Current recommendations for potassium are to consume 3,500 milligrams per day. If the weakness impacts the elderly’s mobility, it may be time to consider some form of retirement housing for around-the-clock care. Experts recommend that adults, including seniors, should be getting 4,700 milligrams of potassium daily through their diet. Digestion requires that the muscles in your esophagus, stomach and intestines are functioning properly. There are many different reasons you could have low potassium levels. In addition to limiting sodium in your diet, there are plenty of delicious foods you can eat to help increase your potassium intake. Dizziness as a result of low potassium can come on because of high blood pressure. What is the Beginning Sign of a Pressure Sore? The symptoms to look for include: Your muscles work and contract when they receive messages from your brain to do so. What are the warning signs and symptoms of low potassium (hypokalemia)? A Registered Dietician can help you design a customized nutrition program that is tailor-made for you. Loss of energy, drowsiness and fatigue 5. Low potassium in elderly cats. Urine contains a lot of unwanted waste from the body, but it also contains potassium, so if too much urination is occurring, the person’s body is likely not absorbing enough potassium. Our senior home care providers may also be able to help identify symptoms that seniors might ignore. SIGN, SYMPTOMS, AND CAUSES IDENTIFYING LOW POTASSIUM IN ELDERLY PEOPLE There are many causes to low potassium levels in the body. Many elderly people suffer from deficiency of potassium due to aging. By doing this, it helps to keep blood pressure low. Shortness or breath and difficulty breathing may be caused by low potassium levels because potassium is also responsible for lung function. Persistent diarrhea causes potassium to be eliminated before it can be absorbed into the body through the intestines. Your kidneys maintain the healthy balance between potassium and other electrolytes your body requires to function properly. When you're potassium deficient, you'll feel it in your muscles. Possible causes of low potassium include: Urination is the most common way that your body eliminates excess potassium. Apart from general weakness, muscle fatigue is a common occurrence in those who are suffering from a high concentration of potassium in the blood. Why are they more prone to have potassium deficiency? When seniors are taking several prescribed medications and supplements, it can become confusing and overwhelming. Fatigue is a non-specific and common symptom that can be seen in various conditions other than hypokalemia, such as overworking, mental stress, jet lag, overstimulation, depression, boredom, inadequate sleep, low blood sugar, mineral deficiencies, anemia, and more. Low sodium in the blood can cause confusion, lethargy, and nausea. Fatigue. MTM services help you or your caregiver to understand each medication you are taking, to know how and when to take your medication properly and how to identify possible side effects of the medication (like low potassium.). Finally, in very extreme cases, low potassium levels can actually result in the complete shut down of the lungs. Low potassium or hypokalemia is a decrease in blood potassium levels, which is caused by colon polyps, vomiting, diarrhea, medications, and laxatives. Other symptoms of low potassium in women include tingling or numbing sensations of the muscles, low blood pressure resulting in fainting, vomiting, paralysis of the legs and arms, nausea, and abnormalities in behavior such as increased confusion, psychosis, depression, hallucinations or delirium. Receive and send messages from your brain that make your muscles contract when it’s time to use them. In the elderly, decreased body function, loss of appetite, certain diseases, and some medications increase their risk of hypokalemia. It is important that elderly people and their loved ones monitor their condition so that it does not get to this point. Symptoms of low potassium in the blood include palpitations, muscle cramps, and muscle aches. In spite of this fact, the root cause of most potassium deficiencies is not malnutrition. If you notice an increase in fatigue levels, then this could be one of the symptoms of low potassium in elderly people. Perhaps surprisingly, although bananas contain some potassium, there are many foods that contain much higher amounts. The safest and easiest way to increase the amount of your potassium intake is through the foods you eat. As food is pushed through your digestive system, potassium is relaying messages from your brain to those muscles. Sometimes, potassium supplements can upset your stomach and cause vomiting. Potassium levels below 2.5 mmol/L are life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. If that happens, contact your doctor immediately. If you have high potassium levels, your heart muscle activity may be reduced. When present to a degree that can cause symptoms, a person with low potassium levels may experience fatigue, weakness of the … This is in extreme cases where the potassium is so low that it is affecting blood flow to the heart – this would probably be seen in cases where irregular palpitations are occurring. 2. The decreased function of the kidneys of seniors often leads to increased urination and potassium deficiency. You may not have any symptoms at all. When there is not enough potassium in your body, the muscles don’t work effectively, cramping occurs in your abdomen and the digestion of food slows down. Because alcohol enters your bloodstream, it is carried to every organ in your body. Oddly enough, low blood pressure can also be a symptom of low potassium. 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