Hyperkalemia is one of the medical problems in which a person’s blood contains too much amount of potassium in it. Potassium is one of the critical nutrients among the micronutrients that is an essential requirement of the human body. Potassium is present in several foods that a person daily consumes. Potassium plays an integral role in the human body to maintain the proper functioning of nerves, muscles, and heart. The continuous supply of potassium is necessary to keep the blood circulation going, and potassium also helps in the regulation of blood pressure.
Usually, the human blood contains some amount of potassium in it, but when this potassium levels elevate in blood, then the medical condition of hyperkalemia arises. The excess of potassium levels in a person’s blood can lead to life-threatening severe heart conditions. However, in the cases of mild elevation of blood potassium levels, there are lesser symptoms, and it is easy to control the severity of the condition. While on the other hand, the severe cases of high blood potassium can cause abnormal heart rhythms, i.e. cardiac arrhythmias. The cardiac arrhythmias occurring in the severe cases of hyperkalemia could be fatal for the patients.
For an average person, the blood potassium levels typically range from 3.6 to 5.2 millimoles per litre (mmol/L). The people who have their blood potassium levels higher than 6.0 mmol/L fall in the category of those having hyperkalemia, which can cause serious health problems for the people affecting it. Hyperkalemia can result in causing cardiac arrhythmia and heart attack if the patient does not undergo proper treatment for hyperkalemia. The severity of hyperkalemia in a person can sometimes lead to the emergence of ventricular fibrillation, which is an emergency health condition. In the case of ventricular fibrillation, the lower parts of a person’s heart start fluttering so rapidly instead of pumping blood to other organs.
110 Common Symptoms and Signs Of Hyperkalemia
Usually, a person having hyperkalemia does not experience any symptoms or signs, which means that there is a possibility that the doctors might overlook the condition of hyperkalemia. In some cases, the doctors diagnose the patients with hyperkalemia when the symptoms get worse. The symptoms of hyperkalemia depending on the type of hyperkalemia a person is suffering from. In the case of acute hyperkalemia, significant changes are occurring to potassium levels over a short period. The acute type of hyperkalemia is more severe to health and causes more health problems. While on the other hand, the chronic hyperkalemia is as the regular high blood potassium levels.
However, both the type of hyperkalemia, i.e. acute and chronic hyperkalemia are life-threatening for human health and mostly arise conditions like heart attacks or paralysis in the patients. The chronic type of hyperkalemia has fewer symptoms in comparison with acute hyperkalemia. Following are the ten signs and symptoms of hyperkalemia:
Muscle weakness is a common symptom of hyperkalemia, in which a person experiences the inability to produce a normal muscle contraction by putting his or her full effort. The person suffering from hyperkalemia feels weakness in muscles, and the movements of daily routine are not easy to perform. The reason behind the muscles weakness is that in the case of hyperkalemia, the higher levels of potassium tend to cause abnormal function of the heart and skeletal muscles. The abnormality in the function of the heart and skeletal muscles results in muscle paralysis in the severe cases of hyperkalemia. Moreover, the higher blood potassium levels affect the muscle function by preventing repolarization and reducing the cell-resting action potential.