High potassium or hyperkalemia
The feedback from high potassium in the blood is defined with the scientific terms of hyperkalemia or hyperkalemia. The causes are many and range from an increased intake of potassium with the diet, to a reduced elimination of potassium in the urine, to an exaggerated release of potassium from the inside of the cells to the outside. The main symptoms are
What is potassium
Potassium is an essential mineral for our body; in fact, it plays an important role in maintaining the hydro-saline balance and is at the basis of important neuromuscular and cardiac functions.
Hyperkalaemia: The potassium absorbed in the intestine passes into the blood and any excess is simply filtered and eliminated by the kidneys. When these organs are unable to perform their function properly, the level of potassium in the blood rises (hyperkalemia). However, other factors may contribute to this increase, including increased dietary intake and certain medications.
An excessively high level of potassium in the blood also has very serious consequences for health, especially as regards the heart, the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system.
High potassium values or hyperkalemia
L'hyperkalemia (or hyperkalemia) is defined as a serum potassium concentration equal to or higher than 5.5 mEq / l.
Causes of high potassium
What are the causes of elevated potassium in the blood? The main causes of high potassium are:
- kidney disorders,
- diuretics and other drugs that affect the functioning of the kidneys
- excessive use of potassium supplements
- Addison's disease: The adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones, which are necessary for proper kidney regulation.
- Severe burns
- Use of drugs of abuse and alcohol.
- Hemolytic anemia.
- Severe gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Some tumors and neoplasms
Symptoms of hyperkalaemia
Symptoms related to excess potassium in the blood are
- muscle weakness
- blood pressure imbalances
- fatigue and asthenia
- tachycardia until, in the most serious cases, the heartbeat stops
- cardiogenic shock with danger of death
As we have seen then i risks in having increased levels of potassium are many, and in case of hyperkalaemia in blood tests it is essential to go immediately to your doctor.
What to eat if potassium is high?
What to do in case of high potassium? Since often high potassium is often the result of an exaggerated intake with diet and nutrition, the first thing to do is to avoid foods that contain high amounts of potassium, such as:
- wholemeal products
- dried fruit
- fruit juices
- brewer's yeast