Diseases & Conditions


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Hyperkalemia


Synonyms of Hyperkalemia
  • High Potassium
  • Hyperpotassemia

Disorder Subdivisions



    General Discussion
    Hyperkalemia is a condition caused by an abnormally high concentration of potassium in the blood. Potassium is a key element in contraction of muscles (including the heart) and for the functioning of many complicated proteins (enzymes). Potassium is found primarily in the skeletal muscle and bone, and participates with sodium to contribute to the normal flow between the body fluids and the cells of the body (homeostasis). The concentration of potassium in the body is regulated by the kidneys, and balance is maintained through excretion in urine. When the kidneys are functioning normally, the amount of potassium in the diet is usually sufficient for use by the body and the excess is excreted. Chemical and hormonal influences also help regulate the internal potassium balance. When hyperkalemia occurs, there is an imbalance resulting from a dysfunction of these normal processes.

    Normally, 98% of the potassium in the body is found in the cells of various tissues, while only about 2% is circulating in the blood. When hyperkalemia occurs, it may come about because of an increase in total body potassium or as a result of increased release of potassium from the cells to the blood.

    Abnormally high levels of potassium in the blood or urine suggest the presence of another underlying medical condition. Because potassium helps to regulate muscle activity, including the activity of heart (cardiac) muscle, hyperkalemia needs to be taken seriously.

    Organizations related to Hyperkalemia
    • Digestive Disease National Coalition
      507 Capitol Court
      Washington DC 20002
      Phone #: 202-544-7497
      800 #: --
      e-mail: scott@hmcw.org
      Home page: http://www.ddnc.org
    • Muscular Dystrophy Association
      3300 E. Sunrise Dr
      Tucson AZ 85718
      Phone #: 520-529-2000
      800 #: 800-344-4863
      e-mail: mda@mdausa.org
      Home page: http://www.mdausa.org
    • NIH/National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
      2 Information Way
      Bethesda MD 20892-3570
      Phone #: 301-654-3810
      800 #: 800-891-5389
      e-mail: nddic@info.niddk.nih.gov
      Home page: http://www.niddk.nih.gov



    For a Complete Report

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html