Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Potassium In Foods

You need potassium in your diet because it's a component for balancing the pH of your body and for keeping fluids in balance, which is important for normal blood pressure regulation. Potassium is also needed for muscle growth, and for normal nervous system and brain function.

Potassium is a dietary mineral that's generally quite abundant in foods, so you probably gent plenty of potassium in your diet. Some people need to restrict their dietary potassium intake due to illness, while others may actually need to increase their intake. If you have any questions about your potassium levels, please speak to your doctor.

Foods With Large Amounts of Potassium:

  • raisins
  • prunes
  • apricots
  • dates
  • strawberries
  • bananas
  • watermelon
  • cantaloupe
  • citrus fruits
  • beets
  • greens
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • mushrooms
  • soy products
  • veggie burgers
  • peas
  • beans
  • turkey
  • fish
  • beef
  • salmon
  • cod

Measuring Potassium With Blood Tests:

Most of your potassium is found inside the cells in your body, only about two percent is found in your blood. Your body likes to keep the amount of potassium in your blood at a certain level, but it may fluctuate due to kidney disease, diabetes, vomiting, as a side effect to certain medications, fluctuating hormone levels, or the amount of potassium in your diet.

Too Much or Too Little Potassium:

Hyperkalemia is too much potassium in the blood. Usually due to an underlying medical condition such as kidney disease or diabetes. Very high levels can be damaging to your heart.
Hypokalemia is a condition where the potassium levels are too low. This may happen because you don't get enough from your diet; however, it is more common for potassium levels to become too low because of digestive problems such as chronic diarrhea or excessive vomiting. Certain hormonal disorders like Cushing's disease, can also cause low levels of potassium. Diuretics medications and laxatives can also cause hypokalemia.


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