Know Which High Potassium Foods to Avoid | 10 Foods High In Potassium

from leftsidepains

Potassium is an essential electrolyte that is required for the healthy function of nerves and muscle cells, Potassium and sodium are the main electrolytes in the body that are responsible for keeping the electrolyte gradient across the cell membranes balanced, so that the cells can be in a state of equilibrium, any change in the number of electrolytes outside or inside of the cell can lead to cell swelling or shrinkage and loss of function, they are also responsible for the osmotic pressure in blood vessels by increasing Potassium levels the osmotic pressure decreases, lowering your blood pressure and protecting your cardiovascular system from the adverse effects of prolonged hypertension.

Our bodies can’t produce or store Potassium so it is important to obtain it from the diet, the national kidney foundation recommends that healthy adults should consume 3500:4500 mg of Potassium per day from Potassium-rich foods, and people with kidney disease on Potassium restrictive diets need to consume no more than 2000 mg of Potassium per day.

Normal Potassium Levels

the kidneys are in charge of maintaining the balance between sodium and Potassium which in turn control plasma volume and blood pressure for example if there is an increase in Potassium levels sodium gets excreted in urine which helps lower plasma volume and blood pressure and vice versa.

Potassium is present in the blood in a set range from 3.5 to 5.5 mmol/ l and any increase above 5.5 mmol/l or any decrease below 3.4 mmol/l can cause dysequilibrium across the cells affecting muscle contraction and nerve conduction and needs to be checked for the cause as it requires immediate treatment

What is Hyperkalemia?

Hyperkalemia is the medical term for high Potassium levels in the blood above the upper limits of normal usually greater than 5: 5.5 mEq/L the number isn’t as important as the rate of change, people who have acute hyperkalemia are the ones who can develop severe symptoms but patients who develop hyperkalemia over a long period of time, are usually asymptomatic that is why the treatment depends on the symptoms, Potassium levels, and the reason for the hyperkalemia, you have to treat the cause of hyperkalemia rather than just giving symptomatic treatment.

High Potassium Symptoms

Hyperkalemia has non-specific symptoms and most commonly it is asymptomatic but if the Potassium levels are high enough more than 7 mmol per liter they can cause life-threatening symptoms such as:

  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • The feeling of numbness and tingling
  • Palpitations
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Specific ECG changes