Hyperkalemia is a condition in which there is an elevated amount of potassium in the blood (above 5.0 mEq/l). Potassium is needed for the normal functioning of the heart, muscles and nerves and to help transmit electrical signals throughout the nervous system. High potassium levels can cause kidney stones, cardiac arrest and death. A diet that restricts potassium and is low in saturated fats and hydrogenated oil can help reduce potassium.
Symptoms of High Potassium
In some individuals, high levels of potassium may cause no symptoms, while others have reported nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness, tingling sensations, irregular heartbeat and weak pulse. Generally, unless the rise in potassium is very rapid, symptoms of high potassium in the bloodstream are usually undetected until potassium levels reach 7.0 mEq/l or higher.
Causes of High Potassium
High levels of potassium can be caused by diet, medications, kidney failure and Addison's disease.
Diet for High Potassium
Potassium is found in meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts and in dairy products. A diet for those with high potassium levels needs to lower their intake of potassium to under 2,000 mg each day.
To follow a low potassium diet, avoid spices and herbs that contain potassium including salt substitutes, limit fruit and vegetable consumption to four servings a day of 1/2 cup each time and reduce milk intake to only 1/2 cup each day. The restriction on milk includes all types of milk, such as buttermilk, ice cream and yogurt.
Some fruits, vegetables and other foods should be completely avoided. Fruits that are very high in potassium and need to be stricken from the diet include apricots, avocados, cantaloupes, honeydews, nectarines, plantains and tangelos. Vegetables that should be completely avoided include artichokes, beans, dried peas, lentils, baked potatoes, french fries, potato chips, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, tomato paste/puree, winter squash and yams. Other foods to stay away from include chocolate candy and beverages, molasses and nuts.
About Foods High in Potassium
Foods have specific nutrients in them and more is being learned everyday about how those nutrients affect our bodies, like eating whole...
Dangers of High Potassium Levels in the Blood
A high level of potassium in your blood causes a condition called hyperkalemia. In many cases the reason for high levels of...
The Best Foods for Potassium
Potassium is an electrolyte that is essential for healthy functioning of the heart, kidneys, muscle and nervous systems. The best foods for...
Foods High in Magnesium & Potassium
Selecting more foods high in magnesium and potassium can help you consume a healthier diet to lower your risk for chronic conditions...
List of Low-Potassium Foods
A low-potassium diet is required for people who suffer from hyperkalemia. People with hyperkalemia have too much potassium in their blood. The...
Healthy Eating: Sodium & Potassium
Modern diets contain too much sodium and not enough potassium. Learn more about getting proper sodium and potassium levels with tips from...
Diet to Lower Potassium Levels
If you have kidney problems, your doctor may have recommended that you start a low-potassium diet to help you maintain normal heart...
Diet for High Potassium and High Cholesterol Patients
Patients with high potassium and high cholesterol levels are at greater risk for conditions like heart disease. High potassium can also cause...
Low Potassium Diet Plan
A low-potassium diet plan can be considered a vegetarian diet since meat of all varieties is excluded. It is important to know...