Electrolytes are present in our bodies in order to maintain our cells and tissues in proper functioning. These components are very important in keeping our health in good condition. As some of us know, there are actually several types or kinds of electrolytes in our body. However, one of the most significant and/or vital is probably potassium. Potassium is a mineral that is essential in indicating a possible problem with our health. About 98% of this electrolyte can be seen inside the cell, whilst the other 2 % is in our blood. Nevertheless, any abnormality or irregularity with the amount of potassium in the body can be potentially dangerous to our health. This is the reason why it is necessary for us to become aware of the normal potassium level, particularly in our blood, in order for us to work on ways in keeping it within the accepted range.
What is the normal potassium level?
Although the normal level of potassium in the blood varies in different sources, its average amount usually ranges from 3.5 to 5.0 mEq/l. This normal range also depends on some factors especially the age of the individual since the known normal range for children is in between 3.4 to 4.7 mEq/L. This particular electrolyte is chiefly managed by our kidneys since these organs are the ones that are in charge of maintaining the level of potassium within the normal range.
What is the function of potassium in my body?
Potassium is essential for the contraction of the different muscles in our body. This means that this electrolyte also plays a huge role in the contraction of our heart since our heart is made up of cardiac muscles. So in case our potassium level is irregular or is insufficient, then we can expect to observe disturbances in the contraction of our hearts. This can cause irregular heartbeat, abnormal pulse rate and can even worsen to heart failure. Basing on these facts alone, we can already tell that without the use of potassium, our survival rate will significantly lessen.
How do I maintain the potassium level in my body?
In order for us to maintain the potassium level of our system within the normal range, it is necessary for us to consume potassium rich foods such as banana, apple, potatoes and a lot more. Other conditions could also alter the level of potassium in our body. This includes the excessive use of laxatives, increased intake of potassium supplements, using antibiotics with potassium and non steroidal anti inflammatory effects, and even vomiting. A significant increase in the level of potassium in the blood is medically called as hyperkalemia while any decrease from the normal range is already termed as hypokalemia. Hyperkalemia is usually tagged once the level has already reached more than 7.0 mEq/l.
These are just some of the important facts about potassium that we all need to know, including its normal range and its various roles in the body. We can now clearly see that potassium is indeed one of the most important electrolytes in the body, which is why maintaining it is also considered to be necessary.