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It’s often said Hypertension kills faster, but little are the people that are in the know that its deadly stinge is nothing compare to its superior—HYPERKELEMIA.
Read what Hyperkalemia can do to your body system, learn how to avoid and modulate it.
WHAT IS HYPERKALEMIA?
Hyper means abnormally higher than the normal size.
Kalemia means the presence of concentrated potassium in the blood.
So, in our body, we have what we called ECF (Extracellular fluid) and ICF (Intracellular fluid) which in each of them, we have some specific ions presence in them. Examples of ECF ions are Sodium, calcium, Chloride while ICF are Potassium and phosphate, An increase or decrease in the range of their amount can lead to deadly diseases.
Consequently, for hyperkalemia ( abnormally high concentration of potassium in the blood). Potassium is usually in the range of 5.0 – 5.5 mEq/L in adults; the range in infants and children is age-dependent. Levels higher than 7mEq/L lead to critical hemodynamic and neurologic consequences, where levels exceeding 8.5mEq/L can cause respiratory paralysis or cardiac arrest, arrhythmias which can be quickly lethal.
Hyperkalemia can be caused by the inability of your kidneys to function properly and cannot remove potassium. Kidney disease is the most predominant cause of hyperkalemia. Your kidneys help regulate the balance of potassium in your body. If they don’t work well, they can’t filter extra potassium from the blood or remove it from the body. A hormone called aldosterone tells the kidneys when to remove potassium.
Diseases that lower the production of this hormone, such as Addison’s disease, can lead to hyperkalemia. Also, too much potassium in your diet increases the level of potassium in your body. Such foods include; melons, orange juice, and bananas.
How you can tackle hyperkelemia
- Going on a low-potassium diet
- Stopping or changing medicines that are contributing to the hyperkalemia
- Taking medicine to lower the potassium in your body. Water pills (diuretics) remove potassium via the urinary tract.
- Treating your kidney disease, which may include dialysis, which filters potassium from your blood.