Medicine Information

Potassium and The Dialysis Patient


Any dialysis patient who has had a brush with high potassium will know only too well how dangerous this can be. We are forever being told to watch our potassium intake, so I thought I would explore the reasons for this, and what practical steps we can take to limit the risks.

For your cells to function properly, it is important that you maintain the right level of potassium, unfortunately, for those of us with kidney disease, there is no way for our bodies to rid themselves of this potassium. As too high a level of potassium can cause muscle weakness, affect the heart rhythm and may even cause death, it is critical that we manage our intake carefully, in consultation with our dietician, clinical nurse, and renal specialist.

Some signs that your potassium may be too high might include, but are not limited to: nausea, diarrhea, muscle weakness, and irregular heartbeat. If you experience any of these symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider, or take yourself off to the nearest hospital - post haste!

So it's all well and good to know that a high potassium level is dangerous, and what the symptoms are and what to do if we experience the symptoms, but what can we do to avoid this danger? Well I'm glad you asked!

Whilst some external factors affect the level of potassium in the blood of a dialysis patient, the one major thing that you can do is to manage your diet. Avoid foods that are high in potassium, and you stay out of the danger zone. It's as simple as that!

"So what are these foods I should be avoiding?" I hear you ask. Whilst this list provides some of the foods that may put you into the danger zone, it is by no means a comprehensive list. It should also be noted here that very few foods should be considered completely "off limits", just because you are on dialysis, doesn't mean that your life must stop and that you shouldn't be able to enjoy some of it's finer offerings.

The list: All meats, poultry and fish,. apricots (fresh more so than canned), avocado, banana, cantaloupe, honeydew, Kiwi Fruit, lima beans, milk, oranges and orange juice, potatoes, prunes, spinach, tomatoes, vegetables and vegetable juice .

Your next question should be: "But that seems like a lot of vegetables, what can I do to lower the potassium level in vegetables?" I'm glad you asked again! To lower the content in vegetables, simply cut the vegetables up into small pieces, and boil them well in a saucepan then drain them thoroughly.

Hopefully this has given you some idea of what symptoms to look out for, what foods to avoid, and generally how to live with a low potassium diet. For more information, talk to your dietician, clinical nurse, or doctor.

About the author: Stuart Drew is a 34 year old dialysis patient from Adelaide, Australia. He has a wilfe, a son (with another on the way), and two miniature schnauzers. He is a part time web geek, and runs the website therenalunit.com - a news service for all issues relating to kidney disease and dialysis. He can be contacted at stuart@stuartdrew.com


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


The Guardian

Adam Kay: 'If I had kids I would put them off studying medicine'
The Guardian
Kay had enjoyed a longstanding interest in comedy, performing in medical student revues, and later in corporate gigs for pharmaceutical companies. He'd also been on Radio 4 and performed at the Edinburgh festival, so comedy was the obvious way to go ...



Florida Flambeau

FSU College of Medicine hosts World AIDS Day vigil
Florida Flambeau
From 2008 to 2010, there were about 32 new HIV cases and 19 new AIDS cases in Leon County. During this time period, Leon County reported 1,392 cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. Gonorrhea and syphilis rates are higher in this county than ...

and more »


Salt Lake Tribune

Commentary: The Tribune was wrong. Medicine often involves a risk to the patient.
Salt Lake Tribune
(Courtesy of the Utah Department of Health) A health department initiative called Talk to Your Pharmacist placed stickers on bottles to prompt prescribers to talk to their pharmacist about the risk of using opioids. By Lynn Webster | For The Tribune ...



The Hindu

'Exciting careers beyond engineering and medicine'
The Hindu
In a State where a huge chunk of student population go towards engineering and medicine, choosing a course other than the two requires a certain aptitude. It's the aptitude that matters when choosing a career, experts from various fields advised ...



KFSN-TV

New Treatment for Neuropathy: Medicine's Next Big Thing?
KFSN-TV
Thirty percent of all Americans will be affected by peripheral neuropathy, a condition that impacts nerves leading to the arms and legs. (KFSN). KFSN. By Margot Kim. Saturday, December 09, 2017 11:48PM. Thirty percent of all Americans will be affected ...



Rethink Healthcare: Government hospitals must provide quality, affordable medicine
Economic Times (blog)
Delhi government's decision to cancel the licence of Max hospital, Shalimar Bagh, for negligence resulting in the death of a premature newborn – the baby was declared dead by the hospital even though he was alive at the time he was given to his parents ...

and more »


New York Times

What Doctors Should Ignore
New York Times
Those variants are enriched in people of African ancestry. Girish N. Nadkarni, a kidney specialist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, explained to me that scientists think this may be because those variants protect against the ...



EurekAlert (press release)

Landmark CAR-T cancer study published in the New England Journal of Medicine
EurekAlert (press release)
IMAGE: This is how CAR-T cell therapy harnesses a patient's immune system to fight cancer. view more. Credit: Loyola Medicine. MAYWOOD, IL - Loyola University Medical Center is the only Chicago center that participated in the pivotal clinical trial of ...
Loyola Medicine Oncologist Patrick Stiff, MD, Co-Author of Landmark @NEJM CAR-T Study, Offers Measured ...Newswise (press release)

all 5 news articles »


HuffPost

Medicine And Why Net Neutrality Matters
HuffPost
Recently, the library at Einstein, where I work as a medical librarian, experienced a momentary internet outage. In that instant, everything seemed to stop in its tracks. Medical students preparing to take their STEP 1 Board exams couldn't finish their ...

and more »


Daily Mail

HEALTH: Nature's medicine for sore joints
Daily Mail
When financier John Carey, then 35, woke up one night in 2002 with a searing pain in the ball of his left foot, the last thing on his mind was gout. 'I'd been training hard the day before – I practise judo and ran marathons – and thought I must have ...


Google News

home | site map | Dr. Thad Thomas
© 2006