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Excess Potassium: Symptoms, Causes, Nutrition

An excess of potassium can depend on a malfunction of the kidneys and causes cramps or muscle weakness, pressure imbalances, fatigue, and tachycardia. Let’s see together how to fight it. Excess potassium can depend on kidney malfunction and can cause cramps or muscle weakness, pressure imbalances, fatigue, and tachycardia. Let’s find out more about how to diagnose and treat it.

Potassium, What Is It

Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the human body, where it plays many vital roles. It is present mainly in muscles, bones, the liver, and red blood cells.

Potassium And Its Role In The Organism

Potassium is a fundamental mineral for health, as it plays a crucial role in the human body. Let’s see the main functions and properties of potassium :

  1. Regulation of body fluids ;
  2. regulation of nerve impulses ;
  3. regulation of muscle contraction ;
  4. regulation of heart rate and blood pressure ;
  5. bone health

Potassium In Food

Potassium is widespread in many foods; among those with the highest concentration of potassium are:

  1. chard ;
  2. spinach ;
  3. cabbages ;
  4. beans ;
  5. peas ;
  6. mushrooms ;
  7. bananas ;
  8. sweet potatoes ;
  9. salmon ;
  10. avocados.

When To Supplement With Potassium

The daily requirement for potassium is:

  1. About 4 g in adolescents and adults, both male and female.

Since potassium is present in many foods, even in the case of a poorly varied diet, it is rare to experience potassium deficiency (also known as hypokalemia ), which, in most cases, is related to:

  1. Kidney disease;
  2. excessive sweating ;
  3. prolonged use of diuretics or antibiotics.

Following an evaluation of the blood tests and any symptoms, the doctor will be able to evaluate the possible need for potassium supplementation, which is useful, for example, even in the case of arterial hypotension. 

Potassium High, The Possible Causes

An excess of potassium, also called hyperkalemia, is quite rare and, in most cases, occurs when the body cannot remove the excess potassium in the urine; therefore, hyperkalemia is also mainly associated with kidney disease, poor kidney function, or dehydration. 

Excess Potassium, What Symptoms?

Some of the most common symptoms of hyperkalemia are:

  1. cramps;
  2. muscle weakness;
  3. pressure imbalances;
  4. tachycardia;
  5. arrhythmia.

High Potassium: How To Check Blood Values

Blood potassium values ​​can be checked by blood sampling and tests. The reference values ​​for potassium are between 3.6 and 5.2 mmol/l (or mEq/l). Therefore, we speak of hypokalemia when these are lower than 3.6 and of high potassium in the blood if they are higher than 5.2. 

However, it should be noted that the reference values ​​relating to potassium can change according to age, gender, and the equipment used by the laboratory. Therefore, it is essential to refer to the ranges of values ​​provided by the laboratory and have them consulted by your doctor…

High Potassium Diet: Foods To Avoid

Excess potassium can also be regulated by observing a targeted diet and limiting foods with a higher potassium content. Specifically, to reduce potassium intake, avoid foods such as:

  1. Nuts, such as dates, prunes, raisins, or apricots;
  2. peanuts, pine nuts, almonds ;
  3. fruit, such as bananas, avocado, peach, and apricot ;
  4. beets, Swiss chard, artichokes, kale, spinach; 
  5. broad beans, peas, and kidney beans; 
  6. potatoes.

Furthermore, it is essential to avoid combining foods that contain a lot of potassium: if you eat pasta and beans, for example, you should avoid a side dish with a high potassium content, such as spinach.


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