What Causes Hyperkalemia? Things You Need to Know!

High potassium (sometimes known as “hyperkalemia”) is a medical condition in which the blood contains too much k. Potassium is required by the human body. It’s an essential micronutrient that can be associated with a range of meals. Potassium aids the proper functioning of both nerves and muscles, including the heart. However, having too much potassium in the blood might be harmful.

It has the potential to cause major heart problems. Even children are prone to hyperkalemia and people with certain diseases like Addison’s disease, alcoholism, diabetes, and any kidney diseases are more likely to get this disease. Potassium levels in adults typically range from 3.5 to 5.0 millimoles per liter (molar ratio). When potassium levels exceed 5.5 mmol/L, hyperkalemia ensues. There may be many different causes for the arrival of hyperkalemia. 

Hyperkalemia: Why Does It Happen?

Potassium is filtered by the kidneys out from meals and beverages people ingest. When people urinate, the body flushes out superfluous potassium. The body has far too much potassium for the kidneys to eliminate hyperkalemia. Potassium enters the bloodstream as a result. Many individuals with chronic hyperkalemia have no symptoms or even have symptoms that are easily overlooked.


Symptoms usually develop and disappear over the course of weeks or even months. Potassium levels that are alarmingly high have an adverse impact on mood and can cause liver complications. Muscular weariness and weakness, hypertension, increased heart rate (arrhythmia), or even cardiac arrest are all indications of hyperkalemia. Potassium levels can rise due to a variety of diseases and health difficulties, and hyperkalemia can occur sans symptoms, which is why it’s critical to understand what triggers it. Once people know if they’re in danger, users can take steps to maintain a healthy potassium level. Many possible symptoms may be abdominal pain, pain in the chest area, palpitations in the heart, dysentery, and so on. One might not realize they have excessive potassium till they get a normal blood test since most individuals do not even experience symptoms. A serum potassium test determines the amount of potassium in the blood. An ECG may also be ordered by the doctor (EKG). 


Diseases in the Kidney –

If one’s kidneys aren’t working properly, hyperkalemia could develop. Reduced kidney capacity indicates that now the kidneys will be unable to efficiently filter potassium from the body. The kidneys’ priority is to keep the quantity of potassium absorbed in proportion with the amount lost in the urine. Potassium is obtained from the meals people eat and the beverages they consume. It is processed by the kidneys before being excreted in the urine. The kidneys often can compensate for elevated potassium levels in the initial stages of renal disease. However, if the renal function deteriorates, one may find that they are unable to eliminate enough potassium from the body. Hyperkalemia is frequently caused by severe renal disease. 

High Potassium Consumption –

Hyperkalemia could also be caused by consuming excessively potassium-rich food, particularly in those with chronic renal failure. Potassium-rich foods include cantaloupe, honeydew melon, orange juice, and bananas. Even though this is not very common, it is very worrying for those with inherent kidney issues. 

Taking a certain type of medicine –

High potassium levels can be caused by these hypertension medicines. High blood pressure is commonly treated with diuretics, or water tablets, which help the body drain out more water and sodium. Consult a physician about potassium if one is on any of these medications. One may need to decide whether the treatment’s advantages exceed the risks. Also, inquire about including frequent potassium tests into the treatment regimen.

Dehydration –

Whenever the body breaks down more fluids than what it consumes, it gets dehydrated. Whenever the body lacks sufficient fluids, it is unable to effectively handle potassium, and potassium accumulates up in the arteries, resulting in hyperkalemia. Increased thirst, more painful urination and darkish urine are all signs of dehydration. Some folks also experience dizziness or confusion. If anyone has any of these signs, they must consult a doctor about how much water they’re drinking and whether they’re getting sufficient, especially if they have high blood pressure or diabetes.

These are the meaning and symptoms of hyperkalemia and the causes for the same. There are many ways through which this disease can be avoided and the same are provided in this article as well. 

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