Potassium is a mineral that is needed to help the heart, kidneys, and other organs function. Hyperkalemia is higher than normal levels of potassium in your blood.
Potassium is needed to regulate water and mineral balance throughout the body. High levels can disturb the balance of other minerals in the body and cause muscle problems throughout the body. It can also affect the heart’s ability to function properly.
Excess potassium is normally taken out of the blood through the kidneys. Kidney problems or conditions that affect the kidneys’ ability to filter can cause excess potassium in the blood.
Cancer treatments can also cause hyperkalemia as cells are destroyed and potassium moves into the bloodstream.
Genetic disorders may also increase the chances of hyperkalemia.
Hyperkalaemia in adults. Patient website. Available at: https://patient.info/doctor/hyperkalaemia-in-adults. Updated December 30, 2015. Accessed March 26, 2018.
Potassium and the diet. Colorado State University website. Available at: http://extension.colostate.edu/docs/pubs/foodnut/09355.pdf. Accessed March 26, 2018.
Last reviewed March 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 2/19/2014
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