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The Importance of Potassium

Did you know that potassium is vital in the biochemistry of your body? It can help reduce sodium levels, regulate heart rate and function, avoid muscle tension, and even lower blood pressure. High sodium (salt) diets and low potassium intake influence volume in the vascular system which can elevate blood pressure. Many doctors will recommend diuretics to offset the increase in sodium, but those medications can further drive potassium levels down…thus exacerbating the problem. The best treatment is to increase the intake of foods naturally high in potassium and decrease sodium intake.

What does potassium do in our body?

  • Protects the heart

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • Protects the brain

  • Protects against bone loss

  • Allows for proper muscle contraction

  • Promotes proper nerve function

  • Aids in protein synthesis

  • Aids in carbohydrate metabolism (breakdown)

What is Hypokalemia?

A condition in which potassium levels in the blood are low.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Myalgia (muscle pain)

  • Muscle weakness

  • Muscle cramps

  • Respiratory difficulty

  • Constipation

Possible Causes:

  • Diarrhea

  • Alcohol abuse

  • Inadequate potassium consumption

  • Overuse of laxatives and/or diuretics

  • Kidney disease

  • Excessive caffeine intake

  • Over hydrating

Which foods contain high levels of potassium?

  • Avocado

  • Pistachios

  • Bananas

  • Yogurt

  • Milk

  • Spinach

  • Raisins

  • Baked Potato

  • White mushrooms

  • Clams

Do you have more than one of these symptoms or risk factors? Before you start taking potassium supplements, try upping your intake of potassium-rich foods. If you are really curious, go see your doctor to have blood work done. It is never a good idea to start supplementing vitamins and minerals unless you know you are deficient because if you aren’t, you can create toxicity in the body which can be more detrimental than the deficiency.

Always seek professional advice before starting a supplement program. Chiropractors are a great resource because we specialize in alternative methods of treatment such as diet, exercise, and nutrition.

Stark Chiropractic and Sports in North Houston

If you or someone you know in North Houston is looking for a chiropractor, please call Dr. Shea Stark with Stark Chiropractic and Sports at 281-836-5908 to schedule an appointment, or use our simple online scheduling tool using in our website.

Dr. Stark is a board-certified chiropractor and the author of this blog post. To learn more about Dr. Stark and the many benefits of chiropractic care, please visit our website, and check us out on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Yelp!

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