Tags: blood | potassium | hyperkalemia | symptoms | treatment

Hyperkalemia: Symptoms and Treatments

Monday, 31 March 2014 01:05 AM

Hyperkalemia is a condition in which there is a high amount of potassium in the blood. Normal levels of potassium are between 3.6 and 5.2 milliequivalents per liter of blood. Kidney failure is one of the most common causes of high potassium level in the blood. Failure of kidneys makes it difficult to remove extra potassium from the blood. This can cause a buildup of the blood potassium level. Excessive consumption of alcohol can also lead to hyperkalemia.
This condition can cause the muscles to break down. This breakdown of muscles can release further high amounts of potassium into the blood from within muscle cells. Intake of excessive amounts of potassium supplements and overuse of chemotherapy drugs can also cause high blood pressure. There may be many other reasons that can raise the potassium levels in the blood.
Symptoms of Hyperkalemia
Patients of hyperkalemia may not experience any symptoms. Symptoms depend upon the level of the mineral in the blood. Extreme levels of potassium can cause severe symptoms. Patients may suffer from some of the following symptoms:
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Palpitations or skipped heartbeats
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Feeling of numbness or tingling
  • Breathing problems
Severe cases may include symptoms such as heart problems and paralysis. Symptoms of irregularity in the heartbeat may occur if potassium levels are very high. If it is not treated, the symptoms may worsen and even stop the heart from beating. Patients should consult the doctor on experiencing any of the above symptoms. Severe symptoms may lead to hospitalization until the symptoms are treated by controlling blood levels of the mineral.
Treatment of Hyperkalemia  

Hemodialysis is an effective method for the treatment of hyperkalemia. In this method, a machine is used to remove excess mineral from the blood.

Drugs can be useful for the treatment of hyperkalemia. Gluconate can help to reduce the effect of potassium on the heart.

Doctors may prescribe diuretics to remove excess potassium from the blood. This helps in the treatment of hyperkalemia and its related symptoms. 

Patients of hyperkalemia may be prescribed dietary resins that bind with potassium and help in treatment by allowing the removal of extra potassium from the body by excretion.

Avoiding foods that contain potassium help in the treatment of hyperkalemia. Foods like salmon, banana, nuts, milk, beans, and apricots should be avoided.

A number of herbs can be used for the treatment of hyperkalemia. Most herbs are effective in treating the symptoms. However, some herbs like alfalfa, dandelion, and nettle should be avoided.

Other treatment options may include drinking plenty of water. Consumption of sufficient amounts of water regularly is good for the kidneys. Exercise can also support treatments. Regular exercise is recommended for patients. 

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Hyperkalemia is a condition of high potassium level in the blood. Symptoms of hyperkalemia can be mild or severe. Both medical treatment methods and natural remedies are available for this.
Monday, 31 March 2014 01:05 AM
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