Signs Of Low Potassium In Women
Hypokalemia is classified as a lower than average serum potassium level. Potassium is a very important electrolyte and mineral that is responsible for the functions of many organs including kidneys, heart, and muscles. Potassium and sodium work together to regulate the blood pressure, muscle contraction, nerve function, and fluid balance within the body.
Symptoms Of Low Potassium In Women
The normal potassium serum level is 3.5-5.0 millimoles per liter of blood. It is vital that you seek medical attention, if you begin to experience severe signs of hypokalemia. Most individuals are asymptomatic, if there is only a slight drop in their potassium levels.
- Blood serum levels below 3.5 mmo/L
- Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm)
- Muscle spasms and twitching
- Heart palpitations (skipped beats)
- Decreased appetite
- Polyuria (excessive urination)
- Polydipsia (excessive thirst)
Levels lower than 2.5 mmo/L are life threatening and can lead to paralysis or respiratory failure.
What Causes Low Potassium Levels in Women
Hypokalemia is linked to an extreme loss of potassium, in the body through perspiration, stool, or urine. There are many factors that are linked to this condition including:
- Chronic renal disease
- Excessive alcohol, licorice, and caffeine intake
- Diuretics (fluid pills)
- Antibiotics (Penicillin)
- Hyperhidrosis (excessive perspiration)
- Excessive laxative consumption
- Diabetic Ketoacidosis (Inability to produce adequate insulin, which causes ketones to buildup in the bloodstream)
- Eating disorders (bulimia and anorexia nervosa)
- Malnutrition (decreased potassium intake)
If you have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease or heart disease, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the signs of low potassium in women. The causes of low potassium in women is the same as in men, so be sure to keep this in mind, if your spouse has been diagnosed with any of the above disorders or diseases.
Side Effects of Low Potassium in Women
- Muscle cramping (more prominent in the posterior calf muscles)
- Abdominal cramping
- Paresthesia (Tingling and numbness in hands and feet)
- Syncope (fainting)
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Abnormal psychological behavior (delirium, confusion)
Extremely low potassium symptoms in women means that an ER visit is inevitable. An EKG, urine potassium-creatinine ratio (K/O), and serum potassium will be conducted at the hospital upon arrival to determine your diagnosis.
Potassium Rich Foods
- Sweet potato
- White beans
- Kidney beans
- Peaches and Apricots
- Tomato juice