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Low Potassium & Anxiety

by
author image Lisa Simonson
Lisa Simonson first began her professional writing career in 2008 with a company in Dallas, Texas. Her previous work has been featured in both local and national health-care publications. Simonson received her Bachelor of Arts in English literature with a minor certification in mass communications from the University of Minnesota.
Low Potassium & Anxiety
Citrus fruits and juices are rich in potassium Photo Credit citrus fruits image by Maria Brzostowska from <a href="http://www.fotolia.com">Fotolia.com</a>

Potassium is found abundantly throughout your body. In fact, it is one of the most common minerals in your body. Potassium helps with just about every bodily function. An imbalance of potassium can cause many different side effects, one being anxiety.

Low Potassium Causes and Side Effects

Sodium and potassium play unique roles within the body. If sodium levels are high, your potassium levels are low. Many Americans consume a high sodium diet, which results in low levels of potassium in your body. Women who take oral contraceptives, anyone who is physically active, smokes, or abuses alcohol are all more likely to have low potassium. If you have low levels of potassium, you may experience side effects such as abnormal heart rhythms, a breakdown of muscle fibers, constipation, fatigue, and muscle weakness or spasms. Symptoms usually occur when there is a dramatic drop in potassium. You may not always experience side effects if your potassium levels are slightly off balance.

Anxiety

Anxiety is an abnormal feeling of worry, fear, apprehension or nervousness. Anxiety can occur for a number of reasons, and comes in varying degrees of intensity. One common cause of anxiety is poor diet. Your body is a complex chemical system. When you lack a particular vitamin or mineral, your system can be thrown off. In relation to potassium, low levels can cause mental fatigue, stress and anxiety. Eating a well balanced diet and incorporating whole, natural foods may help you get on track to overcoming your anxiety.

Potassium Rich Foods

The most potassium-rich foods are fresh, natural fruits and vegetables. A few exceptionally high sources are avocados, bananas, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables and even seaweed. Incorporating high potassium food and limiting how much sodium you intake daily can help you achieve optimum levels of potassium. It is recommended that you aim to eat about 3,500 mg of potassium daily. When preparing potassium rich foods, baking or stir-frying are both options that allow you to preserve most of the potassium. Boiling often leads to loss of potassium.

Medication and Supplements

If you are experiencing increased anxiety symptoms, it is best to meet with your family doctor. Increasing your potassium may not be a long-term fix for anxiety. Your doctor can assess your anxiety levels and further guide you on the best treatment. There are side effects associated with too much potassium. Be careful not to over-consume in an effort to fix anxiety-related issues.

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