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What are the symptoms of high potassium levels in the blood?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of high potassium levels in the blood include abnormal heart rhythm, slow heart rate and weakness. It is hard to diagnose this condition, as its symptoms may be mild and can also be the result of other health conditions, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

Nerves and muscles, including the heart, require potassium to function correctly. The normal range for this mineral is between 3.6 and 5.2 millimoles per liter of blood, notes Healthline. Symptoms of high potassium levels, also called hyperkalemia, depend on the level of this mineral in the blood, and some people experience no symptoms.

Normal potassium levels in the blood are essential for maintaining normal heart electrical rhythm. Too much potassium can suppress the electrical activity of the heart, which can cause the heart to stop beating, explains MedicineNet. This condition also causes muscle paralysis, characterized by the impairment of voluntary muscular power.

Kidney dysfunction and adrenal gland diseases are the primary causes for a rise in potassium levels in the blood, says MedicineNet. Individuals with kidney dysfunctions are very sensitive to potassium supplements and medications that can increase potassium levels in the blood, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and ACE inhibitors.

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