How Can I Lower My Potassium Quickly?

Medically Reviewed on 6/22/2022
How Can I Lower My Potassium Quickly?
Regular checkups and frequent blood work can assist in monitoring for changes in potassium levels and detecting hyperkalemia early.

High potassium levels can be transient (lasting a few days) or persistent (lasting a long time). Acutely elevated potassium levels may resolve with short-term therapy. Chronic hyperkalemia needs continued therapy. High potassium levels are extremely harmful because they can cause your heart to beat erratically or even stop. Potassium disturbances are more common in cases of renal failure, prolonged drug therapy, and burn victims.

Four emergency treatments to lower potassium quickly start working in minutes by shifting potassium out of the blood and into cells.

  1. Intravenous (IV) insulin and glucose
  2. IV calcium
  3. IV sodium bicarbonate
  4. Inhaled albuterol

4 treatment options to lower potassium quickly

Four treatment options to lower potassium quickly include:

  1. Diuretics:
    • They are frequently regarded as the first line of treatment in cases of hyperkalemia.
    • These drugs, often known as water pills, encourage urine and frequently help your body remove potassium more quickly.
  2. Resins:
    • They bind to potassium in the circulation and help transport it out of the body through bowel movements. 
  3. Calcium:
    • Calcium, either as calcium gluconate or calcium chloride, is used to reduce the possible effect of hyperkalemia on heart health.
  4. Dialysis:
    • Dialysis is another useful option for people with chronic renal disease to keep potassium levels under control.
    • Dialysis is a procedure that aids in the purification of blood by eliminating excess toxins and waste particles.
    • Hemodialysis involves cleaning your blood with special equipment called a dialyzer that acts as an artificial kidney.
    • Meanwhile, peritoneal dialysis is a therapy that absorbs waste and fluids from circulation using a solution called dialysate.

4 natural remedies for hyperkalemia

Regular checkups and frequent blood work can assist in monitoring for changes in potassium levels and detecting hyperkalemia early.

If you believe you have excessive potassium levels, see your doctor right away to get your blood levels checked. Your doctor can advise you on whether a few small dietary changes will help normalize potassium levels or whether more severe therapies are required.

Four natural remedies for hyperkalemia include:

  1. Low-potassium diet:
    • A low-potassium diet is frequently the most effective treatment option for hyperkalemia, particularly if you have renal issues that hinder your body's capacity to filter and eliminate potassium properly. 
    • A low-potassium diet often restricts fruits and vegetables such as bananas, avocados, and spinach. 
    • Dairy products, potatoes, dried fruit, and nuts are high in potassium.
  2. Herbal supplements:
    • In addition to monitoring your potassium consumption, it is critical to read the ingredient labels of any herbal supplements that you may take. 
    • Certain herbal preparations, such as milkweed, dandelion, and Siberian ginseng, may contribute to hyperkalemia and aggravate it. 
    • If you have renal problems, in particular, you must see your doctor before beginning any herbal supplement regimen.
  3. Salt substitutes:
    • If you're attempting to reduce your sodium consumption, salt substitutes may appear to be a terrific way to enhance the flavors of your favorite dishes without adding sodium. 
    • However, many of them include high levels of potassium, which might be problematic if you have hyperkalemia. Potassium chloride is the main element in these products.
    • In place of salt substitutes, start experimenting with seasonings and spices to give your dishes an added dose of flavor. 
    • Cumin, turmeric, basil, oregano, and pepper are all great examples of healing herbs and spices you may want to consider adding to your diet.
  4. Baking soda:
    • Kidney issues can produce hyperkalemia in rare circumstances. With kidney disease, the body is unable to adequately flush away excess acid, resulting in a buildup of potassium in the circulation.
    • Taking an alkalizing substance, such as sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), can assist in balancing the pH and preventing acidosis.
    • Baking soda is available in tablet form for convenience, or it can be mixed with a little water and consumed as is to assist alleviate symptoms.


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What is hyperkalemia?

Potassium is one of the several electrolytes found in your body. It is present within the cells. Normal potassium levels are essential for the proper functioning of the heart and neurological system. Hyperkalemia is an electrolyte imbalance characterized by a high potassium level in the blood. Normal potassium levels in adults are 3.5 to 5.3 mEq/L.

12 causes of and risk factors for hyperkalemia

Twelve causes of and risk factors for hyperkalemia include:

  1. Kidney disease or kidney failure
  2. Addison's disease
  3. Type I diabetes
  4. Dehydration
  5. An overabundance of potassium
  6. Use of potassium supplements
  7. Certain chemotherapy drugs
  8. Trauma and bleeding internally
  9. Burns
  10. Certain medications such as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and potassium-sparing diuretics
  11. Endocrine or hormonal problems (such as adrenal insufficiency)
  12. Salt substitutes (containing potassium) or excessive intake of potassium

8 common signs and symptoms of hyperkalemia

You may not have any symptoms unless your blood potassium levels are significantly elevated.

  1. Muscle weakness
  2. Diarrhea (with very high potassium levels)
  3. Chest pain or heart palpitations
  4. Fatigue
  5. Tingling
  6. Numbness
  7. Nausea
  8. Vomiting

7 complications of untreated hyperkalemia

Severe hyperkalemia can be harmful and even fatal if addressed. Fortunately, having frequent checks with your doctor can help detect hyperkalemia early, allowing you to treat it and prevent it from progressing. The recommended intake of potassium to avoid hypokalemia and hyperkalemia may depend on age and sex.

  • Toddler girl: 2,300 mg
  • Toddler boys: 3,000 mg
  • Teens and adults: 3,400 mg

Seven possible complications of untreated hyperkalemia may include:

  1. Chest pain
  2. Bradycardia
  3. Cardiac arrest
  4. Fatigue
  5. Paralysis
  6. Kidney failure
  7. Death

If you have symptoms of hyperkalemia and suspect your potassium levels are high, see your doctor right away. A blood test can be used to determine your potassium levels. There are numerous treatment options available depending on your potassium levels. A few changes to your food and daily routine, as well as the use of certain drugs prescribed by your doctor, can help regulate potassium levels and treat hyperkalemia.

If the reason is identified, such as an excess of potassium in the diet, the outlook is favorable. High potassium is likely to reoccur in severe instances or in individuals with continuous risk factors.

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Medically Reviewed on 6/22/2022
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