Potassium is a major mineral found in your body. Potassium helps muscles work properly, including the biggest muscle which is your heart.
Your kidneys normally get rid of extra potassium for you. But when they aren't working as well, potassium can build up in your blood which is called hyperkalemia. Sometimes hyperkalemia will have no symptoms, but sometimes it can cause nausea, irregular heart beat, muscle cramps, weakness, or shortness of breath. It can also cause an irregular heartbeat which can give you a heart attack.
In kidney disease, certain medications can alter your body's potassium levels. For example, Lasix will decrease potassium levels. Lisinopril will increase potassium levels. Your doctor will regularly monitor your blood potassium levels and let you know whether or not you need to restrict your potassium intake.
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