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Potassium Deficiencies

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I was recently diagnosed with a severe potassium deficiency that landed me in the hospital for a couple of days.
I have been doing some research on different foods I can add to my diet to help me improve my situation. I am taking Slow K and another supplement but my doctor suggested the nutritional approach is the best because your body is more likely to absorb the nutrient better.
So I am picking every one's brain for food ideas...
I know two best sources are bananas and beets() any other suggestions would be appreciated..
post #2 of 13
http://www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/food...sium-foods.htm
post #3 of 13
Potatoes are one of the best sources of Potassium, and they can be prepared in so many ways!
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Potatoes are one of the best sources of Potassium, and they can be prepared in so many ways!
That I didn't know so thanks because I could live on potatoes every meal...
post #5 of 13
Unless you eat a very high sodium diet or eat the poorest foods possible you should be able to maintain potassium levels. Please ask your doctor about possible underlying causes so you don't end up in the hospital again.


No one wants to do anything with mine because it would take more tests than the doctors around here want to do. I'm usually at a 3 or 3.1 which leaves no buffer if I get sick (already been at a 2.7 before). Supplements, eating veggies and fruit high in potassium, and even four days of lactated ringers do no good. It hasn't killed me, yet, so a 3 must be ok.

Tomatoes - and tomato containing foods are good, as are sweet potatoes. A good plus about sweet potatoes is that they're cheap and easy to cook or work into other foods.
post #6 of 13
I'm sure your doctor mentioned water intake, but I will share this story. I knew someone who had low potassium problems for a while, lots of tests, no answers. When she landed in the ICU, it was discovered that she was drinking 5-7 liters of plain water each day because she thought more water intake = better health. In fact, she was washing out all of her electrolytes! Ironically, for all the doctor visits and tests, no one asked this simple question of water intake. She was limited to 3 liters/day and the problem resolved. Before her problem was identified, they also looked for any potassium depleting meds/suppliments she was taking (none) and kidney function (normal). I hope a simple answer/solution is found for your deficiency.
post #7 of 13
My potassium levels were dropping lately due to those diuretics I was on. I wasn't at a dangerous low, but certainly wiped out, and having really weird dreams.

Vitamin Water makes a potassium supplemented water (the fruit punch flavor, dark purple label) that I'm very fond of, so I'd just down one or so of those a day, in addition to trying to eat a bit higher in potassium. Prunes have a decent amount, if you're like me and actually like prunes.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Unless you eat a very high sodium diet or eat the poorest foods possible you should be able to maintain potassium levels. Please ask your doctor about possible underlying causes so you don't end up in the hospital again.


No one wants to do anything with mine because it would take more tests than the doctors around here want to do. I'm usually at a 3 or 3.1 which leaves no buffer if I get sick (already been at a 2.7 before). Supplements, eating veggies and fruit high in potassium, and even four days of lactated ringers do no good. It hasn't killed me, yet, so a 3 must be ok.

Tomatoes - and tomato containing foods are good, as are sweet potatoes. A good plus about sweet potatoes is that they're cheap and easy to cook or work into other foods.
I know what the underlying cause is, I have been dealing with a blood conditon for several years now. It has never been a matter of neglect of my diet it is another problem all together..
However I am now going to try to load my diet with even more then before simply because supplements don't work for me and I hate getting stuck with IV's....
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandtigress View Post
Prunes have a decent amount, if you're like me and actually like prunes.
Just in case you don't like prunes, raisins have even more K in them.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tierre0 View Post
I know what the underlying cause is, I have been dealing with a blood conditon for several years now. It has never been a matter of neglect of my diet it is another problem all together..
However I am now going to try to load my diet with even more then before simply because supplements don't work for me and I hate getting stuck with IV's....
I never said it was your diet, but malnutrition is one of the causes and was merely listing it as an unlikely example in your case. You're not poor (you have a computer and internet connection), nor do you live in a third world country...

I hope they keep a close eye on you. Though those lactated ringers burn, IV (or some get PICCs put in for it) fluids and electrolytes are the only thing that helps many people - where supplements and diet has failed. Hopefully it doesn't come to that for you.

catsndogs - I doubt anyone is drinking that much water! I'm supposed to drink at least 2liters, preferably 3 and be on a high salt diet. I can't do it because it will quickly drive my potassium down. There is a chance of kidney problems , and highly likely something isn't right with the renin-angiotensin system.

Sandtigress - Do you know they could have put you on a potassium sparing diuretic? Yep, they definitely goofed on that one.
post #11 of 13
Just as a hopefully not too irrelevent story here: I know a dog who has problems with potassium deficiency. She had low energy for a while, then one day had muscle spasms and collasped as I was walking her. Gave everyone a fright. Her problem is easily solved by adding lactose free skim milk to her diet, which she just loves.
Would upping your milk intake help you too?
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post

Sandtigress - Do you know they could have put you on a potassium sparing diuretic? Yep, they definitely goofed on that one.

I believe they did, actually, but I don't think that "sparing" is perfect. Like I said, my levels were low, but not dangerously so. Upping the potassium in my diet just little bit took care of it.
post #13 of 13
When I was younger, I had low potassium and had to be on potassium pills. I don't have that problem much anymore because I eat bananas when I can that are high in potassium.
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