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.
The journey of pregnancy is one many couples look forward to. Unfortunately, an event that is supposed to be joyous and exciting is often filled with frustration and complications. Struggling to get pregnant is perfectly normal. However, when problems persist after a long time of trying, it may be time to start considering the possibility of infertility. Here we will take a look at infertility symptoms and the risk factors.
What is Infertility?
Infertility refers to when individuals struggle with getting pregnant. Your case is considered an event of infertility when you’ve failed to become pregnant after a year of frequent, unprotected sex. Although it is often portrayed as an issue involving deficits in the female reproductive system, both males and females can experience infertility symptoms when a couple is trying to conceive.
Struggling with infertility symptoms does not mean that a couple can’t become pregnant. Learning more about what infertility means and what to do about it is a great first step towards overcoming your obstacles.
Male vs Female Infertility
Anyone can suffer from infertility problems. While a doctor’s examination is necessary to pinpoint the reason behind it, there are a few common reasons why a couple struggles getting pregnant.
Common reasons for male infertility:
Sperm Production Dysfunction
Abnormalities in sperm production are a leading cause of male fertility problems. These issues may arise from physiological problems, such as undescended testicles, developmental defects, or diseases. Infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, or mumps, sometimes compromise sperm quality. Other general health problems, such as diabetes, may hinder your ability to produce enough sperm.
Sperm Delivery Abnormalities
Having enough sperm won’t get a partner pregnant if the sperm cannot be delivered. Several different physiological phenomena may impede one’s ability to ejaculate properly. Structural abnormalities, such as blockage to the testicle, may cause this. Premature ejaculation may also be a contributing factor if it impedes an individual’s ability to impregnate their partner.
While structural blocks may be due to genetic defects, disease and injury may cause these problems. Physical trauma or injury to the reproductive system may impede one’s infertility. Several environmental factors may contribute to this damage. Undergoing radiation or chemotherapy treatments may cause these issues. Other issues may come from smoking cigarettes, alcohol, steroids, and medication. Exposure to high heat, such as frequent hot tub use, may also impact sperm production.
Common reasons for female infertility:
Ovulation refers to the time in a woman’s reproductive cycle when her ovary releases an egg for fertilization. If she is unable to release an egg, she won’t be able to get pregnant. Problems can be due to hormonal disorders (such as polycystic ovary syndrome) or other hormonal imbalances that mess up a healthy menstrual cycle.
Uterine or Cervical Problems
If there are structural abnormalities (such as in the shape of the uterus) or polyp development, it may impede one’s ability to get pregnant.
Fallopian Tube Abnormalities
If the fallopian tubes are damaged or blocked, it may be more difficult for an individual to conceive.
Different diseases and health conditions may cause damage to the reproductive system. Conditions like endometriosis are often linked with infertility problems. Primary ovarian insufficiency, also known as early menopause, causes women to cease menstruation earlier than average. Early menopause is often correlated with genetic diseases, immune system abnormalities, and previous cancer treatment.
Following injury or surgery, scar tissue in the pelvic region may make it difficult for some men and women to get pregnant.
There are several different treatments a fertility specialist may recommend to encourage pregnancy. These treatments may be simple things such as lifestyle changes or tracking one’s cycle in order to enhance the chances of conception.
For more complicated situations, individuals may need to seek hormonal interventions or undergo further procedures to facilitate pregnancy. These involve medical supervision.
How to Receive Help for Infertility Problems
If you and your partner are struggling to get pregnant, it’s a good idea to reach out to a fertility clinic. A thorough physical examination is necessary to determine the exact cause and how it can be treated. Trained physicians can help you determine the underlying causes of your infertility and find the treatments that work best for you.