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Doctor insights on: What Is A Life Threatening Potassium Level

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Dr. Madhu Kandarpa Dr. Kandarpa
Internal Medicine - Nephrology & Dialysis
5 years in practice
Andhra University, Rangaraya Medical College AKA University of Health Sciences Vijayawada
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Dr. Madhu Kandarpa
1,326 Doctors shared insights

Potassium (Definition)

Potassium is an essential electrolyte, important in the functioning of many organs including the heart, kidneys, muscles, nerves, and digestive system. Deficiency can be caused by diseases such as kidney failure, vomiting, and diarrhea, or by ...Read more


Dr. Kalyani Perumal Dr. Perumal
Internal Medicine - Nephrology & Dialysis
25 years in practice
Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University, Kilpauk Medical College
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Is there a way to quickly lower my potassium level?

Is there a way to quickly lower my potassium level?

Nephrologist: Potassium balance is tightly regulated by the kidneys, so any potassium disorder implies some derangement in potassium handling. If you have high potassium problems, you must consult nephrologist. Please see this website for info on low potassium diet. http://www. Kidney. Org/atoz/content/potassium. Cfm.

Dr. Rex Mahnensmith Dr. Mahnensmith
Internal Medicine
40 years in practice
Yale University School of Medicine
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Do you think having a potassium level of 5.4 is dangerous?

Do you think having a potassium level of 5.4 is dangerous?

Potassium 5.4: Potassium 5.4 is not dangerous. However, that value leaves little margin for diet potassium, so you must restrict potassium foods

Dr. Charles Miller Dr. Miller
Orthopedic Surgery
39 years in practice
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
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Can you elevate your potassium level by eating foods high in potassium?

Can you elevate your potassium level by eating foods high in potassium?

Yes: Eating foods high in potassium will effect the body by increasing the potassium in the blood.

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Dr. Moises Perez Dr. Perez
Pharmacology
14 years in practice
UC San Francisco School of Medicine
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Is a blood potassium level of 3.6 too low?

Is a blood potassium level of 3.6 too low?

Consider diet change: The normal range for blood potassium levels are 3.6 - 5.2 millimoles or meq per liter. A value of 3.6 is on the lower side of the scale, indicating lower potassium levels. I would advise potassium supplementation, eat more bananas, figs, and even green vegetables. Schedule new laboratories in 5-6weeks to monitor levels then proceed according to results.

Dr. Yash Khanna Dr. Khanna
Family Medicine
53 years in practice
University of Lucknow, K. G. Medical College
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Why do infants have a higher potassium level?

SEVERAL REASONS: This is common in right after birth in extremely premature infants, this may be due to ranal insufficency or decreased production of urine, and other kidney diseases may cause it as well if the infant is on IV fluids that can cause it too, and rarely addison disease in infants can cause high pottasium level.

Dr. Kenneth Smith Dr. Smith
Internal Medicine
28 years in practice
Ross University School of Medicine
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My blood potassium level was 3.4. Is this dangerous?

My blood potassium level was 3.4. Is this dangerous?

Not usually: Low needs to be supplemented can aggravate effects of some medications. If on diuretic potassium supplementation indicated. Otherwise dietary supplementation ie bananas helpful.

Dr. Jack Rubin Dr. Rubin
Internal Medicine - Nephrology & Dialysis
44 years in practice
State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine
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Can I raise potassium level too high by eating tomatos?

High potassium level: Your ability to raise your potassium (k) level depends on your kidney function. At 78, you probably have some degree of chronic kidney disease (ckd). The excretion of k by the kidney is diminished in those patients. Depending on your stage of ckd, you may run into elevation of your k if you ingest foods rich in it, such as potatoes, tomatoes, or citrus products. Ask you physician about your case.

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Dr. Jack Rubin Dr. Rubin
Internal Medicine - Nephrology & Dialysis
44 years in practice
State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine
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What should happen if a patient's potassium level is <9.0?

HIgh potassium level: A high level of potassium (k) is not as important as how quickly it got to that high level. Patients with chronic kidney disease can have a k of 6.1 with no symptoms as their hearts are used to a high level of it. A person who is involved in accident and has fast excessive liberation of k, from muscle, can have a cardiac arrest due to an acutely high level of k because his heart is not used to it.

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Dr. Kalyani Perumal Dr. Perumal
Internal Medicine - Nephrology & Dialysis
25 years in practice
Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University, Kilpauk Medical College
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Please suggest what foods help to lower high potassium level?

Please suggest what foods help to lower high potassium level?

Nephrologist: Potassium balance is tightly regulated by the kidneys, so any potassium disorder implies some derangement in potassium handling. If you have high potassium problems, you must consult nephrologist. Please see this website for info on low potassium diet. http://www. Kidney. Org/atoz/content/potassium. Cfm.

Dr. James Cunnar Dr. Cunnar
Family Medicine
23 years in practice
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
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Bloodtest said my potassium level was high what can the side effects fromthis be?

Bloodtest said my potassium level was high what can the side effects fromthis be?

May be error: Elevated potassium can be cause by any number of things. A common cause of a blood sample that wasn't prepared correctly. If the blood sample was hemolyzed, potassium levels can rise. Certain medicines can cause elevated potassium. Side effects are minimal. High levels of potassium can cause heart rhythm problems. Make sure you follow up with your physician.

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Dr. Alok Agrawal Dr. Agrawal
Internal Medicine - Nephrology & Dialysis
30 years in practice
Andhra University, Rangaraya Medical College AKA University of Health Sciences Vijayawada
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Dr. Yash Khanna Dr. Khanna
Family Medicine
53 years in practice
University of Lucknow, K. G. Medical College
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I have CKD and my potassium level is high - 5.8. How would fasting affect my condition?

I have CKD and my potassium level is high - 5.8. How would fasting affect my condition?

It will not affect: As long as you are drinking fluids, fasting will not affect your Pottasium level. You do have mild Hyperkalemia and needs to be followed by a Nephrologist

Dr. Jack Rubin Dr. Rubin
Internal Medicine - Nephrology & Dialysis
44 years in practice
State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine
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My potassium level was 3.1 on friday night. I was given 2 horse pills to up my potassium level to 3.5. Will that work?

My potassium level was 3.1 on friday night. I was given 2 horse pills to up my potassium level to 3.5. Will that work?

Low potassium level: If your potassium (K) was 3.1, you need to ask your physician (P), why it low. If you had some K supplement (horse pills?). It may have helped raise your K level. Then again, it may not have. If you are not taking any diuretics, have your P check your magnesium (M) level. Low M levels will cause low K levels which will not correct until your M is normal. Good luck.

Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky Dr. Belilovsky
Pediatrics
31 years in practice
University of Connecticut School of Medicine
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My potassium level is 5.1. After researching this I found out that is not great. Any ideas to quickly lower this number?

My potassium level is 5.1. After researching this I found out that is not great. Any ideas to quickly lower this number?

Not quickly.: 5.1 is not dangerous in the short term; it needs to be followed, and if it continues to increase, to find and treat the cause. Just playing yo-yo with electrolytes is useless.

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Dr. Stanley Berger Dr. Berger
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
29 years in practice
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
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My potassium level is: 3, 30 mmol/L (range: 3, 50-5, 50). In this case would I need to take some potassium pill, or this is not so low? Thank you!

My potassium level is: 3, 30 mmol/L (range: 3, 50-5, 50). In this case would I need to take some potassium pill, or this is not so low? Thank you!

Diet or Pill: This is not so low and might correct with adding bananas or orange juice for a few days. Be sure your magnesium level was normal because this will need to be repleted with a pill and bot magnesium and potassium rechecked. Be sure to follow up with your doctor for another blood draw.

Dr. Ankush Bansal Dr. Bansal
Internal Medicine
13 years in practice
Creighton University School of Medicine
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I have a 3.2 potassium level, & im scared... Can eating processed/sodium-filled foods cause this? I don't eat nearly as many whole foods as I should...

I have a 3.2 potassium level, & im scared... Can eating processed/sodium-filled foods cause this? I don't eat nearly as many whole foods as I should...

Don't worry: It's not that bad. It's only mildly low. You can eat more bananas, orange juice, leafy green vegetables, and other vegetables. They contain more potassium. Processed foods can leach nutrients in general but not specifically potassium.

Dr. Gurmukh Singh Dr. Singh
Pathology
45 years in practice
University of Pune, Armed Forces Medical College
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What will happen if you chronically have low potassium level?

What will happen if you chronically have low potassium level?

Cardiac rhythm: Problems. It is important to establish the cause of low potassium and treat the cause as there may be other issues than just low potassium. Low potassium has deleterious effect of the functioning of the heart.

Dr. Lonna Larsh Dr. Larsh
Family Medicine
26 years in practice
UC Irvine School of Medicine
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Is having a potassium level of 2.5 dangerous?

Not immediatelu: A potassium level of 2.5 is not ideal, but it's not immediately dangerous. A low potassium level isn't serious until it is less than about 2.0. That said, you need to find out why your potassium level is low, and you need to get it into the normal range.

Dr. Rajesh Boorgu Dr. Boorgu
Internal Medicine - Nephrology & Dialysis
23 years in practice
University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
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What potassium level is considered to be normal?

3.5 to 5.0: Most labs will define normal as above. Some may increase the upper limits to 5.2 but anything above 5.5 is clearly abnormal.

Dr. Julie Abbott
651 Doctors shared insights

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