Diet

Before my PM was instated in June 2020, I was given repeat potassium level labs. My potassium was too high. The potassium lab in  August had finally reached normal value. During these lab elevations, I  changed my diet; cut out all the high potassium foods. My cardiologist visit  this month was good; he said not to worry about any diet restrictions so much. This was nice, but vague. Do other people have to  limit high potassium fruits and vegetables? Do other pts. have a history of elevated potassium levels?


4 Comments

the opposite

by Tracey_E - 2020-09-25 15:02:45

I'm on meds that can make potassium too low so I'm usually trying to get more in my diet. Could there be another reason why it's too high?

Potassium levels

by Gemita - 2020-09-25 15:24:37

Hello Puzzler,

Did your doctors identify the cause of your high potassium levels ?  You do not give us any history.

I would ask your doctors whether any medication you are on could have caused your levels of potassium to rise?  Unfortunately some of our common meds used for hypertension and other conditions, can increase our potassium levels.  Maybe worth asking your general doctor for a review of your meds?  High potassium levels can be so dangerous and cause irregular heart rhythms, so hopefully it is under control now?  

However, fruits and vegetables are so good for us and I would prefer to look elsewhere for potassium restrictions if at all possible.  It is very important to keep our electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium balanced and what better way than with whole foods, fruits and vegetables.  Have your doctors given you any treatment to try to reduce your potassium levels? 

High potassium

by AgentX86 - 2020-09-25 15:48:32

Hi Puzzler.  Welcome to the Pacemaker Club.  The club that no one wants to be a part of.

Most of us have the opposite problem.  Neither are good but low potassium is usually caused by low consumption of good stuff.  There are a number of other reasons but it's usually cured by eating more foods high in potassium. Some drugs will cause low potassium levels but taking in more potassium will usually counteract this.  For most of us, there is no such thing as too much potassium.  It can't happen (see below).

On the other hand, high potassium generally means the kidneys aren't flushing the excess potassium from the body.  Think of the kidneys as an overflow in the sink.  Too much and it gets flushed down the drain, so to speak.

You need to know the reason for your hyperkalemia but, as others have pointed out, you can reduce your intake.  A dietician can help here. For sure, stay away from salt substitute.  Instead of being sodium chloride (which most of us need far less of) it is potassium chloride, which sorta tastes like table salt and it better for most of us.  Not you, unfortunately. But, as always, listen to your doctors and follow their instructions the best as you can.

 

High Potassium

by Puzzler - 2020-09-25 19:05:06

Thanks for all your information! I do have HTN and IDDM history. I am taking meds for both. The MD has changed my meds around also recently, so I am hopeful this change has been responsible for the recent normal Potassium lab. My diet is something I am proud of; mostly vegetables and fruit (about 4 to 5 svgs/day); poultry and fish baked or prepared in slow cooker; salt is not used nor salt substitute. So, we will see how it goes. Just wondered if anyone else had this issue. Thanks so very much for answering so soon.

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