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Hyperkalemia (High Potassium)- a Silent Killer in Chronic Kidney Failure

Our kidneys are important organs for producing urine, excreting metabolic wastes, regulating balances of isohydria and erythrocyte, and secreting hormones. When kidney disease progresses into advanced kidney failure stage, normal kidney functions of regulating water and erythrocyte balances will be decreased, for which patients may experience such symptoms as oliguria and swelling. If oliguria symptom is not treated timely, potassium excretion may be reduced, thus causing potassium retention. As is proved by medical researches, potassium level>6.5mmol/l may cause sudden heart arrest in several seconds to minutes. Thereby, hyperkalemia is generally called as a silent killer for patients with chronic kidney failure.
A full knowledge of hyperkalemia
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Hyperkalemia is defined as serum potassium level>5.5mmol/l. It is a kind of life-threatening body fluid imbalance. High potassium level is often associated with decreased kidney excretion functions. Meanwhile, other causes, such as acidosis, extensive burns and severe crash injuries can also cause elevated serum potassium levels. Clinically, in slight cases, patients may don’t present obvious symptoms at early time; in severe conditions, however, patients may suffer from slow heart beat, arrhythmia, hypotension or even heart arrest.
The following are more detailed clinical manifestations of high potassium levels:
1. Weakness, mind indifference and abnormal sensations
2. Pale skin, chilly feelings, slow heartbeat, arrhythmia and hypotension
3. Flaccid paralysis, respiratory muscle paralysis and cardiac arrest
4. Overall fatigue, numbness in feet, hands and mouth, abnormal feelings, etc, which can not be explained by idiopathy.
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5. Electrocardiogram presents high and sharp T-wave, T-Q intervals prolongation
Treatment principles for hyperkalemia(high potassium):
1. Stop potassium intake and lower serum potassium immediately
2. Positive treatment and prevention for arrhythmia and suffocation.
3. Positive treatment for the original diseases and the recovery of kidney function
The following are some high potassium foods for your reference:
High potassium vegetables: bamboo shoots, carrots, mushrooms, spinaches, seaweed, scallions, mustards, legumes, canola, red amaranth, green amaranth, kelp, broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes, etc.
High potassium fruits: bananas, goranges, peaches, hawthorns, apples, apricots, cantaloupe, cherries, papaya, grapes, persimmons, watermelons, etc.
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Patients with kidney failure should limit potassium intake according to their specific condition. Besides a low potassium diet, there are many other aspects that kidney failure patients should pay special attention to. To get personalized treatment and nursing suggestions, you may submit your information or contact with online experts directly. We will make every effort to help you!

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