Problems with having high potassium levels in the blood

The potassium is a mineral essential for health , which is found in a wide variety of foods . Specifically, it is a mineral that the body needs practically for all its functioning , including the activity of the kidney , muscle contraction, function of the heart or nerve transmission.

Thus, the body uses the amount of potassium it really needs, so the excess is expelled through of the kidneys.

However, if the kidneys do not work properly or there is some type of chronic kidney disease, the risk of hyperkalemia (high potassium levels) is greater; since the kidneys cannot get rid of the excess potassium that the body does not use.

That excess potassium that is not released through the urine travels through the blood. Over time, more and more of this mineral can accumulate in the blood, leading to hypercalcemia.

Problems with high potassium levels

Potassium is an essential mineral for health, so it is necessary to have optimal levels in the body. And it is that having deficient or excessive values ​​can be harmful as well.

Alimentos con potasio
Foods with potassium

In this sense, the National Institute of Health of the United States establishes an interesting table in which it collects the sufficient amount of potassium that a person needs per day, depending on factors such as age and sex:

Recommended amount

860 mg

Adolescents breastfeeding

Stage in life
Babies up to 6 months of age 463 mg
Babies 7 to 12 months
Children 1 to 3 years 2,000 mg
Children from 4 to 8 years old 2,300 mg
Children from 9 to 13 years 2,500 mg
Girls 9 to 13 years 2,300 mg
Adolescents of 14 to 18 years (children) 3,000 mg
Adolescents of 14 to 18 years (girls) 2,300 mg
Older adults from 19 years (men) 3,400 mg
Adults older than 19 years (women) 2,600 mg
Teenagers pregnant 2,600 mg
Pregnant women 2,900 mg
2,500 mg
Women in period breastfeeding 2, 800 mg

Having too much potassium in the blood can cause different problems in the way the muscles work and the way the heart beats.

In this regard, from the ‘American Heart Association’ explain that cases of mildly elevated levels can be treated easily and produce little symptoms. However, severe cases that do not receive treatment can lead to fatal cardiac arrhythmias.

Thus, the only way to determine the amount of potassium we have in our blood with certainty is through a blood test. In this way we can know if the levels are adequate, deficient or high.

How to lower the potassium levels

Yes you have high levels of potassium in your blood, it is usual for your doctor to recommend that you eat a specific diet in which foods high in this mineral do not fit.

It will also be necessary to pay pay attention to the size of the portions that we eat, since most of the healthy foods that we eat in our day to day have potassium.

Thus, your doctor will establish the specific dose of potassium to consume and the way in which you should control the intake of this mineral so that its levels are progressively reduced.

Likewise, along with food, the intake of specific medications can also be indicated for reduce the levels of this mineral in the body. They are drugs that contain active ingredients that act by binding to potassium in the body to prevent them from entering the bloodstream.