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How does hyperkalemia affect the body?

Hyperkalemia affects the heart by causing it to beat abnormally or to stop. Hyperkalemia occurs when the potassium levels in the blood go too high, either because there is too much in the system or because too much potassium has been released from cells and is circulating in the bloodstream. Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte crucial to the normal function of muscles, including the heart. It also has a part in digestion and metabolism and in balancing the body's chemical and electrical activities. In a healthy body, the kidneys remove excess potassium in the urine, but individuals with conditions that affect kidney function can develop hyperkalemia.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.