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What You Need to Know About a High Potassium Diet and Kidney Disease

Potassium is an element that is very important for how our bodies work. But people with kidney problems must closely watch how much potassium they take in. This is because the kidneys, which are in charge of getting rid of extra fluids and waste from the blood, also control ions like potassium. When the kidneys aren't working right, they can't control potassium levels as well as they should, leading to dangerously high amounts of potassium in the blood.

Potassium and Kidney Disease: What You Need to Know

People with kidney disease often have less kidney function, making it hard to keep their potassium levels in check. Some medicines used to treat kidney disease can also cause potassium levels to rise, which makes the problem even worse.

Most people's potassium levels rise slowly over weeks or months, making them tired or sick. If your potassium level rises quickly, you might have trouble breathing, chest pain, or irregular heartbeats. This problem, called hyperkalemia, must be treated immediately by a doctor.

Managing Potassium Build-up

Changing what you eat is one way to deal with too much potassium. You can make better choices about what to eat if you know which foods are high in potassium and which are low. It's also important to watch how much you eat because too much of even low-potassium foods can raise your levels.

Foods that you should eat

If a measure of food has 200 milligrams (mg) or less of potassium, it is said to be low in potassium. Berries, apples, oranges, pineapple, cranberries and cranberry juice, cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, green beans, white rice, white pasta, white bread, egg whites, and tuna in water are all examples of low-potassium foods.

Foods to avoid or eat less

High-potassium foods have more than 200 mg of potassium per serving. Bananas, avocados, raisins, prunes, prune juice, oranges, tomatoes, lentils, spinach, Brussels sprouts, split peas, regular and sweet potatoes, pumpkin, dried apricots, milk, bran products, low-sodium cheese, nuts, beef, chicken are all foods that you should limit or avoid. If you have kidney problems, getting less than 2,000 mg of potassium per day is usually best. You can eat small amounts of foods with more potassium depending on how well your kidneys work. Always ask your doctor for help that is right for you.

Potassium is taken out of fruits and vegetables

Leaching is a method that can be used to lower the amount of potassium in some foods. For example, the potassium in canned foods tends to get into the water or juice in the can.

When you drink this juice, your potassium level can go up. Also, the juice generally has a lot of salt, which can make your body hold on to water and cause kidney problems. To lower the amount of potassium in canned foods, drain the juice and throw it away, then rinse the canned food with water.

When you have kidney disease, it can be hard to handle a high-potassium diet, but it's essential for staying healthy. Always talk to your doctor or nurse to develop a food plan that fits your needs.

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