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Potash, Bicarbonate can damage your kidneys — Experts

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Favour Obianujuwam

As much as potash and bicarbonate have a whale of health benefits because of the potassium found in it, so they have a gamut of side effects that can sabotage your health and if not treated early, can serves as a doorway to an untimely death.

WHAT IS POTASH/BICARBONATE?

THEY are an impure mixture of inorganic compounds which are used individually and alternatively in cooking to shorten the time and make it soft to your taste. They contain potassium, carbonate and potassium salt. Potash, incumbent to Africa; In Igbo tradition, in Nigeria, potash is called “Akanwu”, in Yoruba, it is called “Kaun” while in Hausa, it is known as “Kanwa”.

Component

The major component of Potash/Bicarbonate is Potassium which is one of the essential elements needed in the body for systemic upkeep and balance.

This potassium exists principally in the intracellular fluid at concentrations of 140 to 150 meq/litre and in the extracellular fluid at concentrations of 3.5 to 5 meq/litre. A sufficient level of potassium in the body system helps in muscle contractility, nerve signals, lower blood pressure and fluid balance regulation.

Effects

Excess or too much intake of food containing potassium is dangerous to the body especially to the kidney which is the major site for removal of excess potassium in the body through urine, so when the kidney is compromised or not able to excrete potassium, there will be an accumulation of potassium in your blood which results to hyperkalemia (an abnormal high concentration of potassium in the blood) thereby causes toxicity in the body and probably lead to death if it is not controlled or treated.

Symptoms of hyperkalemia include chest pain, nausea, vomiting, bradycardia (decrease in blood pressure) and cardiac arrhythmias.

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