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Can Potassium Actually Lower Your Blood Pressure?

Apr 05, 2022

Primary Care

Can Potassium Actually Lower Your Blood Pressure?

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a leading cause of cardiovascular diseases in adults. Almost half of the American population has hypertension, and treatment options include medications and lifestyle changes such as changing your diet or exercising more.

However, did you know that minerals like sodium and potassium also have important roles in controlling blood pressure? While many people understand that increased sodium intake can cause hypertension, most don't know that potassium reduces it. This article discusses how potassium and blood pressure are connected and how potassium can help to lower your blood pressure.

How does potassium help to reduce your blood pressure?

Research shows that increased intake of potassium can significantly reduce blood pressure. The reason is that potassium, along with sodium, helps regulate the fluid content in the body.

Excessive fluid retention can lead to hypertension since the fluid exerts pressure on the blood vessel walls. When potassium is reduced or sodium increases in the body, fluid excretion and retention balance are disrupted, causing high blood pressure. By regulating your sodium and potassium intake, you can maintain the fluid balance in your body and manage high blood pressure.

Also read: COVID and Hypertension: What’s the Common Connection?

How much potassium do you need to lower blood pressure?

A healthy adult should intake around 3,500 to 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day. However, your typical diet can contain too much sodium and too little potassium. Therefore, you should ensure you eat potassium-rich foods and reduce your sodium intake. However, before drastically altering your diet, it’s best to consult your doctor and get yourself tested for your body's potassium and sodium levels.

Potassium and your diet

To naturally increase your body’s potassium levels, include more food items like bananas and coconut water into your diet. Some other potassium-rich foods are

  • Avocados
  • Spinach
  • Lima beans
  • Mushrooms
  • Apricots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Tuna
  • Oranges

How long does it take for potassium to lessen a person’s blood pressure?

Increasing your potassium levels through diet can take weeks or even months. Don't expect to instantly lower your blood sugar level by eating potassium-rich foods. You have to include such foods into your regular diet while also making lifestyle changes, including exercising regularly, not smoking, and reducing your alcohol intake. By following such a healthy lifestyle, you can keep your blood pressure under control for the long term. You can also opt for taking supplements but discuss with your healthcare provider before doing so.

Also read: High Protein Foods: The Best Health Boosters

Is it possible to have too much potassium?

Yes, it is possible to have too much potassium in the body as it can adversely affect your kidneys. The kidneys will be unable to remove the potassium from your body resulting in a build-up. There aren't any typical symptoms, but if you have excess potassium, you might have a weak pulse, faint, or have stomach pains. If you have any of those symptoms, immediately check in with your healthcare provider.

So, does potassium lower blood pressure? Yes, potassium is an excellent natural method to help manage your hypertension. However, consuming too much potassium can have adverse effects on your body.

If you are suffering from hypertension or have symptoms of excessive potassium, visit us at MI Express Primary Care for diagnosis and consultation. Our team can help you control your potassium intake while simultaneously developing a treatment plan to keep your blood pressure in check.

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