The sodium-potassium pump is an essential cellular membrane protein that functions by pumping out three sodium ions and taking in two potassium ions. This mechanism preserves the electrochemical gradient formed from the varying concentrations of sodium and potassium ions within the cell and its exte
The causes of low sodium levels include drinking too much water; disorders of the heart, liver or kidney; and certain medications such as diuretics, according to the Mayo Clinic. Conditions that cause chronic vomiting can also lead to low potassium levels.
Potassium is a natural element; therefore, it isn't made. As a highly reactive metal, virtually no potassium occurs naturally in its elemental state. Instead, most potassium is obtained from mines in the form of potassium chloride or sulfate salts. A small amount of potassium that is used industrial
High serum potassium, known as hyperkalemia, can occur when kidneys do not function correctly or when an individual’s diet is abnormally high in potassium. Other causes include the breakdown of red blood cells or muscle tissue, trauma and uncontrolled diabetes, according to WebMD.
According to WebMD, potassium aids in prompting the heart to squeeze blood through the body thousands of times a day. Potassium is also helpful in the movement of muscles, the functioning of nerves and filtering of blood through the kidneys.
Though quite rare, potassium overdose is possible, as Healthline indicates. A healthy 150-pound adult can overdose when more than 170,000 milligrams of potassium are consumed in a period of less than 30 minutes.
Symptoms of excess potassium levels in the blood include weakness, nausea, paralysis, muscle fatigue, a slow heart rate and abnormal heart rhythms. High potassium levels stem from several causes, including excessive dietary intake, kidney problems and some supplements, including minerals and herbs.
According to MedlinePlus, potassium is good for you because your body needs it to build proteins and muscle. Potassium also helps the body break down carbohydrates, maintain body growth and control electrical heart activity. Additionally, potassium helps maintain blood pressure by weakening the effe
Sodium may be calorie free but that does not mean that it is good for you. The average American consumes about 3,436 milligrams of sodium a day, according to the Center for Disease Control. This is far more then the recommended amount of 2,300 milligrams.
Some foods that are high in potassium are winter squash, beet greens, sweet potatoes, white potatoes and white beans. Yogurt and pork are animal products that are high in potassium.