The body needs specific nutrients and vitamins in order to function properly. Potassium is one of these vitamins. Most people who eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables are able to keep their potassium at a safe level. People who have certain health problems, take some medications or do not eat as well as they should are at risk for a potassium deficiency.
Doctors can determine if a patient is suffering from a vitamin deficiency with a blood test. Patients who have a severe deficiency may require immediate treatment and can be hooked up to an IV to receive a potassium drip. Those who have low potassium levels but are not considered to have a severe deficiency may be able to bring their levels up to a safe level by taking potassium supplements or adding potassium-rich food to their diets. Doctors may also look at the underlying cause before choosing the right treatment.
If you suffer from cramping in your arms or legs, it could be a sign that are you low on potassium. There are many things that can cause cramping including a lack of exercise, dehydration, and injuries. Potassium plays a role in the way the body uses sodium and regulates blood levels. When the body has a potassium deficiency, the muscles can spasm more often and more easily.
This can lead to cramping. The cramps are usually felt in the arms and legs, but they may also be felt in the stomach and abdomen, or in other parts of the body. Any muscle in the body is prone to cramping, but some cramps can be more painful than others. Drinking plenty of water can help reduce cramps and make them less severe, but if the patient is suffering from a potassium deficiency, the cramps can continue until the deficiency is corrected.