January 15, 2010

Hyperkalemia Causes, Symptoms – Treatment for Hyperkalemia

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Although you would rarely hear of the condition hyperkalemia, it is rather common and is known to affect about 8% of all hospitalized patients in the United States of America at any given time. The condition is basically the presence of too much potassium in the blood. Most of the bodies potassium reserves are stored in the cells and organs while only a small portion of the chemical is usually present in the bloodstream. Potassium plays an important role in maintain the proper functioning of nerve cells and muscle cells including the heart. However, extremely high levels of potassium in the blood could have dire consequences including cardiac arrest and death. Any abnormal level of potassium in the body, high or low, will lead to abnormal heart rhythms. The condition may be caused by a number of underlying medical conditions such as suffering from kidney disease, Addison’s disease or even having recently suffered from a substantial amount of trauma such as crush injuries or burns. People that consume a diet high in potassium content (such as foods like bananas, oranges, salt substitutes and tomatoes) are also likely to develop the condition. In addition to the irregular beating of the heart, sufferers are also likely to experience other symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, paralysis or some amount of difficulty in breathing.

If the condition is mild, the best and easiest way to take care of your body’s potassium levels would be to pay close attention to the amount of potassium you incorporate into your daily diet and reduce it. A high consumption of water is highly recommended in order to treat the condition while excessive consumption of foods that have a high calcium content go a long way into reducing and stabilizing the potassium content of your body. A number of home remedies for hyperkalemia also suggest excessive consumption of garlic, which is known to reduce the potassium content of the body. Another very helpful home remedy option would be to include a substantial amount of tofu to your daily diet as it is known to help reduce the potassium levels in the blood. The kinds of foods that you avoid are as important in your treatment plan as the ones you do eat. Avoid any intake of substances such as caffeine and alcohol. You may also want to start performing some light yoga or exercise to help you lead a healthier life.