Recognizing Elevated Potassium Levels

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health, Food and Nutrition, Q&As
Last Reviewed 03/28/2014

Recognizing Elevated Potassium Levels

My potassium level is at the top of the range, and I understand that it is not good to have elevated potassium levels. Is that true?

It sounds to me like your blood potassium level might be at the high end of the normal range. Hyperkalemia is when the blood potassium level is greater than 5.0 and can be associated with Addison's disease. Alternatively, hypokalemia is when the blood potassium level is less than 3.5 and that can trigger dangerous cardiac arrhythmias.

A blood potassium level in the high normal range is acceptable, and, as a cardiologist, I like it. I don't know if you are taking potassium as a supplement, but your doctor should be checking your adrenal glands and monitoring your potassium.

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