advertisement



Supplements & Herbs


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Potassium

potassium foods bananas greens

What is potassium?
Potassium is an essential mineral. Like sodium, it binds readily with other minerals, and does not occur naturally in an unbound state. Potassium is required for the proper functioning of many major organ systems.

Why is potassium necessary?
Potassium is essential for the heart, kidneys, muscles, nerves, and digestive system to operate normally, and is required for regulating fluid balance, the body's acid-base balance, and blood pressure.

What are the signs of a deficiency?
Potassium deficiency symptoms include irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness and mood changes, as well as nausea and vomiting. People with kidney disease, gastrointestinal disease and those who take diuretics may have lower levels of potassium.

How much, and what kind, does an adult need?
Although daily multivitamin supplements may contain tiny amounts of potassium as part of their multi-mineral complexes, Dr. Weil does not recommend potassium supplements, except as prescribed by a physician.

How much does a child need?
Dr. Weil's recommendation for children is the same as for adults.

How do you get enough potassium from foods?
People usually get adequate potassium through their diet. Most fruits are good sources of potassium, especially bananas, as are dark leafy greens, potatoes and legumes.

Are there any risks associated with too much potassium?
Too much potassium can cause upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea. More serious side effects include irregular heartbeat, mental confusion, tingling or burning sensations in the extremities, and gray skin.

Are there any other special considerations?
Several diuretics cause potassium to be lost in the urine, and potassium supplements are usually taken together with these medications. Other classes of drugs can cause potassium levels to rise, including ACE-inhibitors, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and blood thinning agents such as heparin. Talk with your physician before taking potassium if you have any health conditions.

Browse Dr. Weil's Vitamin Library to find out more about different vitamins.


advertisement

Are you getting the supplements you need?
Everyone's dietary needs are different based on a number of factors including lifestyle, diet, medications and more. To find out which supplements are right for you, take the Weil Vitamin Advisor. This 3-step questionnaire requires just minutes to complete, and generates a free, no-obligation vitamin and nutritional supplement recommendation that is personalized to meet your unique nutritional needs.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here