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Hyperkalemia and Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits

Hyperkalemia is a condition where you have too much potassium in your blood. Most of the potassium in your body (98 percent) is found within your organs and cells. Usually, only a small amount of potassium circulates in your bloodstream. Potassium helps your muscle and nerve cells, including your heart, to function properly. Your kidneys usually maintain the levels of potassium in your blood. If your have kidney disease, however, potassium levels can build up. Kidney disease is the most common cause of hyperkalemia. Diet or medications can also affect the amount of potassium in your blood. The normal potassium level in your blood is 3.5-5.0 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). Potassium levels that are between 5.1 mEq/L to 6.0 mEq/L are an indication of mild hyperkalemia. Potassium levels of 6.1 mEq/L to 7.0 mEq/L mean moderate hyperkalemia, and levels above 7 mEq/L are severe hyperkalemia. Hyperkalemia is a common condition. It is diagnosed in up to 8% of hospitalized patients in the United States. Fortunately, most patients have mild hyperkalemia (which is usually well tolerated). However, any condition causing even mild hyperkalemia needs to be treated to stop progression into more severe hyperkalemia. Hyperkalemia may not affect you. Or, it may have vague effects like: There are more serious effects caused by hyperkalemia that you may experience including weak pulse and slow heartbeat. Severe hyperkalemia can lead to fatal cardiac standstill (heart stoppage). Usually, a slow rise in potassium level (such as with chronic kidney failure) is better tolerated than an abrupt rise in potassium levels. However, unless the rise in potassium levels has been very rapid, the effects of hyperkalemia are usually not visible until potassium levels are very high (typically 7.0 mEq/l or higher). The signs and symptoms that you may experience can also reflect the underlying medical conditions that are causing your hyperkalemia. Hyperkalemia and/or the conditions that have caused it may have reached a point where you or a loved one is unable to work. Hyperkalemia may be the cause of your disability. If this is true, you or your loved one may need help. You may need financial assistance. Have you or your loved one applied for financial assistance from the Social Security Administration by applying for Social Security disability benefits or disability benefits because of the disability caused by hyperkalemia and/or the conditions that have caused it? Were you or your loved one denied? If you or your loved one is planning on appealing the denial by the Social Security Administration, here is something you need to keep in mind. People who are represented by a disability attorney like the one you will find at are approved more often than those people who are without a lawyer.