Potassium is an essential electrolyte in the body that controls blood pressure, pH and keeps the heart healthy. If potassium is lacking, supplements such as potassium chloride or potassium gluconate can be taken.
Potassium chloride and potassium gluconate are dietary supplements given to people who don't have enough potassium in their body. Potassium not only drives metabolism, but is also essential for heart health. An imbalance in this mineral can create serious health conditions such as muscle weakness in the body and heart.
Potassium chloride is a common supplement given to people with low potassium levels who also have reduced blood levels of chloride. Potassium chloride comes in powder form, liquid, capsules or tablets. Side effects associated with potassium chloride include irregular heartbeat, tingling in the extremities or abdominal pain.
Potassium gluconate is a dietary supplement. Like potassium chloride, it comes in liquid or tablet form, is quite soluble and is absorbed easily by the body. Potassium gluconate is recommended when a person has a normal chloride level or when a person should have chloride restricted, such as if they have kidney disease. Side effects include stomach pain, nausea, rash, diarrhoea or tingling in the extremities.
Normally, food in the diet provides sufficient amounts of potassium, but if a person has low potassium levels in their blood even though they are eating foods rich in potassium, then supplements such as potassium chloride or potassium gluconate can be taken to increase the level of potassium.
Potassium is vital for healthy teeth, necessary for heart health, regulating blood pressure, maintaining weight and preventing kidney disease. Foods with high potassium levels include bananas, cantaloupe, kiwi, meats and fish, tomatoes, spinach and oranges.
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