Hyperkalemia – Chronic High Potassium Can Be a Serious Condition

Posted by: Tampa Cardio

On: January 12, 2021

hyperkalemia high potassium heart tampa cardio

Hyperkalemia – Chronic High Potassium Can Be a Serious Condition

When your doctor draws yearly blood work and tells you casually your potassium may be too high, do not take it lightly. Hyperkalemia is one condition that can be easily overlooked with damaging and life-threatening consequences.

Potassium levels can remain high, reoccur, or spike. These changes can lead to complications including fatal irregular heartbeats.

Hyperkalemia may develop from taking certain medications including medications for heart failure, kidney issues, blood pressure and heart medications, as well as diabetes. When unmanaged it can result in nausea, weakness, potentially deadly irregular heartbeats, and paralysis.

Potassium’s role in the body

The correct potassium levels are necessary to keep nerves, muscles, and the heart working well and are vital to bone health and digestion.

What is an unhealthy reading?

Any reading over 5.0mmol/L can be considered a potential risk. If your reading is above this level make certain you and your doctor discuss treatment options.

Mild Hyperkalemia is from 5.0 to 5.5 – you may have no symptoms, or you may have mild nonspecific tinging, muscle weakness, or nausea.

Moderate Hyperkalemia is from 5.5 to 6.0 – weakness and fatigue are experienced.

Severe Hyperkalemia 6.0 and up – is VERY high. At this point you experience muscle pain, loss of function, rapid irregular heartbeats, shortness of breath, and chest pain. This is dangerous and requires immediate attention.

Conversely a reading 3.5 mmol/L is considered Hypokalemia (low potassium) and may come with other issues.

Ideally your reading should be between 3.51 mmol/L and 4.99 mmol/L.

There are things you can do to help prevent and manage the condition. Diet plays a huge role.

AVOID high potassium foods: Artichokes, beets, broccoli (cooked), Brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes (white and sweet), pumpkin, spinach, tomatoes, squash (acorn and butternut), and vegetable juices, Apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, dried fruits, grapefruit juice, honeydew melons, kiwis, mangos, nectarines, orange juice, pomegranates, prunes, and raisins, Bran products, beans (baked beans, lentils), milk, nuts, whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread, chocolate, and salt substitutes.

LIMITED foods: Apples, berries (such as strawberries and blueberries), cherries, cranberries and cranberry juice, grapes, peaches, pineapple, and plums, Raw cabbage, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, lettuce, onion, peppers, and zucchini. Additionally, only very moderate amounts of coffee, white bread, white pasta, rice and tea.

If you have any of these symptoms or receive lab results with an elevated potassium level, please discuss it with your physician. The doctors here at Tampa Cardiovascular Associates would love to help.
Give us a call at 813-975-2800. www.tampacardio.com.




Posted by: Tampa Cardio

On: 12/01/2021

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