Causes of High Potassium

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The potassium is very important in cardiac function and muscle function, and it's one of the most frequent electrolyte abnormalities that we see. The only way to really find out if your potassium is in the normal range is to have a blood test where the serum potassium is measured.

The normal serum potassium is between 3.5 and 5.1, so anything above 5.1 we call hyperkalemia. Anything above 5.5, we'd better be careful because that's when people get into problems. The most important thing is to find out what the cause is.

It could be their diet or some other conditions, such as patients with usually congestive heart failure, diabetes, obviously any type of chronic kidney disease, and patients could take medications that interfere with the regulation of potassium.

That's why it's very important for patients to let us know any new medication that they're going to start. Even if it's prescribed by another physician, they should call our office.