Potassium is a mineral which consists of 19 protons and electrons. Indicated by the symbol (K). Nausea and kidney disorders occur due to high potassium levels in the body. In this article you will find out the various symptoms and the main causes of excess potassium in a person’s circulatory system.
Hyperkalemia is a dangerous condition in which the concentration of potassium in the blood is elevated, which can cause serious heart and kidney disorders. Potassium is mainly used to regulate the tissue of muscles and maintain a required balance in the body. It’s very obvious that it is an essential mineral for our body, which aids in digestion and also helps in the metabolism process. It is also required for maintaining a proper heart rate and to also prevent the occurrence of many heart diseases.
It’s a very old saying that “Anything in excess is not good”, and the same goes for potassium. High potassium levels leads to a disease which is known as hyperkalemia. One of the major causes of this condition is the disability of the kidney to filter out potassium from the blood.
Signs and Symptoms
A healthy immune system needs potassium for normal functioning of the heart, muscles, and various nerves and tissues of the body. Hyperkalemia occurs as a result of excess consumption of foods and other drugs which have high levels of this mineral in them. Potassium levels are kept under observation whenever a patient is being treated for any kidney or heart condition. A normal blood test can also reveal if a patient is suffering from such a disorder.
Nausea is one of the common symptoms. An uneasy feeling, nausea feels as if you want to vomit. There are various other complications that can cause this uneasy feeling. In a patient suffering from high potassium levels, complaints of nauseousness are common.
Medications which are used to treat high blood pressure can have side effects on the kidneys, which causes them to retain potassium rather than filter it out through urine. Therefore kidney failure can also be a symptom.
Hyperkalemic paralysis affects more than 200,000 people every year in the US. It’s caused by a hereditary genetic mutation, this condition develops in early childhood and is named as muscle weakness. Although these weaknesses are temporary, its frequency increases along with the age.
Heart attacks or reduced heartbeat can be caused due to hyperkalemia. When a person has suffered an injury or is in trauma, antibiotics prescribed or chemotherapy can cause a rise in potassium levels. If the blood doesn’t filter it out, cardiac arrest can occur.
Foods High in Potassium
The following list is of foods which are high in this mineral and harmful for those suffering from hyperkalemia.
- Kidney Beans
- Lima Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Black-eyed peas
- Brazil nuts
- Brussels sprouts
- Figs (dry)
- Kiwi fruit
- Milk, (fat free or skim)
- Orange juice
- Pears (fresh)
- Peanuts (dry, roasted, unsalted)
- Prune juice
- Prunes, (dried)
- Tomato (canned sauce)
- Tomato Juice
- Winter squash
- Yogurt plain
Various medications are available for this condition, such as insulin, beta agonists, and sodium bicarbonate. People with high levels of potassium in the blood should take special measures to contol its levels. Those who already suffer from kidney complications should follow a renal diet which limits the consumption of foods like bananas, oranges, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Patients suffering from hyperkalemia should have a blood test every three months to prevent any complications.
Our body needs potassium to build proteins, have a smooth metabolism, build muscle, and to ensure a balance in the nervous system. High levels also cause the contraction of heart muscles and body. High potassium symptoms include fatigue, irregular heartbeat, paralysis, tingling in skin, and numbness. If immediate medical attention is not taken death may occur.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.