Hello there, trust you are good!

I will like to continue the post on electrolytes in the body, which I started in my previous post. In case you missed it, kindly read it here (it is actually helpful).

The next electrolyte I’d be talking about is Potassium.

POTASSIUM (K+) is a major positive ion (cation) found in the cells. A normal level of Potassium is needed to maintain regular cell function.

FUNCTION: Potassium regulates the heartbeat, and helps in contraction and relaxation of the muscles (especially the muscle cells of the heart).

NORMAL K+ LEVEL: The normal potassium level is within 3.5-5.0mmol/L (according to Mayo clinic). And a daily adult recommended intake of 90 mmol per day by World Health Organization.


Hyperkalemia (very high Potassium levels in the blood): Excess levels or abnormal increase in Potassium (levels above 6mmol/L 6.1 mEq/L.) are usually as a result of kidney malfunction (kidney helps in the excretion of Potassium) or some medications (majorly antihypertensive) and other systemic diseases (such as Diabetes type 1) which can increase the amount of potassium in the blood.  Increase in potassium level can result in irregular heartbeats and when it is not controlled it may lead to fatal medical conditions. Symptoms of increased potassium are: muscle cramps, fatigue, irregular heartbeats etc.

Hypokalemia (very low Potassium levels in the blood):   This occurs when there is severe reduction in the amount of Potassium in the body cells (below 3.5 mmol/L) often caused by kidney disease, excessive sweating, vomiting and diarrhea. It can result in abnormal heart rhythm and severe muscle weakness. Some of the symptoms of Hypokalemia are  weakness, fatigue, constipation, muscle cramps, and palpitations. When levels further drop below 2.5mmol/L, it becomes life threatening and complications such as paralysis, respiratory failure, muscle breakdown can occur.


There are several sources of potassium I wrote about in a previous post such as Bananas.

Kindly share with friends if you found this article helpful.


Adenike Oladimeji

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