All conventional and integrative medicine doctors know that Potassium is a very important body mineral. It is required for effective functioning of the:
- Nervous system
- Skeletal system
- Cardiac muscle
- Maintenance of blood pressure
Potassium is one of the body’s main electrolytes; the others are sodium and chloride. Potassium was originally called kalium and many of the disorders involving potassium have ‘kal’ in their names e.g. hyperkalemia (high potassium) and hypokalemia (low potassium).
Most people receive sufficient potassium from a standard diet. Good sources of dietary potassium include:
- Citrus fruits
- Nuts andSeeds
- Sweet Potatoes
- Yoghurt and Fat-Free Milk.
High-Potassium Diet Reduces;
- The risk of hypertension
- Cardiovascular mortality
- Risk of renal disease
- Urinary calcium secretion and incidence of hypercalciuria and kidney stones
- The risk of osteoporosis
- Development of diabetes that occurs with prolonged treatment with thiazide diuretics
- Risk of lethal ventricular arrhythmias in patients with ischaemic heart disease, heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy
Potassium deficiencies also occur in people who:
- Use diuretics
- Use birth control pills
- Have physically demanding jobs
- Suffer fromChron’s disease
- Have eating disorders
- Consume alcohol, and recreational drugs
A potassium test may be recommended by your conventional doctor or integrative medicine doctor to help diagnose or monitor kidney disease, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, or diabetes.
The Best Solution
However, in recent years with the increased consumption of processed foods and the concomitant reduction in the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Rather than consuming potassium nutritional supplement, it is highly recommended that you get your potassium from foods. The potassium found in fruit and vegetable is potassium citrate or potassium malate whereas potassium chloride is found in potassium nutritional supplements.It is recommended to eat at least;
2 serves of fruit per day e.g. apricots, banana, mango, peach, pineapple, nectarine, custard apple, dried fruit, kiwi fruit, orange/orange & mango/pineapple juice
5 small serves of vegetables per day e.g. artichoke, avocado, baked beans, soybeans, kidney beans, hot chips, parsnip, potato, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, tomato, potato salad, vegetable juice, tomato juice
An Important Warning!
It is best to take potassium supplements under the direction of your conventional/integrative medicine doctor who can order the potassium test and determine if you need potassium Nutritional Supplements also high levels of potassium are dangerous as they may the interact with certain high blood pressure medications, over-the-counter painkillers, and laxatives.