Is There a Link between Muscle Cramps and Potassium?
There IS a link between muscle cramps and potassium.
More Info: Potassium is necessary for normal muscle growth and can readily be found in a normal diet. A potassium deficiency, known as hypokalemia, can occur in those on diuretics, laxatives, and steroids. One of the symptoms of a potassium deficiency is muscle cramps. A potassium deficiency can cause high blood pressure, heart irregularities and more.
What Does Potassium Do for the Body?
Potassium acts as an electrolyte in the body along with minerals like sodium, chloride, calcium and magnesium. Potassium is present in the body in liquid form, and helps to maintain the functioning of the heart, kidneys, brain and muscle tissues. It works by sending nerve signals that increase the body's metabolism to convert protein, fats, and carbohydrates into energy. Potassium also helps to minimize the occurrence of high blood pressure and may reduce the risk of heart disease. Potassium may also reduce the risk of stroke.
What Are the Symptoms of a Potassium Deficiency?
Potassium deficiency can be manifested in a number of different ways and through many symptoms. This will vary from one individual to the next, but can include such things as muscle cramps, chills, confusion, periodic headaches and edema. If not enough potassium is being taken in, supplements may be necessary. Seniors may be especially at risk and should closely monitor potassium intake.