increased potassium intake in the body.
Potassium is present in numerous foods, including fruits and vegetables that are not commonly consumed on a regular basis. However, certain foods provide higher levels of this mineral in comparison to others. The following list will help you identify top-10 potassium-rich foods:
This fruit is one of the richest sources of potassium. One avocado contains about 1,000mg or 13% daily value, which is 31% more than bananas, the most commonly consumed source in America. Despite high caloric content from fat (about 80 calories per fruit), avocados are a great option due to numerous health benefits.
One coconut contains about 938mg potassium, which is 27% daily value. Compared to avocados and bananas, the amount of calories per fruit is minimal (about 46 calories). This fruit can be consumed as water or used in smoothies and cooking.
A number of studies have shown that bananas are one of the most commonly consumed fruits on a daily basis. This fruit contains about 975mg potassium, which is a 27% daily value per fruit.
4) Dried apricots:
Containing about 895mg potassium, dried apricots are easily available in markets and can be used in soups, cakes, or simply eaten as a healthy snack.
5) Sweet potato:
This tuber contains about 975mg potassium, which is 27% of the recommended daily value per serving. It also contains up to 350 calories per 100g and should be consumed in moderation.
6) beet greens:
These are available fresh or frozen in markets and can be prepared by steaming them or preparing salads. Beet greens contain about 947mg potassium per 100g, which is a 27% daily value.
If you want to increase your potassium intake without consuming a large number of calories because of the pumpkin’s watery content, pick this vegetable, which contains up to 670mg potassium per cup. Fresh or canned pumpkins can be used in soups, pies, or mashed as side dishes.
8) Swiss chard:
One serving of this vegetable contains about 845mg potassium, which is a 24% daily value. Swiss chard can be enjoyed fresh or sautéed with other vegetables to create healthy meals.
9) Figs (dried):
Dried figs are foods that offer a sweet taste without adding too many calories to the body. Eating foods rich in potassium is an excellent way to increase energy levels and maintain overall health.
This leafy vegetable contains about 788mg potassium, which is a 23% daily value per cooked cup. The best part is that this vegetable does not contain too many calories (about 33 calories per 100g).
Potassium deficiency symptoms:
Potassium is a mineral that the body needs to function properly and it is an important electrolyte, which means that it carries a slight electrical charge when dissolved in blood or fluid within cells. The balance of potassium is important for maintaining fluid balance in cells, including brain cells.
It also helps control the heart rate and rhythm of the heart. Potassium is important for the transmission of nerve impulses which causes muscles to contract and carries messages between nerves and other tissues. Many enzymes that are used in cellular metabolism rely on potassium for this function, so these enzymes slow down if there isn’t enough potassium available.
When levels of potassium are too low it can cause symptoms like muscle paralysis, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, and depression.
Potassium (K) of 3.5 mEq/L or less is considered severe potassium deficiency; levels between 3.5 and 5 mEq/L indicate moderate deficiency; levels between about 4 to about 5.4 mEq/L indicate potassium inadequacy, and levels between about 4.5 and 5 mEq/L are considered borderline low.
low sodium high potassium treatment:
In addition to dietary changes, potassium can be administered intravenously by a health care professional when there are serious deficiencies. Potassium is available in tablets or capsules, in liquid form, and as a salt substitute. It may also be combined with other supplements such as magnesium and calcium.
potassium blood curve People who have low levels of sodium in their bodies are said to have hyponatremia, and this condition is usually caused by drinking too much water. The excessive intake of water leeches sodium from the body, which can cause cells to swell and become damaged or burst open. This condition is dangerous and can even be life-threatening.
low potassium foods list People treated for hyponatremia must limit their fluid intake to avoid reoccurrence. This condition can be detected by a blood test that measures the sodium levels within the body.
high potassium foods list People who have high levels of sodium usually need increased consumption of water and other fluids, as well as potassium supplements. However, those who have pre-existing kidney problems should avoid potassium supplements, as these can cause further damage.
high potassium symptoms People with kidney problems must maintain a diet that is low in sodium and rich in potassium to avoid complications. This is done by eating lots of fruits and vegetables which are high in potassium but do not contain too much sodium. Foods like oranges, cantaloupe, strawberries, broccoli, peas, and bananas are good choices.