Potassium is a necessary electrolyte, a mineral that your body requires to function properly. Potassium is particularly necessary for the nerves and muscles of the body, including the heart.
While potassium is necessary for health, too much of it can be just as detrimental, if not worse, than not enough. Normally, your kidneys maintain a healthy potassium balance in your body by draining excess potassium out. However, for a variety of reasons, the level of potassium in your blood might become abnormally high. This is referred to as hyperkalemia or high potassium.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a normal potassium level in the blood should be between 3.6 and 5.2 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). A potassium level greater than 5.5 mmol/L is considered dangerously high, and a potassium level greater than 6 mmol/L can be fatal. Small range changes may occur based on the laboratory.
Regardless of whether your hyperkalemia is mild or severe, you should seek early medical assistance to avoid any problems.
Home Remedies for High Potassium
If your potassium level is abnormally high, you must seek immediate treatment. However, if you have a mildly high potassium level, you may be able to help reduce it at home. Follow your doctor’s instructions for treating your high potassium level and consult with your physician before using any of these options.
1. Reduce Potassium in Diet
One of the easiest ways to lower your potassium levels naturally is to reduce the amount of potassium in your diet. This means limiting foods and supplements that are high in potassium. Some foods that are high in potassium include:
Talk to your doctor for suggestions about the best diet plan for you. You can also ask them for a referral to a dietitian or nutritionist.
2. Check Salt Substitutes
Some salt substitutes are also high in potassium. When you buy a salt substitute, make sure to avoid any that list potassium chloride as an ingredient. Foods that are high in additives, such as commercial baked goods and sports drinks, are also usually high in potassium.
3. Drink More Water
Dehydration can make high potassium levels worse. Try to drink more water.
4. Avoid Certain Herbs
If you take herbs for any reason, be aware that there are a few herbs you should not take if you have high potassium levels. Alfalfa, nettle, and dandelion can increase your potassium levels, so be sure to avoid them.