Hyperkalemia: Causes, Symptoms & Diet

Hyperkalemia at a Glance

High potassium or hyperkalemia [1] is when there are abnormally elevated levels of the electrolyte potassium in the blood. This condition may or may not be due to underlying diseases. Non-disease-related causes of hyperkalemia include maintaining an excessive-potassium diet, and medication side effects. Having abnormally high amounts of this nutrient in the body can put you at risk of various health conditions. High levels of potassium in the blood can put you at risk of developing cardiovascular conditions. It affects the way your heart’s muscles work, leading to irregular heartbeats and in extreme cases, a heart attack.

Potassium is necessary for overall health, like the proper functioning of all cells to fight diseases and strengthen the immune system. It also regulates heartbeat and helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions, and nerve transmissions. This nutrient also helps control blood sugar levels and water retention. Maintaining the recommended daily intake can also reduce your risk of developing cerebrovascular problems like stroke. Potassium is a kidney-healthy nutrient [2] and helps prevent conditions like kidney stones.