Can Low Potassium Cause Headaches?
Low potassium levels or hypokalemia CAN cause headaches .
What is Potassium?
Potassium is one of the kinds of electrolytes that compose the cells of your body. An electrolyte is a mineral with electrical properties that affect the way the cells function. Although there are other kinds of electrolytes present in your cells, potassium is considered one of the main electrolytes of the body. Thus, having adequate potassium levels in your body is particularly crucial to ensuring proper muscle contraction and a regular heartbeat . Furthermore, potassium, together with another electrolyte called sodium, regulates the fluid levels inside your cells. Studies have also shown that potassium rich diets are a good way to prevent the incidence of strokes, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.
The normal range of potassium levels in your blood is between 3.5 to 5.2 millimoles per liter.
What Causes Low Potassium Levels?
There are many causes to and reasons as to why potassium levels can go below the normal range. Among them are the use of certain prescriptive drugs for asthma and emphysema as well the excessive use of over-the-counter diuretics or water pills and laxatives.
Medical procedures such as bariatric surgery also cause the loss of a lot of potassium in the body, therefore leading to lowered potassium levels. Conditions such as chronic and acute kidney failure, magnesium deficiency, anorexia and bulimia also contribute to low potassium levels. Alcoholism is a cause of hypokalemia.
How Do You Know if You Have Hypokalemia?
Having a potassium level below 3.6 millimoles per liter is considered as having below normal or low potassium levels. Hypokalemia or the condition of having a very low potassium level is one that is less than 2.5 millimoles per liter.