POTASSIUM

Potassium is a mineral that is needed by all of the body’s tissues. Because it contains a moderate electrical charge that is required to trigger numerous cell and neuron activities, it is also referred to as an electrolyte.

It’s a mineral that may be found in many foods as well as taken as a supplement.

It’s primary function in the body is to assist in the maintenance of proper fluid levels within our cells. 

Functions of potassium?

  • It aids the functioning of the nerves and contraction of muscles. 
  • It aids in the maintenance of a normal pulse.
  • It also helps in the transport of nutrients and waste materials into and out of cells. 
  • Potassium-rich foods can assist to prevent some of sodium’s negative effects on blood pressure.

When is potassium too low or high?

Potassium is obtained from the meals we consume. Excess potassium is excreted in the urine by healthy kidneys, which helps to keep blood potassium levels in check.

Low potassium 

  • Low potassium (hypokalemia) is unusual in persons who follow a balanced diet because potassium is found in most meals.
  • some symptoms of low potassium are.
  • Muscle weakness, 
  • cramps, and 
  • exhaustion

High potassium 

  • When the kidneys fail, the body is unable to remove excess potassium, resulting in a build-up. Hyperkalemia ( a high level of potassium in the blood), can occur in persons who have late stages of chronic renal/kidney disease (CKD). 
  • Excess potassium has a number of negative effects:
  • Nausea, 
  • weakness, 
  • numbness, 
  • and a irregular pulse
  • Dialysis is required for persons with stage 5 CKD (also known as end-stage renal disease or ESRD) to assist manage potassium.
  • Potassium levels rise between dialysis sessions, thus high-potassium meals must be avoided.

What is a normal daily potassium consumption for a healthy person?

  • A healthy adult daily potassium intake ranges from 3500 to 4500 mg. 
  • Potassium deficiency is usually measured in milligrams per day. 
  • Based on your health, your physician or dietician will advise you on the precise amount of restriction you require. A dietician is qualified to assist you in making dietary changes to prevent kidney disease complications.

Specific suggestions are shown in the table below. For various age groups, 

AgeMaleFemale
0-6 months400mg/day400 mg/day
7-12 months860mg/day860mg/day
1-3 years2000mg/day2,000mg/day
4-8 years2,300mg/day2,300mg/day
9-13 years2.500mg/day2,300mg/day
14-18 years3,000mg/day2,300mg/day
19 + years3,400mg/day2,600mg/day

What is the normal potassium level in dialysis patients?

  • Long-term hemodialysis (HD) patients with hyperkalemia have a higher mortality rate.
  • In hemodialysis patients, potassium intake should be up to 2.7–3.1 g/day, and 
  • In peritoneal dialysis patients, it should be close to 3–4 g/day; in both situations, modifications based on blood potassium levels are required.

Symptoms of high potassium level?

  • weak sensation
  • feeling sick in the stomach (nausea)
  • muscle pain
  • cramping
  • unusual breathing difficulties
  • chest pain

What foods are high in potassium?

high potassium foods

Potassium is available in many fresh fruits and vegetables: 

  • Bananas, oranges, cantaloupe(kharbooja) honeydew, apricots, grapefruit (some dried fruits, such as prunes, raisins, and dates, are also high in potassium)
  • Cooked spinach (Indian name Palak )
  • Cooked broccoli (hari Phool gobi )
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Cucumbers
  • Pumpkins (khadoo)
  • Leafy greens

Potassium is abundant in dairy products such as milk and curd (low-fat or fat-free is best).

Some fish contain potassium:

  • Tuna (Chura )
  • Halibut (aayiram palli)
  • Cod (Rohu)
  • Trout (berilius)
  • Rockfish

Potassium-rich beans and legumes include the following:

  • Lima beans (double beans)
  • Kidney beans (rajma)
  • Soybeans
  • Lentils (dal)

Other potassium rich foods include:

  • Salt alternatives (read labels to check potassium levels)
  • Nuts
  • Meat and poultry
  • Brown and white rice
  • Bran cereal
  • Whole-wheat bread and pasta

What foods are low in potassium?

Fruits :

  • Apple 
  • Apricots (khubane)
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • watermelon

Vegetables :

  • Alfalfa sprouts (rajko)
  • Asparagus (satavar, shatavari, or shatamull, shatawari) 
  • Beans (phaliyaan)
  • Cabbage (Patta gobee)
  • Green and red carrots (gajar)
  • Cauliflower (Phool gobi)
  • Celery (ajwain)
  • Corn 
  • Eggplant (baingan)
  • Kale (gobhee)
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Rhubarb

How to keep your potassium level from getting too high?

  • Potassium-rich foods should be consumed in moderation. Your dietician or physician will assist you in planning your diet to ensure that you are receiving enough potassium.
  • Consume a wide range of meals in moderation.
  • If you wish to add any potassium-rich vegetables to your diet, make sure to soak/ leach them first. 
  • The process of leaching(removing excess water-soluble vitamins and nutrients) allows some potassium to be extracted from the vegetable. Consult your nutritionist/physician to determine how much leached high potassium veggies you may safely consume.
  • The liquid from canned fruits and vegetables, as well as the liquids from cooked meat, should not be consumed or used.
  • Keep in mind that potassium is found in practically all meals. The serving size is quite essential. A big amount of low-potassium food can become a high-potassium food.

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