When it comes to keeping a healthy heart, we often hear that things like exercise, a good diet, and knowing how to deal with stress are vital. But potassium, an important chemical that helps keep the heart healthy, is often forgotten. Potassium is an electrolyte that helps control the heartbeat and other body processes.
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In this blog post, we’ll talk about the heart benefits of potassium, its food sources, the possible risks of a potassium imbalance, and how to do CPR in case of cardiac arrest.
What is the use of potassium in the body and its sources?
Potassium is an important mineral that helps all of the body’s cells, tissues, and systems work properly. It is very important for keeping a good heart. Potassium helps control the electrical messages that control the heartbeat, making sure the heartbeat is steady and in sync. It also helps keep blood pressure at a healthy level.
To ensure your body has the right amount of potassium, you should eat foods that are high in this mineral. Fruits like bananas, oranges, avocados, and strawberries, as well as veggies like spinach, broccoli, and potatoes, are great ways to get potassium from food. Legumes, nuts, seeds, and cheese are also good sources. By adding these things to your diet, you can help support the health of your heart and maybe even lower your risk of heart problems.
How much potassium can cause cardiac arrest?
The benefits of potassium are huge, but too much of it can be bad. Hyperkalemia is a disease that happens when there is too much potassium in the bloodstream. In the worst cases, hyperkalemia can cause cardiac arrest, which is a life-threatening situation in which the heart stops beating all of a sudden.
The amount of potassium that can cause cardiac arrest is different for each person and depends on their age, overall health, and any other health problems they may have. But generally, a potassium level of more than 6.5 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) is dangerously high and raises the risk of cardiac failure.
It is important to get blood tests done regularly and talk to your doctor about your potassium levels.
Signs of potassium deficiency in the body
Just as too much potassium can be bad for your health, too little potassium can also be bad for your heart. Hypokalemia, which means you don’t have enough potassium in your body, can cause your heartbeat to be uneven and raise your risk of cardiac arrhythmias. Knowing the signs of potassium shortage is important. Muscle weakness, tiredness, heart palpitations, constipation, and abnormal heart rhythms are all common signs of potassium deficiency.
If you have any of these signs or think you might have a potassium deficiency, you should talk to your doctor right away. They can look at your condition, do the right tests, and give you advice on the best way to treat it, which may include making changes to your diet or taking potassium supplements.
CPR for cardiac arrest and its steps
Cardiac arrest is a life-threatening situation that needs to be dealt with right away. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, (CPR), is an important technique to keep the blood flowing and get oxygen to vital organs until medical help arrives. Potassium is important for heart health, but performing CPR for cardiac arrest is the best way to help someone in the nick of time.
The following steps are needed to do CPR:
- Call for help: Immediately call 911 or ask someone close by to do it.
- Start chest compressions: Place the person on their back on a hard surface and put the heel of one hand in the middle of their chest. Interlock your fingers with the hand on top. Aim for 100–120 compressions per minute when you push hard and fast.
- Rescue breaths: After 30 compressions, tilt the person’s head back and lift their chin to open their airway.
- Rescue breaths: Give them two rescue breaths, each lasting about a second, by pinching their nose shut. Repeat the cycle of 30 compressions and two breaths until medical help arrives or the person shows signs of life.
Potassium is important for a healthy heart, but too much or too little of it can cause major heart problems. Checking your potassium levels regularly with blood tests, eating foods that are high in potassium, and seeing a doctor if you have any signs of a potassium imbalance are all important steps to take to protect your heart health.
But if someone has a heart attack, they need CPR right away. Stay aware by learning CPR online from the American HealthCare Academy. Our courses are nationally accepted and offer hands-on training with blended courses that you can do right from your home. Enroll today!