Does Potassium Has a Role in Diabetes Development? | Diabetes Health Page

Does Potassium Has a Role in Diabetes Development?

By NaDica | Articles

Feb 16

The body alters the food you consume, and it actually converts it into glucose, i.e., sugar. What the body does is that it uses sugar for energy. Insulin is actually a hormone which your pancreas makes.

The body uses this hormone in order to help move sugar into the cells in your body. In case you have diabetes, the body won’t be able to use or make insulin efficiently.

Although yes, you cannot prevent type 1 diabetes, you can stop type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes is adult-onset diabetes which occurs in people older than 35 years old.

What is Potassium?

Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte which helps maintain the bodily fluids at a proper and suitable level. In case your bodily fluids are in check your body can keep your brain functioning, contract your muscles and ensure that your heart is beating correctly.

That is actually the function of potassium in your body.

The Function of Potassium in the Body

The job of potassium is to help the muscles contract, help the nerve conduction and regulate your heartbeat. Also, it works to keep a suitable fluid balance between your body fluids and your cells.

The body is actually a fine-tuned machine which as long is functioning properly, and it’s healthy, things will work correctly. Meaning that as long as the kidneys work correctly, they will regulate the amount of potassium which your body needs.

But, individuals with diabetes and kidney disease need to be careful of their intake of potassium, since the levels might get too high and their kidneys won’t be able to work properly.

You should know that too little potassium and too much potassium is equally dangerous for your health.

In case you don’t preserve the proper level of potassium, you might experience different symptoms from muscle cramps to more severe conditions, like seizures.

What Leads to Low Potassium Levels

Low potassium levels are also known by the name hypokalemia. The hypokalemia might occur due to something very simple such as dehydration from diarrhea, vomiting, and sweating.

Moreover, it might occur due to something serious like severe burns, adrenal gland issue, and cystic fibrosis. In addition, the low levels might occur due to malnutrition and also from taking diuretics.

What Leads to High Potassium Levels

High potassium levels are also known by the name hyperkalemia. These levels often occur due to kidney damage. That certain type of damage usually occurs because of diabetes that is poorly controlled.

Moreover, it is a big complication of diabetes, usually called diabetic nephropathy, or diabetic kidney disease.

In addition, the high potassium might happen in case someone has had DKA, i.e., diabetic ketoacidosis. This a severe metabolic condition which is commonly seen in people who have type 1 diabetes.

Using ACE inhibitor medications, heart attack, overuse of potassium supplements, infections and injuries might cause high potassium levels.

An excessive amount of potassium might cause heart attack, paralysis, weakness and irregular heartbeat.

Studies About the Link Between Diabetes and Potassium

According to studies, there might be a connection between low potassium levels and type 2 diabetes.

There was one research at Johns Hopkins University on this topic. The researchers actually connected low potassium levels with high sugar and high insulin levels in healthy people.

The combination of high insulin and high glucose levels and low potassium levels are traits which doctors link with diabetes.

Another 2011 study came to the discovery that individuals who take thiazides in order to deal with high blood pressure had loss of electrolytes this includes potassium.

According to the researchers, this loss might lead to a raise the risk of developing diabetes. Moreover, the researchers connected the high blood pressure and potassium levels.

What to Do

In case you believe that you are at risk of developing diabetes or that you might have a deficiency in potassium, make sure to consult your doctor.

Your doctor will see your medical history and talk to you about the potential risk. Moreover, your doctor can easily see the amount of potassium by doing a blood test.

In case the tests indicate of abnormal potassium levels your doctor might recommend specific dietary changes or prescribe a supplement in order to restore the balance.

Did you know about the importance of potassium?