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Old 10-01-2013, 03:51 PM   #1
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Talk to me about Potassium

Okay, another entry from the mixed-up files of Dawn's weird physical quirks and discrepancies.

I had a physical last week and they ordered blood work, which I didn't get done until this morning. I just got a call from the doctor's office that my potassium is too high. I was told it's just past the high end of the reference range for normal, so it's not "critical" yet, but I'm supposed to avoid bananas, nuts, and other higher potassium foods.

I've requested a copy of my labs, but they have to mail it so I won't get it for a while. I take a multi-vitamin (don't have the bottle with me, but I'll check the potassium in it when I get home), as well as 2000 IU D3, a calcium/D3 supplement, 50 mg atenolol (for tachycardia--I sure don't need a potassium issue!), and 75 mcg Synthroid. Oh, and Benadryl at bedtime for insomnia.

I could post this in the medical section, but my BUDDDs are all-knowing and all-wise. So, what do you know about potassium?
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Atkins 10/24/11 @ 277.6
JUDDD 12/12/11 @ 267.8
January 2013 @ 165.0: Maintaining however feels the most comfortable with little bouts of WLM thrown in here and there.
January 2014 @ 145: Maintaining with 5:2 and/or JUDDD
May 2014: Still maintaining; taking a stab at HDE/IE
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:03 PM   #2
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Besides the foods you listed potatos are also verry high in potasium. Like a bananna has 450mg of potasium but a large baked potato has 1600 mg !
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:01 PM   #3
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I know this is a silly question, but here goes. you don't use salt substitutes do you? those are mostly potassium.

and no diuretics? that affects electrolyte balance as well.

good luck!

ps--sometimes we are dehydrated when we have blood drawn and lots of things look higher than they should. make sure to drink some water next time too.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:40 AM   #4
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I don't take diuretics. I don't use salt substitutes. I use the real thing, and liberally. I read that if sodium is low it can increase potassium in the blood. That's definitely not me.

I also make sure to drink plenty of water every day, and drank 2 full cups before my blood draw. That's a little less than I normally would have by 7:30 in the morning, but not much less.

I was looking at the foods list that has high potassium foods and they're all things I like, but don't go overboard with. I changed my calorie tracker to show potassium intake and looked over the last couple of weeks. I've been BELOW the guidelines they give for people avoiding potassium. It's just a really weird thing.

I did have a kidney stone last Friday, and impaired kidney function is named as a culprit in elevated potassium levels, so maybe that's it. I haven't been to the nephrologist in quite some time. But my kidney function looked good on my blood draw, so I really don't know.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:44 AM   #5
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My uncle just spent 5 days in the hospital for HIGH Potassium. Inaddition to what you mentioned: Spinach, Tomato, Pork chops are also high. He has kidney issues as well.

FYI, the only solution if it gets to a critical level is to hospitalize and go through massive laxatives. POOPING is the only way to rid the body of unsafe levels. He had to be there so long because then dehydration becomes a massive issue.

That being said, each morning with his breakfast...He was brought a banana! STRANGE, right?
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:46 PM   #6
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I ended up posting this on the medical board too, and was lucky to get a response which has alleviated my anxiety greatly. I was told that there are common reasons for falsely elevated potassium levels and one of the main issues is if the phlebotomist has you squeeze your hand (with a ball or whatever) and if your fist is still clenched during the needle insertion, it can cause a release of potassium from the muscles, falsely elevating the reading.

The phlebotomist DID have me squeeze a rubber peach (of all things) and I was still clenched when she inserted the needle and halfway into the draw when she told me I could relax my hand. I've since Googled "falsely elevated potassium results" and the first two articles I read support this theory. Sheesh! Nothing to worry about (most likely) especially since I was just slightly elevated.
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:22 PM   #7
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Great news! I would discuss with the doctor's office and request a re-check.
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:32 PM   #8
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Since it was only marginally elevated, I'm not going to worry about it for now, but will definitely NOT clench at my next draw and see what happens.

On the plus side, I got my results in the mail and looked over my lipid profile and (though I'm not up to date on what all the numbers mean) I think it looks pretty darn good.

Cholesterol 168
Triglycerides 51
HDL Cholesterol 58
LDL (calculated) 100
Non-HDL Cholesterol 110
**interpretive comment:
**Highest risk patient, Non-HDL Chol. = <100
**High risk patient, Non-HDL Chol. = <130
HDL Risk Facto 2.9
**interpretive comment: Risk classification - desirable

Everything else looks good too, but thought my BUDDDs might know a thing or two about cholesterol and let me know if I'm good. I'm not really sure about the interpretive comments re: Non HDL Cholesterol.
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:50 AM   #9
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Dawn the only thing I can add that has not been said is I have the other problem too low. The diuretics will drop you too low. That is what put me in the hospital last September. They had me on them for 30 years and wondered every time I dropped why I was too low. This is my first year off them and so far my pott.,level is ok. I just had blood drawn sat. With the fist like you. I find out the results Thursday. I am praying my sugar will be ok because this is the first test since being on JUDDD. Good Luck Judy
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