Potassium is one of the essential minerals which is needed for proper development and functioning of the human body. There are many pivotal roles which this mineral plays, like it regulates glucose conversion to glycogen. Deficiency of this mineral is given a specific name, that is, ‘Hypokalemia’. Potassium deficiency and hair loss go hand in hand because apparent hair loss is a side effect of Hypokalemia.
The Causes of Potassium Deficiency
There are many common causes of potassium deficiency some of which are listed below:
- Hyperhidrosis (i.e. excessive sweating) and dehydration have both been a cause of eliminating this mineral from the body.
- One other cause of potassium deficiency, though somewhat uncommon, can be the lack of the mineral in ones diet.
- Some medicines or other drugs can also reduce the amount of potassium in the body and hence lead to potassium deficiency.
Hair Loss- a Result of Hypokalemia
Diets those are high in salt result in presence of excessive sodium in the individual consuming such a diet. This excess sodium gets accumulated around the hair follicles making it hard for the body to absorb other vital nutrients including- potassium. This leads to potassium deficiency in the cells. Since the hair follicles do not get enough potassium, it results in hair loss.
Since it is the consumption of excessive sodium which prevents potassium from reaching the cells, one of the ways of eliminating the potassium deficiency is to reduce salt consumption.
Treating Potassium Deficiency
The Food and Drugs Administration suggests that an individual must consume about 4700mg of potassium.
- One of the ways in which one can counter the effects of a potassium deficiency is to increase the intake of potassium in the diet. Foods that are rich in potassium include bananas, apricots, oranges, rice, avocados, yogurt, prunes, dates and many others. Consumption of any of these will lead to proper potassium content in the body and will hence reduce hair loss.
- As mentioned above, the reason that potassium cannot reach hair follicles is excessive sodium. Potassium and sodium both have a tricky relationship. While sodium causes water retention and higher blood pressure; potassium reduces blood pressure while causing no water retention. When sodium and potassium enter the kidneys the potassium element replaces sodium and hence eliminated hair loss. So besides increasing the amount of potassium consumed one must also focus on reducing amount of sodium consumed.
- Many medications and medical drugs can also help in maintaining good levels of potassium.