The key of a healthy and happy life is not to over exaggerate in anything; on the contrary, reaching balance in everything is very important. Similarly, the balance must be present in our bodies, too. Our body functions normally and maintains health due to the numerous essential nutrients. These nutrients should be in a proper amount; otherwise, if they are low or high in level, the body develops some problem. In the same way, when the levels of the mineral potassium are high in the blood, various health problems arise.
Excess potassium in blood
This mineral is water-soluble and its amounts are regulated by the kidneys. In a healthy person, only 2% of potassium can be found in the blood, while the rest of it is normally present in the body cells. This balance should be maintained always because normal functioning of the cell membranes, heart and connections between the muscles and brain depend on it. When one is on high potassium diet, the level of this mineral significantly increases in the body. However, it is usually ejected through urination by means of the kidneys. But, sometimes, the kidneys cannot function properly and the excess potassium in blood occurs, which is medically called hyperkalemia and is considered to be a life threatening condition.
Causes and symptoms of excess potassium in blood
Hyperkalemia has numerous triggering factors, such as malfunctioning of the kidneys, insulin deficiency, high potassium diet and overdose of potassium supplements. Excess potassium in blood may also be a result of some adrenal gland disorder, high acids levels in the blood, Addison’s disease and a side effect of some drugs like diuretics, for example.
Excess potassium is almost asymptomatic in the first stages, and that is the reason why it is hard to detect it in the beginning. However, sometimes the symptoms appear after all and they may include abdominal cramps, sickness, troublesome breathing and muscle weakness. Furthermore, people who develop hyperkalemia may experience diarrhea, general weakness, heart palpitations and tingling sensations in the arms and legs. Numbness, convulsion and seizures are also potential symptoms of high potassium in the blood.
Treatment for excess potassium in blood
Foods high in potassium, as well as taking the potassium supplements, should be avoided in people who develop hyperkalemia. Extremely high levels of this mineral are eliminated from the blood by the means of dialysis. Sodium bicarbonate, intravenous insulin and glucose are some of the options for the treatment of hyperkalemia, depending on the cause.