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What Is The Normal Potassium Level For Women In Their In 50s?

Potassium is one of the essential minerals of the body. As it is vital for your health, a change in normal potassium level can indicate trouble.

Potassium is one of the essential minerals of the body. It is critical for your nerves, muscles and your heart to function. It offers multiple benefits that include the prevention of osteoporosis and kidney stones, reduced blood pressure and water retention and protection against stroke. As it is vital for your health, a change in normal potassium levels can indicate trouble. Read on to understand the significance of variations in potassium level in the body.

What causes normal potassium level to rise in women?

Women tend to work a lot, and overlook their health. Potassium levels often deplete in women in their 50s because of insufficient balanced diet, stress and hormonal changes. And if potassium deplete too much, it can be fatal.

In an ideal situation, when your kidneys function optimally, they are responsible for maintaining a healthy potassium balance and flushing out the excess potassium from your body. But there are instances when your potassium levels can get high. This condition is called hyperkalemia or high potassium.

What is the normal potassium level?

A normal potassium level for an adult should lie between 3.5 and 5 millimoles per litre. Hyperkalemia happens when the levels are higher than 5.5mmol/litre. A reading of 6.5 mmol/l or more can result in heart problems and may need immediate medical attention.

What causes normal potassium level to fall?

If your body’s potassium levels are below 3.4 mmol/litre, it’s hypokalemia. Potassium levels below 2.5 are life-threatening.


  • Kidney disease can lead to excess potassium production in the body, as it damages your kidneys. As a result of this, potassium builds up in your blood.
  • Other factors include a high potassium diet when you consume potassium supplements or salt substitutes.
  • Certain medications containing potassium can also be the culprits, e.g. medicines for high blood pressure.
  • Alcoholism, excessive burns, and HIV can also result in elevated potassium levels.


  • The most common cause for low potassium levels is excess potassium loss in urine because of medication prescribed to increase urination. E.g. diuretics or water pills prescribed for high blood pressure or heart condition.
  • Diarrhoea, laxative use, vomiting, excess alcohol, folic acid deficiency, chronic potassium deficiency due to poor diet, and kidney disease are some of the causes of low potassium.

When to see a doctor?

Most people won’t realize there is a change in normal potassium levels, as they may not have had any symptoms. You may know it only when you do a routine blood test.

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Symptoms of high potassium include

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations or arrhythmia
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle weakness or numbness

Symptoms of low potassium include

  • Constipation
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fatigues
  • Muscles weakness, spasms, twitches, cramps
  • Tingling and numbness


For high potassium levels, treatment generally includes

  • Diuretics – Also known as water pills, make you pass urine more often and thereby eliminates excess potassium through urine.
  • IV Therapy – A very high potassium level will need immediate attention. First, you may need an IV infusion of calcium to protect the heart. Then an insulin injection will assist in potassium movement to blood cells.
  • Manage medication – Your healthcare provider will suggest stopping or changing the medication that raises potassium levels.
  • Potassium Binders – Your doctor may prescribe a daily medication that will bind to excess potassium in the intestine. This will lead to excess potassium passing through your stools. A doctor will only recommend this treatment if other treatments do not lower your potassium levels.
  • Dialysis – If your potassium levels are consistently high or your kidneys fail, you may require dialysis.

For treating low potassium levels, your doctor will determine the underlying cause and then may prescribe potassium supplements.

How to manage my condition?

If your potassium levels are not dangerously high, dietary modifications may help lower your potassium levels.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions for treating your high potassium levels and discuss what would be the best diet plan for you.

Foods with high potassium content that you need to avoid include

  • Fruits like bananas, avocadoes, oranges, raisins
  • Vegetables like artichokes, Brussels sprouts, spinach, potatoes, tomatoes
  • Nuts, seeds, peanut butter
  • Salt substitutes that contain potassium
  • Beans like baked beans. Lentils, legumes
  • Milk and yoghurt
  • Chocolate
  • Commercially baked goods and sports drinks

A potassium-rich diet that includes the above-mentioned items will help with low potassium levels. Your doctor may also prescribe supplements that will help manage the condition effectively.


As symptoms of change in normal potassium levels do not show up in the early stages, it is best to get regular blood tests done if you are at risk for this condition. If you have kidney disease, a heart condition, hypertension, or diabetes, you may have an increased risk of developing high potassium levels.

Whether you have high or low potassium levels, it’s possible to treat both conditions with timely intervention.

Image Source: Shylendrahoode via Getty Images Free On Canva Pro

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At Women's Web we try to bring you information on Fitness & Wellness topics of interest to you. This is not, however diagnostic or prescriptive information, so please do consult your doctor or therapist before using any of it.


About the Author

Anjali Paul

I am a mom who works from home and dabbles with writing when time permits.An avid reader since childhood, blogging and writing helps me de-stress.My five year old keeps me on my read more...

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