Published on May 23, 2020
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Potassium is an essential mineral—sometimes referred to as an electrolyte because it carries a small electrical charge that activates various cell and nerve functions that is needed by all tissues in the body—that we use to maintain our body’s fluid and electrolyte balance. It is needed for the optimal function of muscles and nerves; several organs including the heart, kidneys and brain; and also important for digestive health.
It is the kidneys that regulate potassium. If they aren’t working correctly, the potassium may not be flushed out of the body properly; the cumulative effect of obesity puts you in a greater risk pool for this to happen. This is because being obese puts you at greater risk for high blood pressure and diabetes. High blood pressure and diabetes are the two biggest causes of kidney disease which, then, means that being obese puts you at greater risk for kidney disease.
When I meet folks who fall into the “potassium problem population,” I give them this reference sheet.