Abnormal Blood Potassium Levels
Blood potassium levels may fluctuate due to kidney disease, diabetes, vomiting, as a side effect to certain medications, hormone levels, amount of potassium in the diet, and blood pH.
Hyperkalemia is a condition where there is too much potassium in the blood. Usually this is due to an underlying medical condition such as a kidney disease, or diabetes. Doctors want to keep an eye on elevated potassium levels because very high levels of potassium in our bodies can become very bad for our hearts.
Hypokalemia is a condition where the potassium levels are too low. This may happen because a person doesn’t eat enough potassium containing foods. More commonly, potassium levels become too low from digestive problems like chronic diarrhea or excessive vomiting. Certain hormonal disorders such as Cushing's disease can also cause low levels of potassium. Some drugs like diuretics and laxatives can also cause hypokalemia.
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