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Nurse Annie
Nurse Annie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 6471
Experience:  PHD RN 40+ years in nursing all depts & units 20+ years as a midwife, certified lactation consultant
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What does it mean when you potassium level is too high?

Customer Question

What does it mean when you potassium level is too high?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Nurse Annie replied 8 years ago.

High potassium level can be due to crushed tissue from an injury, kidney failure, red blood cell destruction, metabolic or respiratory acidosis, and rarely Addison's disease. Abnormal potassium levels may cause symptoms such as muscle cramps or weakness, nausea, diarrhea, frequent urination, dehydration, low blood pressure, confusion, irritability, paralysis, and changes in heart rhythm. Your doctor would need to do further testing to determine the cause, if the level was high. If you have a mild case, your doctor may recommend a diet low in potassium, and to discontinue medications that increase the level. Medications may also be used to decrease the level, if it is significantly high. You can see a list of high potassium foods here, which you your doctor may tell you to avoid.