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    Hyperkalemia

    Important
    It is possible that the main title of the report Hyperkalemia is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

    Synonyms

    • High Potassium
    • Hyperpotassemia

    Disorder Subdivisions

    • None

    General Discussion

    Hyperkalemia is a condition caused by an abnormally high concentration of potassium in the blood. Potassium is a key element in contraction of muscles (including the heart) and for the functioning of many complicated proteins (enzymes). Potassium is found primarily in the skeletal muscle and bone, and participates with sodium to contribute to the normal flow between the body fluids and the cells of the body (homeostasis). The concentration of potassium in the body is regulated by the kidneys, and balance is maintained through excretion in urine. When the kidneys are functioning normally, the amount of potassium in the diet is usually sufficient for use by the body and the excess is excreted. Chemical and hormonal influences also help regulate the internal potassium balance. When hyperkalemia occurs, there is an imbalance resulting from a dysfunction of these normal processes.

    Normally, 98% of the potassium in the body is found in the cells of various tissues, while only about 2% is circulating in the blood. When hyperkalemia occurs, it may come about because of an increase in total body potassium or as a result of increased release of potassium from the cells to the blood.

    Abnormally high levels of potassium in the blood or urine suggest the presence of another underlying medical condition. Because potassium helps to regulate muscle activity, including the activity of heart (cardiac) muscle, hyperkalemia needs to be taken seriously.

    Resources

    Muscular Dystrophy Association
    3300 East Sunrise Drive
    Tucson, AZ 85718-3208
    USA
    Tel: (520)529-2000
    Fax: (520)529-5300
    Tel: (800)572-1717
    Email: mda@mdausa.org
    Internet: http://www.mda.org/

    Digestive Disease National Coalition
    507 Capitol Court, NE
    Suite 200
    Washington, DC 20002
    Tel: (202)544-7497
    Fax: (202)546-7105
    Email: ddnc@hmcw.org
    Internet: http://www.ddnc.org

    NIH/National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases
    Office of Communications & Public Liaison
    Bldg 31, Rm 9A06
    31 Center Drive, MSC 2560
    Bethesda, MD 20892-2560
    Tel: (301)496-3583
    Email: NDDIC@info.niddk.nih.gov
    Internet: http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/

    Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
    PO Box 8126
    Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
    Tel: (301)251-4925
    Fax: (301)251-4911
    Tel: (888)205-2311
    TDD: (888)205-3223
    Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

    For a Complete Report:

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

    The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

    It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

    This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

    For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

    Last Updated: 4/21/2008
    Copyright 1990, 1995, 2004 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

    WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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