A 35-year-old woman from St. Louis walked into her local hospital in 2013 feeling abnormally dizzy and weak. She was pregnant, but doctors didn’t think the symptoms she showed were connected. Then the woman confessed to an unusual craving she had. Moreover, her appetite for this one household ingredient had put both her life and that of her baby’s at severe risk.
The woman was admitted to hospital where her condition worsened; she had an irregular heartbeat which grew increasingly rapid. Doctors discovered that she had gravely low levels of potassium, which can impair muscle, nerve and brain function. Indeed, such a deficiency can lead to tiredness, loss of strength, cramping and, in extreme cases, heart issues. The medics, however, were unclear what was causing the woman’s symptoms.