Questions & Answers

The condition of having excess levels of potassium in the blood is called-
A. Hypercholesterolemia
B. Hyperkalemia
C. Osteomalacia
D. Hypernatremia

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Hint:Potassium is an essential mineral required by our body for its proper functioning. This electrolytic mineral is especially important for our nerves and muscles, including our heart.

Complete solution: Let us try to solve this question by hit and trial method, i.e., by considering each option one by one.
1. Hypercholesterolemia, as the name suggests is a condition of high cholesterol. It is caused due to the presence of excessive levels of cholesterol in the blood. It can be either due to a combination of environmental factors, such as diet, weight, or stress, or sometimes even genetic factors. Though it is asymptomatic, it has been found out that people with pure hypercholesterolemia often experience chest pain.
2. Hyperkalemia is the medical term that is used to define the condition when the potassium level in blood is higher than normal. When the amount of potassium is extremely high, it leads to severe hyperkalemia, which can further lead to cardiac arrest and death of the individual. The common causes for this condition are high amounts of potassium in the diet, kidney disease. Symptoms are usually mild and non-specific. It may include nausea, chest pain, vomiting, and heart palpitations.
3. Osteomalacia is referred to as the softening of bones, caused due to deficiency of Vitamin D. It doesn't show any remarkable symptoms in the initial stage, but we can see the signs through X-ray or other diagnostic tests. As it progresses, the individual might develop muscle weakness, bone pain.
4. Hypernatremia is a common electrolyte problem that can be defined as a rise in serum sodium concentration to a value exceeding $145mmol/L$. It is a hyperosmolar condition that is caused by a decrease in total body water (TBW), relative to electrolyte content. This condition is related to a “water problem,” and not a problem of sodium homeostasis.

So, the correct option is B.

Note: Though potassium is important for our health, getting too much of the nutrient can be just as bad as, or worse than, not getting enough. Normally, our kidneys are responsible for maintaining a healthy balance of potassium by flushing excess amounts out of our body.