What Causes Low Potassium in Elderly Adults? Malnutrition and dehydration. Eating unhealthy foods, or not eating at all, can deplete your body of vitamins and minerals. Lack of hydration can also lead to a loss of potassium in cells.
In hypokalemia, the level of potassium in blood is too low. A low potassium level has many causes but usually results from vomiting, diarrhea, adrenal gland disorders, or use of diuretics. A low potassium level can make muscles feel weak, cramp, twitch, or even become paralyzed, and abnormal heart rhythms may develop.
Potassium-rich foods like bananas, yogurt, boiled potatoes, and tomatoes are soft and often easy for elderly people with dental problems to chew. Older people tend to eat more prunes and raisins, which are also both high in potassium.
Potassium deficiency, or Hypokalemia, is a condition in which a person does not get enough potassium for their body. It can be due to a poor diet or loss due to diarrhoea or vomiting. Potassium deficiency can result in medical conditions like high blood pressure, constipation, muscle weakness, and fatigue.
Restore potassium levels: You can take potassium supplements to restore low potassium levels. But fixing potassium levels too quickly can cause unwanted side effects like abnormal heart rhythms. In cases of dangerously low potassium levels, you may need an IV drip for controlled potassium intake. 3.
Common signs and symptoms of potassium deficiency include weakness and fatigue, muscle cramps, muscle aches and stiffness, tingles and numbness, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, digestive symptoms and mood changes.
It is critical to the proper functioning of nerve and muscles cells, particularly heart muscle cells. Normally, your blood potassium level is 3.6 to 5.2 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). A very low potassium level (less than 2.5 mmol/L ) can be life-threatening and requires urgent medical attention.
Potassium chloride is a supplement used to treat low blood levels of potassium, a condition called hypokalemia.
Excessive water consumption may lead to depletion of potassium, which is an essential nutrient. This may cause symptoms like leg pain, irritation, chest pain, et al. 6. It may also cause too much urination; when you drink lots of water at once, you tend to urinate frequently.
One large egg contains about 63 mg of potassium. 1 Eggs are considered a low-potassium food, but check with your doctor or dietitian to find out how often you should eat them.
Which medications can lower potassium levels?
Many fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium:
Low values Other conditions that can cause low blood potassium levels include severe burns, cystic fibrosis, alcohol use disorder, Cushing’s syndrome, dehydration, malnutrition, vomiting, diarrhea and certain kidney diseases, such as Bartter’s syndrome.
Adults should consume about 3,500mg of potassium per day, according to the UK’s National Health Service. The average banana, weighing 125g, contains 450mg of potassium, meaning a healthy person can consume at least seven-and-half bananas before reaching the recommended level.
Some low-potassium foods include:
A large drop in potassium level may lead to abnormal heart rhythms, especially in people with heart disease. This can cause you to feel lightheaded or faint. A very low potassium level can even cause your heart to stop.