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High potassium reading, poor kidneys or other causes?

August 11, 2012

Potassium has many functions. It facilitates nerve transmission of information. It keeps the heart beating at a normal tempo. It’s important in producing muscle contractions. It maintains body electrical neutrality.

A rise in blood potassium most often is due to a malfunction of the kidneys, one of whose jobs is to maintain a normal level of that mineral. Rarely does potassium rise from potassium-rich foods if the kidneys are functioning normally. Your blood pressure pill hydrochlorothiazide ought to be lowering your potassium.

False potassium elevations are sometimes responsible for a high reading. Repeated clenching and unclenching of the fist to make veins more accessible to the lab tech drawing blood can falsely elevate potassium. A high blood count of both red and white blood cells is another reason for a spurious rise of potassium. One of these explanations might fit your high reading. Medicines called beta blockers, ACE inhibitors and ARBS — all blood pressure medicines — can elevate the potassium level. Dehydration, diabetes and a low output of hormones from the adrenal gland are other causes.

You have no symptoms. I wonder about the validity of your lab test. A second test will settle the issue.

Article source: http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/health/paul-donohue/47772f12-b0e1-5dbf-a1a2-85d7435bf888.html


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