Patient Comments: Hyperkalemia - Diagnosis

Was your doctor able to quickly diagnose your hyperkalemia, or was it difficult to hone in on the disorder?

Comment from: Este, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 15

My father died from hyperkalemia. He had only been taking Aldactone for two weeks. His kidneys shut down, his potassium spiked, and his heart could not contract. He was no pulse and had electrical activity. He was resuscitated, only to die again two weeks later. The cardiologist insisted that my father was only dehydrated and needed to drink fluids. Had I been informed of the risks and dangers, I would have been very vocal and vigilant in having him tested regularly. He collapsed in the doctor's office. The labs had just come back. It was too late. I take beta blockers and Norvasc, am only 46, not over weight, but have had very stressful life. Now I am concerned about developing hyperkalemia. I plan to get tested next week! This condition is preventable!

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Comment from: Jenny, 45-54 (Patient) Published: October 05

I had been taking Spironolactone(200 mg/day) for 5 weeks as part of a treatment for Gender Dysphoria, and had symptoms of nausea the entire time. Also a general feeling of weakness and some dizziness upon standing (which I assumed was a blood-pressure problem, yet my pressure was normal). My doctor, who has a great deal of experience with this medication, at first thought I might have just caught a virus or something. When I came in for lab tests, a slight elevation in potassium was observed so repeat labs were order for that very day. I received a 9:00 pm call from my doctors office regarding the lab results which instructed me to go straight to the hospital emergency room. I was checked in, treated for 3 days until my levels were normal and then released. Two days later I had more labs and they confirmed normal levels. At one point during my hospitalization, my level had gone up to 7.5 and they (we) were quite worried about both heart and kidneys. With a personal history of Type 2 Diabetes, and a family history of heart problems, I am indeed lucky to be alive!

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Comment from: jane, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

I have been diagnosed with hyperkalemia and when I had blood work done levels were 7.4 and 7.6 this last time. I got a call from my doctor to go to the emergency room. They gave me high dose of sugar and insulin. The levels went down to around 5.5 and they sent me home. I am watching my diet but they cannot seem to find out why the levels are high. It's been a year and I still have no answers. I am tired all the time. Throughout the day I break out in a sweat and feel light headed but only thought it was due to menopause, but it could be a symptom.

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Comment from: annafonte, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 14

My father died due to spironolactone where he ended up having his foot amputated as it causes tissue destruction and causes the kidneys to shut down. He was on dialysis a day after he was admitted to hospital and had is foot amputated. Unfortunately he did not last till the end of that week and passed away whilst under more surgery for further amputation, from a cardiac arrest. I am currently in discussion with the solicitors after the concerned health board has provided their vague final response to me.

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Comment from: gina, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 30

I have been on spironolactone, metformin, and lisinopril for years and on march 1st started feeling BAD symptoms went on until March 8th when I just could no longer walk, eat, hold my hands up, drink, starting having problems going to the bathroom and when I was admitted to the hospital my kidneys had already shut down, my EKG showed a heart problems and my potassium level was 8.9, the ER doctor told me I was lucky to be alive and my doctor told me he had NEVER seen anyone live through a potassium level that high! I was in CCU for 4 days and the hospital another day!! I truly am lucky to be alive, now my heart is fine, thank goodness!! But I am still having some problems with my kidneys.

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Comment from: Msashua, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

My potassium is 5.2, picked up in blood work last week. I have been type 1 diabetic for 48 years. My endocrinologist says my kidney function tests are perfect, but she wanted me to lower potassium intake via diet and stop using one medicine that may be affecting potassium level. She is telling me that this is not something for me to get freaked out about but I am taking this very seriously. She said the blood pressure medication I take could be an affecting factor in the elevated potassium but it provides the added benefit of protecting my kidneys from diabetic side effects. I hope this diet change does the trick!

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Hyperkalemia - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with your hyperkalemia?
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Hyperkalemia - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with hyperkalemia.
Hyperkalemia - Medications Question: What medications were you prescribed for hyperkalemia?

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