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Why Do People on Dialysis Have Hyperkalemia

2013-11-24 11:35

Hyperkalemia is a disorder in which the level of potassium is higher than normal.While potassium plays several vital roles in body,too high levels of potassium can lead to serious complications and even can be life-threatening. This is commonly seen during dialysis.

Significances of potassium in body

Potassium is involved in nerve and muscle communication systems-effectively it helps pass the nerve signals along.This includes to the heart and also is involved in many cellular processes.If high levels of potassium build up in body,it can lead to irregular heartbeat and even death. This is why potassium levels are so important for dialysis patients.

Causes of hyperkalemia during Dialysis

Kidneys can normally remove excess potassium from the body. Therefore,anything which can affect this process adversely will hinder the normal operation of the kidneys can lead to hyperkalemia.In addition,the hormone aldosterone controls the removal of potassium.Therefore,any condition which can impair the production of this hormone will affect potassium levels.

Generally,dialysis can remove the excess potassium from body, thus lowering the high level of potassium in blood.However,if dialysis is performed inadequately,it is unable to remove all of potassium from body,thus resulting in hyperkalemia during dialysis.

In addition,between two dialysis treatment sessions,if the patients consume too much foods loaded in potassium,it can also result in hyperkalemia.

How to treat hyperkalemia during dialysis?

The first step is to figure out the cause of hyperkalemia during dialysis and take right treatment measures.You can email to kidneycares@hotmail.com  for more suggestions.

If hyperkalemia is related to dialysis itself,it is important to ask the doctor to adjust the dialysis treatment.Also,it is important for dialysis patients to cut down foods high in potassium.Tomatoes, spinach, potatoes, beans, milk, yourt and dairy products are high in potassium so they should be avoided for dialysis patients.

As the underlying cause of hyperkalemia during dialysis is caused by kidney damage and reduced renal function, the patients should have a treatment to restore the impaired kidney structure and enhance renal function. If the kidneys can function better, they will work more efficiently to filter out potassium from body. If so, hyperkalemia will be controlled fundamentally.

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