(High Blood Potassium)
Hyperkalemia is an excessive level of potassium in the
bloodstream. Potassium has several important functions in the body. It is
essential for the normal functioning of the muscles, heart, and nerves.
Potassium helps the body regulate activity of muscle, including the smooth muscle
(involuntary muscles, such as
the muscles found in the digestive tract), skeletal muscle
such as muscles of the extremities and torso), and the muscle of the heart. It
is also important for maintaining normal heart electrical rhythm and for normal
electrical signals in the nervous system.
- The normal potassium level in the blood is 3.5-5.0 milliEquivalents per liter
- Potassium levels between 5.1 mEq/L to 6.0 mEq/L are considered to be
- Potassium levels of 6.1 mEq/L to 7.0 mEq/L are moderate
hyperkalemia, and levels above 7 mEq/L reflect severe hyperkalemia.
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