Hyperkalemia refers to a state in which there’s excess potassium in the blood. Potassium is protected within a delicate balance in the blood. This is because excess or too little of it can result in dire consequences. The physiology of the body is such that it tries to balance this mineral in the body at all times. Therefore when there’s an imbalance, it is often a result of an ailment in the body or external sources.
Very important organs in the body like the heart and the muscles require the optimal concentration of potassium to function effectively. Thus when its balance is distorted, the heartbeats inappropriately and the muscles do not contract effectively. This can be so severe as to cause sudden death.
The symptoms of hyperkalemia are generally not diagnostic. This means that they are vague and often cannot alert the physician to what is going on. However, in some cases, hyperkalemia does not show any symptoms. Symptoms are often related to a problem in the heart and muscles. Some of these symptoms include:
Paralysis of the muscles
potassium is required for normal contraction of the muscles. When potassium is excess in the blood, it causes the muscles to be weak or temporarily paralyzed. People with hyperkalemia often feel easily fatigued by simple tasks. There’s a generalized body weakness in this condition.
Lack of sensation in the limbs
Hyperkalemia can cause a lack of feeling in the limbs. This is known as numbness or paraesthesia. It is characterized by unusual feelings in the skin such as tingling, prickling, etc. People with this symptom lose the sense of touch on their limbs. However, this feeling is often temporary. It is also known to be painless.