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What are the causes and side-effects of high potassium in blood and diet that should be followed?

Potassium is one of the main electrolytes that the body requires for proper functioning of the nervous system and muscles, especially the heart and kidneys. Tests have indicated that if potassium level is on higher side, low potassium food is prescribed. Potassium is found in nearly all foods so extra care has to be taken. A diet providing less than 1,500mg of potassium a day is sufficient.
The effects of elevated potassium levels are related to the health of your heart. When potassium stays in your blood because your kidneys aren’t filtering it out, you may experience weakness accompanied by an irregular heartbeat.

Side Effects of High Potassium

– Nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness or tingling in the extremities and tongue.
– It can cause atherosclerosis, blood pressure problems, heart arrhythmias, and problems with the kidneys that worsen, the longer the condition persists.

Causes of High Potassium

– Acute or chronic kidney failure.
– Problems with the urinary tract.
– Glomerulonephritis.
– Lupus nephritis.
– Diabetes.
– Addison’s disease.
– Tissue trauma from surgery, burns, or other traumatic injury.

Read more: Effects of High Levels of Potassium |

Dietary Considerations

– Fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts, meat and milk are especially high in potassium. So, limit the intake accordingly.
– Include 1-2 servings of low-potassium fruit per day which includes 1 orange/peach/pear/kiwi or a handful of raspberries/strawberries/cherries or a large slice of watermelon everyday.
– Avoid fruits such as banana, apricots, coconut, melon, mango, orange juice, papaya, pomegranate, dates, figs, prunes and raisins.
– Completely avoid vegetables like beans, peas, baked potatoes/fries, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, puree and yam.
– Soya beans, soya milk or tofu are totally avoidable.
– One to two servings of low potassium meat and dairy food choices per day.
– Avoid salt substitutes or low sodium salts as these are high in potassium salts.
– Chocolates, nuts, molasses and jaggery are to be completely avoided.
– Leaching vegetables like potatoes removes much of the calcium and potassium. Peel the potato and cut into small pieces. Cover completely with water and keep in refrigerator for at least four hours. Drain well and cook in fresh water.

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