Anticipate the Dangers of Potassium Deficiency from Now

Anticipate the Dangers of Potassium Deficiency from Now

Potassium deficiency or hypokalemia is a condition when potassium levels in the body are below normal limits. If the body lacks this mineral, a number of health problems can occur. Therefore, potassium intake needs to be fulfilled according to the recommended amount every day.

Potassium or potassium is one type of mineral and electrolyte that is useful for maintaining fluid balance in the body. Not only that, potassium also plays a role in maintaining heart health, regulating muscle and nerve work, and bringing nutrients that the body absorbs to cells.

Although important for the body, the body is not able to produce potassium on its own, so potassium intake can only be obtained from food and drink. The number of potassium needs for each person is different and is generally adjusted for age, namely:
  • Children aged 1-3 years around 3,000 mg per day.
  • Children aged 4-6 years around 3,800 mg of potassium per day.
  • Teenagers and adults need 4,500-4,700 mg of potassium per day.
  • Breastfeeding mothers at least 4700-5,000 mg per day.
By eating healthy balanced nutritious foods, potassium levels in the body should be able to be maintained in the normal range. However, there are several conditions and diseases that can cause a person to be deficient in potassium, such as:
  • Severe diarrhea or diarrhea that lasts a long time (chronic diarrhea).
  • Throws up.
  • Certain diseases, such as thyroid disorders, hormone disorders, Cushing's syndrome, and chronic kidney failure.
  • Side effects of certain medications, such as diuretics, laxatives, insulin injections, asthma medications, or certain antibiotics.
  • Eating disorders, such as bulimia.
  • Sweating too much.
  • Low magnesium levels or hypomagnesaemia.

What Happens When Your Body Lacks Potassium

Normal blood potassium levels range from 3.6 to 5.0 mmol/L. If the potassium level in the blood is less than 3.5 mmol/L, it can be said that the body is deficient in potassium. And if the level is less than 2.5 mmol/L, you need to be vigilant, because this condition can be dangerous to health and needs to get treatment as soon as possible.

If your potassium level is slightly lower than normal, you may not experience any symptoms. Symptoms usually only appear when the body lacks large amounts of potassium. The following are some of the symptoms that can appear due to potassium deficiency:
  • Palpitations or palpitations. In severe cases, potassium deficiency can cause heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias).
  • Tingling or numbness.
  • Constipation.
  • Weakened or cramped muscles.
  • Hard to breathe.
  • Body feels tired.
To find out whether potassium levels in the body are within normal limits or not, you can undergo an examination to the doctor. The doctor will perform a physical examination and support, such as blood and urine tests, to check the body's electrolyte levels, including potassium levels.

Steps to Overcome Potassium Deficiency

Potassium deficiency can be prevented by eating foods that contain high potassium. Types of foods high in potassium are easy to find and you can include them as part of your daily diet. Some foods that contain a lot of potassium include:


Potatoes are one of the foods with high potassium sources, which is about 600 mg of potassium in 1 medium-sized potato. You can eat potatoes in a healthy way, such as roasting or steaming potatoes with their skins on.


Fresh tomatoes are a good source of potassium. In 1 tomato contains about 300 mg of potassium. However, the higher potassium content is found in tomato sauce or dried tomatoes.

Red beans

In a cup or about 100 grams of red beans, contained approximately 600 mg of potassium. Other types of nuts that are also rich in potassium are soybeans, lentils, and cashews.


Besides being rich in carbohydrates and fiber, bananas also contain potassium which is good for the body. One banana contains about 400 mg of potassium. Other fresh fruits with high potassium that you can consume are apricots, avocados, melons, kiwis, oranges, and strawberries.


Most types of seafood are high in potassium, especially snapper, tuna, and salmon. However, you need to be careful in consuming marine fish. Make sure the fish you eat doesn't have a high mercury content. In addition, avoid processing fish by frying.

If you have certain diseases that can reduce the amount of potassium in your body, your doctor may give you potassium supplements to improve potassium levels in your body. This aims to prevent various dangers of potassium deficiency.

But remember, if you take potassium supplements, make sure the dosage is in accordance with the doctor's recommendation, because excess potassium (hyperkalemia) can also be bad for health.

To ensure that you are not experiencing a potassium deficiency, consult a doctor. In addition to checking the level of potassium in your blood, the doctor will also recommend a healthy diet to maintain potassium levels, and provide potassium supplements if needed.