What is Hyperkalemia? Hyperkalemia is the medical term for when you experience high potassium levels in your blood. In terms of numbers, a healthy individual will have between 3.6mmol/L and 5.2mmol/L in their body. Anything higher than that is officially classified as hyperkalemia. Between 5.3mmol/L and 6.0mmol/L is mild hyperkalemia. Between 6.1mmol/L and 7.0 mmol/L is moderate hyperkalemia. Above 7mmol/L is severe hyperkalemia. Why is Too Much Potassium Harmful? Potassium is healthy for you in the right doses. Your body needs it to function properly. It is an incredibly important substance that plays a vital role in your nerves and muscle cells. This means that you need it for your heart to work. Like with anything else, too much of a good thing is not good. The more common form of hyperkalemia only rears mild to moderate symptoms. The most extreme severities of this condition can result in death. Symptoms of Hyperkalemia Generally, until your hyperkalemia is severe, you may not even experience or recognize any of the symptoms. As your levels soar to dangerous heights, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms: Muscle weakness or pain. Your muscles may feel tender or even painful. It may feel as though you just finished an intense workout. Fatigue. Despite getting adequate sleep, you may feel sluggish and tired the entire day or you may be too weak to function. Nausea. An upset stomach may or may not be accompanied by some vomiting. This is a common sign of hyperkalemia. Breathing problems. You may find it difficult to take deep breaths or find yourself forced to gasp for air. Irregular heartbeat. Your heart may beat funnily or feel weird in your chest. This is always a symptom to bring up to your doctor immediately. Chest pains. Chest pains ranging from mild to severe are a common result of hyperkalemia. In the most extreme cases, hyperkalemia left untreated can cause cardiac arrest and death. What Causes Hyperkalemia? There are several known causes of hyperkalemia, which range from medical disorders to lifestyle habits. Hyperkalemia is known to have many causes. These include: Kidney Disease The main function of a kidney is that it filters everything in your body. When there is something wrong with your kidneys, it can mess up all sorts of vitamin levels in your body. Potassium is just one of them. Heart Disease Heart disease results in a variety of factors that make it more likely to have problems with your potassium levels. Hormone Imbalances Having abnormally low amounts of aldosterone can result in potassium problems. This can happen due to a variety of conditions, including hypoaldosteronism and congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Diabetes A lack of insulin may be the culprit behind enhanced potassium levels. This is something that would be more likely to occur if diabetes is undermanaged (or undiagnosed). [youmaylike] Medications Side effects of certain medications could cause potassium levels to rise. You may be surprised to see that some common medications will do this. Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, will do it. Some of the other medications that can do this are heparin, mannitol, beta-blockers, angiotensin inhibitors, calcium blockers, and cyclosporine. Diet Medications are not the only way to introduce potassium to the body. There are lots of foods that can lead to heightened potassium levels. Many of these foods are healthy, but to a person at risk for hyperkalemia, they can be dangerous if not eaten in responsible quantities. There is also the chance that you are a victim of pseudo hyperkalemia. As the name suggests, you do not have any potassium problems. Sometimes due to faulty equipment, you will get a wrong reading. Hyperkalemia Treatment To determine how to treat hyperkalemia, it is important that you first identify the cause of it in yourself. Getting advice from a licensed medical physician is the best way to determine your treatments. Diet Change Changing your diet can do wonders for your health. If you battle hyperkalemia, consider limiting your intake of foods rich in potassium like cucumbers, pumpkins, potatoes, bananas, grapefruit, oranges, eggplants and peas. Intravenous Calcium or Insulin and Glucose Medical injections are an efficient and fast technique to lower calcium levels. When diet alone is not enough, these can drop your potassium levels to a safer place in a pinch. Albuterol Doctors may also administer albuterol alone or in addition to other treatments. Unfortunately, this does not work for everyone. Changing Medications If a certain medication is causing dangerous, unwanted side effects, you may want to talk to your doctor about switching.
Exercise-Induced Asthma Treatment
As a part of the 10% of the global population that suffers from asthma, you have lived your life knowing that you must take extra care of your health. However, with asthma affecting your fitness goals, you may wonder what you can do to comfortably workout. You might not want to hang up your running shoes just yet. Exercise-induced asthma can be disruptive for anyone. But there is a way of treating your asthma without necessarily giving up on your fitness regime. Let’s take a look at exercise-induced asthma treatment options.
Learning About Exercise-Induced Asthma
Any form of strenuous activity causes shortness of breath. However, asthma makes matters a lot worse, and for someone who is not aware of the symptoms, not treating asthma creates long-term problems.
What is Exercise-Induced Asthma?
The term itself is contradictory since it indicates that exercise somehow causes asthma.
This form of an asthma attack that occurs during exercise is more commonly known as exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). Unlike the phrase exercise-induced asthma, this term explains how exercise triggers bronchial constriction. This constriction leads to a narrowing of the airways, thus causing different symptoms that lead to an asthma attack.
Symptoms of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction include:
- Chest tightness.
- Shortness of breath.
Coughing is a common symptom, so if you have asthma and begin coughing mid-way through your workout, this might indicate EIB.
What Happens During Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction?
Symptoms of the condition typically occur a few minutes into your exercise routine. These symptoms evolve from mild to severe if you ignore your symptoms for 20 to 30 minutes. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes for the symptoms to become worse.
Sometimes, people with asthma also experience a second wave of symptoms. This occurs 4 to 12 hours after they have stopped exercising, which is why people must stop working out if they feel any symptoms.
What Causes This Condition?
Several triggers can make EIB worse, such as:
- Exposure to smoke and fumes.
- A recent asthma episode.
- A cold.
- High pollen count.
- Pollution levels.
- Exposure to various irritants.
But, if you exclusively feel an asthma attack during your exercise, this occurs because of your body’s expected reaction to any high-impact activity.
When you begin exercising, you begin breathing faster because your body demands more oxygen. As you breathe deeper, you begin inhaling through your mouth, which causes your throat to become dryer and cooler. The dry and cold air causes your airways to narrow, constricting them.
As a result, your body reacts by going through an asthma attack.
How to Treat Exercise-Induced Asthma
Your primary goal is to prevent further attacks and relax your airways so you have a lower chance of experiencing pain. Here are some tips and tricks you can follow:
1. Use Pre-Exercise Drugs
Speak to your physician about using asthma medication. Medicine such as Albuterol prevents airways from spasms for up to two to three hours. Ask your doctor about the correct procedure when using an inhaler, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about medication and care.
2. Remember to Warm Up and Cool Down
Warming up and cooling down are not only beneficial for muscle health; a good 10-minute warm-up gets your body slowly but steadily used to the increased heart rate, so you feel well-prepared when beginning your exercise. Cooling down prevents any sudden attacks since your airways spasm when your body begins breathing in cold air.
3. Do Not Exercise in the Winter
If you must, exercise indoors. Find a gym or go swimming in a pool indoors. While you might be tempted to workout outdoors so you can breathe in fresh air, any form of strenuous exercise will affect your lungs. Even if you go for a brisk walk outside, wear a scarf around your mouth and breathe through it. Having a scarf on will at least give you a warmer surrounding to breathe in.
4. Do Not Exercise if You’re Sick
Even something like a bad cold can create more significant problems. Let your sickness subside and keep yourself warm while recovering from an upper respiratory issue. Do not run or exercise if you have a cough, and regain your strength before doing any outdoor exercise.
5. Try Swimming
A heavy workout with weights and cardio is not the only exercise option. Swimming is a wonderful choice if you want to stay lean and strong. When swimming indoors or outdoors, be aware of any chemicals that may cause a reaction. Chlorine is a common denominator when it comes to triggers. You’ll want to find a pool that uses reduced chemicals.
Your workout journey should not have to stop because of something like asthma. With the information given above, you will experience a better, open feeling when working out. You’ll feel more energized, too, knowing that you won’t have to worry about any coughing fits while doing intense cardio!