Potassium level is 5.6. Kidney, heart, liver function all came back normal. Should I be concerned?

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I'm a 59 year old woman.

1 Answer

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May I ask whether the reference range for the test is 3.5-5.5? If the reference range is between 3.5 and 5.5, your potassium is just slightly elevated. You gotta know there are many many reasons why you can have an elevated potassium level. So you gotta provide more information, such as your symptoms and what made you see a doctor and get the tests.The most common cause of genuinely high potassium (hyperkalemia) is related to your kidneys, such as:

  • Acute kidney failure
  • Chronic kidney disease

Other causes of hyperkalemia include:

  • Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency)
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Beta blockers
  • Dehydration
  • Destruction of red blood cells due to severe injury or burns
  • Excessive use of potassium supplements
  • Type 1 diabetes