Several things can cause hyperkalemia (high potassium), including health problems and use of certain medications.
Kidney failure is the most common cause of high potassium. When your kidneys fail or don’t function properly, they can’t remove extra potassium from your body. This can lead to potassium buildup.
High potassium can also be linked to certain health problems, such as:
type 1 diabetes
Certain medications have been linked with high potassium levels. These include:
certain chemotherapy drugs
angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
angiotensin receptor blockers
Overuse of potassium supplements can increase your potassium levels to a range that’s higher than normal or even dangerous.
Heavy alcohol or drug use can cause your muscles to break down. This breakdown can release a high amount of potassium from your muscle cells into your bloodstream.
Certain kinds of trauma can raise your potassium levels as well. In these cases, extra potassium leaks from your body cells into your bloodstream. Burns or crush injuries where a large number of muscle cells are injured can cause these effects.