Potassium Chloride or KCL is a medicinal mineral replacement that helps to offset low potassium (hypokalemia) in the bloodstream. As with any drug you can have an allergic reaction to KCL and can experience significant GI side effects. Too much potassium in the bloodstream can lead to severe adverse effects-even death.
Potassium Chloride (KCL) comes in many forms and helps to replace low potassium levels in the bloodstream. Potassium is a major mineral that is vital to almost every cellular function. Some popular oral brands of KCl include: K-Dur, KLor Con, K-Tab, Klorvess, K-Lyte CL and MicroK. KCL can also be administered intravenously in a monitored setting – such as the hospital or urgent care.
Potassium is important for nerve conduction, stable cardiac function, fluid and electrolyte balance, adequate muscle contraction and proper renal function. Potassium helps to support healthy brain function, decreases the risk of stroke and helps to maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Potassium supports healthy bones, decreases the incidence of muscle cramps and assists in healthy weight and decreased cellulite accumulation. Potassium levels can fall if our kidneys or GI tract eliminate more than we normally ingest. Some wonderful foods high in potassium include:
-Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
-Oranges and Kiwis
Health care professionals prescribe KCL when potassium levels are predisposed to falling (if you are taking certain diuretics) or if you have suffered a major potassium loss due to GI or renal illness. Certain adrenal disorders can also predispose to potassium loss as can diabetic ketoacidosis.
Some of the gastrointestinal side effects that can occur with KCL include nausea, vomiting, abdominal distention, flatulence, diarrhea, upper or lower GI bleeding, obstruction, ulceration or perforation. Drugs that slow the intestinal tract should be avoided with KCL and a 6-8 ounce glass of water should be taken with each dose.
Multiple side effects can take place if the level of potassium climbs too high in the bloodstream. High potassium (hyperkalemia) can present with vertigo, fatigue, lightheadedness, mental confusion, unstable blood pressure, numbness and tingling in the extremities, shortness of breath, slow or abnormal heart rate, cardiac arrest or death.
As with any pharmaceutical drug, monitoring by a healthcare professional is important to help prevent adverse effects.
Possible short-term side effects
- nausea, vomiting, flatulence, diarrhea and abdominal distention
- too much kcl can lead to vertigo, fatigue
- lightheadedness, mental confusion, unstable blood pressure, numbness and tingling in the extremities, shortness of breath, slow or abnormal heart rate, cardiac arrest or death
- certain drug interactions
Possible long-term side effects
- lower or upper gi bleeding
- obstruction, ulceration, perforation
- replaces low levels of a vital mineral
- supports function and mood
- decreases risk of stroke
- supports healthy weight and decreases cellulite
- heart healthy and balances blood pressure
- supports bone health
- decreases muscle cramps
- odorless compound that is water soluble
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Written by Dr. Becky Maes | 01-12-2018
Written by Dr. Becky Maes
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