Let’s see in detail how to lower the potassium in the blood and restore normal potassium. Potassium (chemical element K) is a mineral, just like sodium or chlorine. As an electrolyte, it promotes the passage of nerve impulses throughout the body, including the heart muscle.
Muscle contraction depends partly on potassium. But its function did not stop there: it is essential to regulate the pH of the cells, to operate the kidneys and the adrenal glands, to synthesize certain proteins and to metabolize certain carbohydrates. But the excess is never good, even for potassium: if according to the ionogram your rate exceeds 5 mmol / L (millimoles per liter) in the blood plasma, you are in hyperkalemia, which can be life-threatening .
Causes and symptoms of too high a potassium level
Hyperkalemia affects one in ten hospitalized patients, making it a common problem. Only a doctor can determine the exact cause that causes the abnormal increase in your potassium level: it will then treat this cause, when possible.
The kidneys are responsible for removing excess potassium, but it is not always involved. Here are the possible causes:
Diseases and kidney failure
Certain iatrogenic drugs (beta-blockers, digitalis, agonists, succinylcholine, arginine hydrochloride
Decreased red blood cells
Acute cell lysis
Distal diuretics or “potassium sparing”
The symptoms are not always felt by the patient, including those with major hyperkalemia. The main ones are:
Heart problems: bradycardia (low heart rate) and palpitations
Neuromuscular problems: paresthesia (tingling, tingling) around the mouth and extremities, muscle weakness or paralysis
Nausea and vomiting.
In severe cases and in the absence of treatment, too high potassium levels can cause cardiac arrest.