Potassium Deficiency in the Elderly


by: Kum Martin

Deficiency of potassium is medically referred to as hypokalemia. In this condition, the blood contains low potassium levels. This can lead to several health issues as potassium is important for proper working nervous system, regulating the working of the heart and facilitating the movement of muscles.

Many elderly people suffer from deficiency of potassium due to aging. Some of the symptoms of low potassium levels seen in the elderly are as follows:

• Extreme tiredness
• Weakness of the muscles
• Cramping of the muscles
• Rash on the skin
• Nervous disorders
• Sleeplessness or insomnia
• Slowing of the heartbeats
• Depression
• Mood swings
• High levels of blood sugar
• Weakening of the bones

This deficiency usually occurs in seniors as their diet does not contain adequate amounts of the element. This is a risk when the seniors are put on medications that are diuretics. Diuretics are often prescribed for health conditions such as high blood pressure, liver condition, kidney ailments, and heart failure. Also, diarrhea and vomiting too much because of a digestive tract infection can cause the body to lose potassium. The seniors can also lose large amounts of water and potassium when they use laxatives excessively.

If an elderly person is suspected of having low levels of potassium, then a blood test and urine will be ordered by the doctor. While the doctor is awaiting the result of the tests, the person will be given IV for rehydration. In severe cases, the person will be given pills of potassium. All along the person's condition will be monitored carefully. Thereafter, the senior will be advised to consume a diet that is rich in potassium to alleviate future deficiency.

About Author:
Kum Martin is an online leading expert in elderly care. He also offers top quality articles like:
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1 Response

  1. Very interesting. My mom just found out about its connection with the leg cramps she suffers from. So she's upping her eating of bananas and other potassium-rich foods. I'll keep those blood tests in mind if that doesn't solve them. Thank you :)

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