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The Link Between Potassium And High Blood Pressure


Researchers have long known that there is a potassium and high blood pressure link. Potassium in essential in helping the body to control its blood pressure. And, in people with high blood pressure, levels of potassium is especially important.

By now, it should be no surprise that you can learn how to control high blood pressure with foods. A good example of this is minerals. Minerals are essential to the proper functioning of the human body. And, potassium, in particular, is important in helping the body to synthesize protein from the amino acids. It is important for regulating the electrical activity of the heart. And, from a blood pressure standpoint, it is important in helping the body to temper the negative effects of salt on the body.

Recommended Amounts of Potassium For High Blood Pressure

Recommended amounts of potassium vary with age groups. We tend to need more as we age. In addition, the amount we need is a function of our overall size, body weight, and amounts of salt that we eat in our daily diet. In general, however,  children 3 years and under need 3,000 mg a day. Children 4-8 years old, need 3,800 mg per day. Young adolescents 9-13 years of age, need 4,500 mg per day. And those older than 14, generally need to have at least 4,700 mg a day.

If you eat a healthy diet, most people will tend to get enough potassium with their meals. If, however, your diet consists of huge quantities of salt, you  may be getting much less potassium than you need. You should resist the urge to self diagnose, however, as it is also possible to have too much potassium in your diet. This is especially true with older adults.

One reason is that, our kidney becomes less efficient at removing excess potassium from the body as we age. Another reason, is that, older individuals take more medications - prescribe and over the counter. And some of these medications can interact with potassium in the body to cause further illness.

Not everyone has the same reaction to potassium. If you have high blood pressure and want to really determine the effect of potassium on your body, a digital wrist blood pressure monitor such as the Omron automatic blood pressure monitor can be an excellent device for testing yourself.

Potassium Deficiency

Potassium is found in all kinds of foods. Meats, vegetables, milk and other dairy products, and nuts are all good sources of potassium.

Because, potassium can be found in so many foods, it is rare that a potassium deficiency will be caused by not getting enough of it in the regular diet It is more likely that is is caused by some underlying medical condition. But, other things that can cause a potassium deficiency is simply losing it. How can that happen? The most common way is through taking medications that may cause potassium to be expelled from the body as waste. Perfect examples are diuretics, laxatives, and steroids - all of which cause potassium loss. Illnesses and sickness, such as ongoing diarrhea can cause the loss of potassium as well.

And, those who do have a potassium deficiency, are likely to have a salt sensitivity problem as well and be much more vulnerable to high blood pressure.

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