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How is hyperkalemia diagnosed?

Blood is withdrawn from a vein (like other blood tests). The potassium concentration of the blood is determined in the laboratory. If hyperkalemia is suspected, an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is often performed, since the ECG may show changes typical for hyperkalemia in moderate to severe cases. The ECG will also be able to identify cardiac arrhythmias that result from hyperkalemia.

Return to Hyperkalemia (High Blood Potassium)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Midge, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 27

Here is a cause of hyperkalemia which everyone missed. Did you know you can overdose on milk! I didn't until my potassium levels hit critical and my hematologist wanted to put me on dialysis. They thought I was taking supplements. I wasn't. Every glass of milk has 400 mg potassium. A half-gallon has 3200 mg. A gallon has 6400 mg. I was drinking at least a gallon per day. I had to stop drinking milk for a couple days to prove it was the source. My levels returned to normal. If it can do this to a heavy adult, imagine what it can do to a child. I don't know if the potassium is natural or added, but this is a prime example of the toxic levels of vitamins being added to our foods and drinks. Nobody is watching and the medical community overlooks these sources. You can overdose on milk like I did and end up with critical levels of potassium. My entire family drinks large amounts of milk like this. I wonder what other problems these toxic levels of vitamins and preservatives are causing. I think the additives need to stop.

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Comment from: JMark, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 10

I had blood tests done for diabetes and my potassium level came back at 6.5. I was urged to go to the emergency room, but the copay is too high and I began to research hyperkalemia. It turns out that I was taking Norvasc and Cozaar, an ACE2 inhibitor that causes the retention of potassium. I also have kidney disease, so the doctors stopped the Cozaar and tried other medicines to try to normalize my blood pressure, which has risen to over 200/100. My potassium levels dropped to the mid 4s, so the ACE2 was the culprit. Bystolic caused edema and nothing seemed to lower the pressure except ACE2 inhibitors. Now I am taking Norvasc and another ACE2 medicine that isn't supposed to be quite as bad as the Cozaar at retaining potassium. I am also now taking a diuretic to try to keep the potassium levels down and also a new liquid that I take every 3 days, although the name escapes me at the moment. I believe it works in the digestive tract to keep potassium from getting into the blood. My high blood pressure seems to be the most serious problem, since the high potassium has been linked to the ACE2 inhibitor. Now, if I can find a happy balance!

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Comment from: elizabeth, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

I have been using Istalol eye drops for glaucoma. I have loss of energy, insomnia, queasy tummy, and mild diarrhea.

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