Potassium Deficiency Menopause

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies may be attributed in part to night sweats.

Potassium deficiency (hypokalemia) may be a partial result of menopause. Here night sweats lead to fluid loss. This reduces the body’s ability to maintain a proper balance of nutrients like potassium (158).  Potassium is an electrolyte (these conducts electricity in the cells of the human body).  Potassium helps regulate nerve impulses, digestion, blood pressure, and helps muscles contract and the heart beat properly.

Low potassium can cause bloating, stomach pain and fluid retention (159) all symptoms of PMS. Low potassium has also been associated with glucose (blood sugar) intolerance and impairment of the body’s ability to produce or secrete insulin (174). Low blood sugar can lead to brain fog or confusion (including problems with decision making), sweating, heart palpitations and feeling jittery, teary and irrationally   angry (184).  These are also symptomatic of menopause.

Low potassium levels have also been shown to be a precursor too, and potential cause of, the development of Type II diabetes (177). Low potassium may lead to more calcium being excreted from the body which can result in an increased risk of bone demineralization and kidney stones (174) in the short term and osteoporosis in the long term (183).

Other symptoms of low potassium levels are muscle problems (muscle fatigue, twitches, cramps, and weakness), and feeling tired (186).

The normal range for potassium in the blood is 3.5 to 5.0 mEq/Litre of blood. As the kidneys excrete this same amount from the body daily a person must maintain a healthy potassium level by eating between 70 and 100 mEq of potassium or 270 to 390 milligrams per decilitre (176).  The average adult in America gets approximately 2.700 milligrams (2.7 grams) of potassium a day.  Adults should get about 90 mEq a day. That means eating foods with the combined equivalent of 3,500 to 4,700 milligrams or 3.5 to 4.7 grams per day (182, 183).

Keep in mind that excessive intake of potassium (hyperkalemia) is fatal, causing cardiac arrest or heart attack (182). Hyperkalemia is considered to be consuming 18 grams or more per day of potassium for an adult.

Good sources of potassium are (176):

Meat like beef, turkey and fish.

Vegetables like mushrooms, tomatoes, peas, beets and greens.

Fruit (dried, fresh or juiced) apricots, prunes, avocados, strawberries, cantaloupe, bananas, kiwi, and oranges or grapefruit



158  Website:  34 menopause symptoms, webpage: night sweats and vitamin deficiency.  Accessed at: www.34-menopauses-symptoms.com/night-sweats-and-vitamin-deficiency.htm

159   Symptoms and treatment website. Webpage: symptoms of low potassium in women.  Accessed:  http://symptomstreatment.org/symptoms-of-low-potassium-in-women/

174 Rowe, J.W., Tobin, J.D., Rosa, R.M., & Andres, R.  (1980). Effect of experimental potassium                deficiency on glucose and insulin metabolism.   Metabolism, 29 (6), 498-502.

175   Fengj, H., & MacGregor, G.A., (2001). Beneficial effects of potassium. The BMJ, 323, 497-501.

176   Medicine net website.  Webpage:  low Potassium (Hypokalemia).  Author:  Wedro, B., MD.                                               Accessed:  http://www.medicinenet.com/low_potassium_hypokalemia/article.htm

177   Ekmekcioglu, C., Elmadfa, I., Meyer, A.L., & Moeslinger, T., (2016).  The role of dietary potassium in hypertension and diabetes. Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry, 72, (1), 93-106.

182   Recommended Dietary Allowances, 10th Edition. (1989). National Research Council.              National Academy Press, Washington D.C.

183   He. F.J., & MacGregor, G.A., (2008). Beneficial effects of potassium on human health. Physiologia Plantarum, 133 (4), 725-735.

184   Johns Hopkins medicine website. Webpage: Article 87840, Get off the blood glucose roller coaster. Must know health info, Johns Hopkins medicine.  Accessed:  www. Hopkinsmedicine.org/diabetes/diabetes_educaiton/patient_educaitomaterial/get_off_the_blood_glucose_rollercoaster.pdf

185   U.S. Department of Agriculture & U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.  Diatary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, 7th Edition.  Washington D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office.  December, 2010. Accessed: WWW. Dietaryguidelines.gov.

186   Symptoms and Treatment website.  Webpage:  Symptoms of low potassium in women, by administration. Accessed:  www.symptomsandtreatment.org/symptoms-of-low-potassium-in-women/

The information on this site is for educational and informational purposes only.  It is not to take the place of medical advice or treatment.   Seek out a qualified health care provider if you have questions or need help.  Dr. Grant is not responsible for any possible health consequences of anyone who follows or reads the information in this content.  Everyone, but especially those taking medication (over the counter or prescription) should talk with a physician before undertaking any changes to their lifestyle or diet (including taking supplements).