Potassium is one of the most important minerals required by human beings. It is essential to proper functioning of several vital organs like the brain, the heart, kidneys and also the muscular system. There are several foods that are rich in potassium and provide all the essential amounts of potassium. However, it can be gained only if a person has a balanced diet inclusive of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. People who do not have a balanced diet usually suffer from potassium deficiency. It is a medical condition which is commonly known as ‘Hypokalemia’. There are several symptoms associated with hypokalemia, headache being one of them.
How Does Low Potassium Cause Headache
The potassium as a mineral, when dissolved in fluids, holds electrical properties. Therefore, it is termed as an electrolyte. This mineral is specifically important for proper functioning of muscles and nerve cells. Proper functioning of the muscles or contraction and relaxation of muscles, specially those of heart muscles, is possible only due to the mineral potassium. Maintaining of normal blood pressure and energy metabolism, and such tasks also involve use of potassium by the body. Low potassium is a condition that occurs when one does not acquire adequate amounts of potassium from the diet. This is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular diseases and stroke in people.
At the same time, headache is also one of the major symptoms of low potassium. People suffering from low levels of potassium suffer from periodic or even chronic headaches. Actually, headache can be caused due to several causes and conditions. However, deficiency of potassium cannot be ruled out, as it is one of the leading causes of headaches that last for a long time or appear in intervals. Cluster headaches and migraine are two types that can be caused due to deficiency of potassium in human beings.
It should be noted that along with headache, there are several other low potassium symptoms which appear simultaneously. Irritability, anxiety, muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, insomnia, frequent thirst, nausea, vomiting, constipation, depression, confusion, etc. One should also remember that as potassium is one of the essential minerals required for proper functioning of the vital organs like the heart and the brain; lack of this mineral in the diet can be life-threatening. Therefore, if frequent headaches, occurring without any reason, are observed along with other symptoms, one should consult the doctor immediately.
Deficiencies of minerals and vitamins can be corrected by having a diet rich in the lacking vitamin and mineral. People suffering from potassium deficiency are advised to have a diet inclusive of potassium rich foods. Foods like bananas, citrus fruits, almonds, avocados, green leafy vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, milk, etc contain high amounts of potassium, and hence, can help in reversing the condition. Similarly, the doctor may prescribe oral potassium medications or supplements, depending on the severity of the condition. Intravenous (IV) potassium may also be administered to people suffering from severe cases of low potassium. The doctor may prescribe pain killers to get rid of headache. Potassium containing medications are also given to people suffering from migraine and chronic headaches. However, treating the root cause of low potassium and headache is essential. While undergoing the treatment, it is also essential to monitor the levels of potassium and prevent them from going too high. Very high levels of potassium can also be dangerous.
In fact, chronic headaches are mostly caused due to potassium deficiency. Therefore, if you suffer from frequent headache, which is also accompanied by other symptoms, you should consult the doctor immediately and take proper treatment. Remember, potassium deficiency can be treated with the help of diet and medications.