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Adrenal Fatigue & Potassium

By Marek Doyle ; Updated August 14, 2017

Adrenal fatigue can cause a range of symptoms, from dizziness upon standing to sugar and salt cravings and a reduced resistance to stress. Low energy levels appear present in all cases. Managing adrenal fatigue can prove a challenge to many, with altered mineral balance, making potassium intake a relevant issue.

Potassium

An electrolyte mineral, potassium exists in every cell in the body. One of its main jobs involves osmotically drawing water inside cells to maintain sufficient hydration. An ongoing supply of potassium is required by your body as it cannot produce the mineral itself. Fruits, vegetables and nuts are particularly good sources of potassium, although most foods contain low levels of the nutrient.

Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue can occur following a sustained period of stress. Whether caused by psychological worries, over-exuberant exercise or a chronic infection, the symptoms of adrenal fatigue begin when tissues within the adrenal cortex can no longer produce a sufficient level of hormones. Such hormones include cortisol, the body's major stress hormone that also boosts blood sugar levels and influences the immune system response, and aldosterone.

Potassium Imbalance

The adrenal glands produce aldosterone to help control the mineral balance in the body. The mineral corticoid instructs the kidneys to retain sodium, most commonly found as a sodium chloride salt. Sodium also helps maintain hydration in the body through osmosis, opposing potassium by drawing water outside of cells into the extracellular space. As a result, this sodium-to-potassium balance remains extremely important in ensuring the body's hydration and blood pressure remain normal. In adrenal fatigue, low aldosterone levels can result in increased sodium losses; this may result in lower blood pressure and dizziness unless individuals with the condition increase their salt intake.

Dietary Advice

Although abundantly present in sea water, no foods represent a concentrated source of salt. Add sea salt to your foods to help improve symptoms. Eating fruit on its own may cause you to feel briefly worse due to the high potassium content it offers.

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