Potassium is a mineral that the body uses to major bodily functions, including muscle contraction and heart function. It is recommended that adults consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of potassium in the diet. However, excess potassium can cause toxicity. Toxicity is usually the result of disease caused when the kidneys can not remove excess potassium.
Hypokalemia or low plasma potassium concentration is usually the result of excessive loss of potassium. Acute conditions such as prolonged vomiting or diarrhea can cause hypokalemia. Depending on the cause of hypokalemia, treatment may include potassium chloride to raise the levels of potassium.
Other possible causes of potassium deficiency include eating disorders, alcoholism, diuretics, renal disease or other metabolic disorders. Low potassium levels can cause muscle cramps, fatigue, bloating, constipation and weight loss. Hypokalemia can also cause nausea.
Your doctor may prescribe potassium chloride to treat or prevent hypokalemia. Although potassium chloride can cause mild side effects and more serious. Some people may experience an allergic reaction to potassium supplements. Signs of an allergic reaction include hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips or tongue. Other serious side effects are confusion, anxiety, irregular heartbeat, severe stomach pain, muscle weakness or black stools. Mild side effects include nausea, diarrhea, and tingling in the hands or feet.
Potassium chloride only help prevent nausea if the person already has hypokalemia, good for common stop nausea. It is recommended to consult a doctor before taking potassium chloride as it is necessary to test potassium levels in the blood before prescribing. Too much potassium can cause toxicity and lead to cardiac arrest.
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