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High Potassium

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 433
Joined: May 2011

I had blood work a couple of days ago, and my PCP called me today to tell the my Potassium was high. He did not say how high. He recommended me to not eat much of food high in Potassium, which is hard since leafy greens are high in Potassium and I eat lot of it.

I have read that chemo can cause this, but also a malfunctioning kidney can be the cause.
I also read that an internal bleeding could be the cause of Hypokalemia.

Have anyone have had high Potassium before?

txtrisha55's picture
txtrisha55
Posts: 684
Joined: Apr 2011

Sorry but throughout my chemo treatment my potassium kept going down, no matter what I did, eating, taking prescription potassium or taking supplements. They finally gave me a four hour IV of potassium my last chemo treatment. Chemo had the reverse effect on me.

Good Luck on lowering your potassium.

california_artist's picture
california_artist
Posts: 865
Joined: Jan 2009

There is good news and bad news re the high potassium.

Cancer hates potassium, that's the good part.
High potassium can kill you way before the cancer does.

So I googled around trying to find foods that bind with potassium, I recommend you read this site, print it out, figure out what you would like your doc to explain/clarify for you and see where you are then.

You should find out how high is high. Can you get your medical records. Usually they are free but you need an ID.

Find out what the symptoms are for danger. This is very important. And for all of those of you who have mentioned I seem to be bossy, in this case you are absolutely right. I am very concerned for Fayard. So, there's that.

I had low potassium, very low, which not only promotes cancer but can stop your heart.I got a call too. It was low enough to cause cardiac arrest.

So, he called or she(your doc) because this is a very important situation and I guess he wanted to be covered. Make an appointment and ask a lot of questions, til you get it and have a course of action.You should be able to ask to speak with the doc prior to your appt also. Be persistent. You are paying for their service. You are the employer, but they need to serve you correctly.

Site
http://www.faqs.org/health/topics/28/Potassium-imbalance.html
This is way too tricky for me to even take a stab at figuring out.

Love ya take care, do not dilly dally

Claudia

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 433
Joined: May 2011

Thank you for your input.
When the doctor called me, I was in the middle of working.
I told him I wanted a copy of the results, and that I would give him a call if I had questions.

I am expecting the results between Monday and Tuesday.
He also mentioned something else as being a little high, but again he called me when I was not focus on him.

I am going to check the page you sent me and wait for the results, so I can write down my questions when I call my doc next week.

Gracias!

JoAnnDK
Posts: 275
Joined: Jun 2011

When I was diagnosed, I realized that I wanted all the information my doctor got to also come to me. So I got myself an eFAX number (faxes come to my e-mailbox) and whenever I have any tests or scans, my fax number is right there along with the doctors' fax numbers. Oftentimes, I know my results before the doctor even calls me.

Regarding potassium....low potassium is the major cause of death for those with anorexia or bulemia. As Claudia said, low potassium can make your heart stop.. I had a niece who dropped dead at 36 from this.

Elevated potassium is called "Hyperkalemia" and I read that for diagnosis of this "the measurement of potassium needs to be repeated, as the elevation can be due to hemolysis (breakdown of red blood cells) in the first sample."

This was interesting to read: http://www.bami.us/Diet/Hyperkalemia.html

california_artist's picture
california_artist
Posts: 865
Joined: Jan 2009

Went to the site Joann recommended. Great info, here's some, but go there to read the rest:

Symptoms of Hyperkalemia (Elevated Potassium)
Mild hyperkalemia causes few, if any, symptoms. Usually, hyperkalemia is first detected when routine blood tests are performed or when a doctor notices changes on an electrocardiogram. A high level of potassium in the blood is dangerous.

It can cause the heart rhythm to become abnormal. If the level is very high, the heart can stop beating.(3)

Treatment of Hyperkalemia (Elevated Potassium)
For mild hyperkalemia, reducing the potassium intake or discontinuing drugs that prevent the kidneys from excreting potassium may be the only treatment that is needed. If the kidneys are functioning, a diuretic may be given to increase potassium excretion.
For severe hyperkalemia, immediate treatment is essential. A resin that absorbs potassium from the digestive tract and passes out of the body in the stool can be given by mouth or enema. When more rapid treatment is needed, the person may be given an intravenous solution. If these measures do not work or if a person has kidney failure, dialysis may be necessary to remove the excess potassium.(3)

Potassium-Restricted Diets
Look on labels for symbols listed as KCL, K+ or potassium and avoid these foods. Potassium may be used in some foods as a preservative or a salt substitute.
Foods and food additives that are high in potassium should be avoided (above)
Soaking or boiling vegetables and fruits in water helps reduce the potassium content.

I would probably drink more water, lots more water to help your kidneys get rid of the potassium.

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

So sorry for you to have this new worry. You need to check the labels on all your supplements, etc., & see if there's a chance you are over-dosing yourself inadvertently. But usually if potassium is out of whack (when is pretty easily kept normal through a healthy diet) it is important to get to the root cause. Maybe I missed it; did they say what you potassium # is? It doesn't have to be off much over or under the norm to require action.

For the 1st time ever, on Friday, my labs showed a LOWERED potassium level of 3.1 (normal 3.5 - 5.1) and I was immediately prescribed 'Klor-Von M10' pills & must take 3 a day. I know if my potassium number continues to drop that a potassium transfusion will be next, as really low potassium levels is life-threatening. I have to go in Monday again for new labs. These nutritional abnormalities are taken very seriously because there must be a reason for changes in basic elements that have always been normal, and your medical team needs to determine what's up. I agree that glass after glass is a good strategy for both of us, high or low.

I posted on the Ovarian Discussion Board about my emergency run to oncology Friday, an unscheduled visit because the whites of my eyes turned yellow. I won't repeat that all here; if you are interested, you can check over there, & I figure I'll post an update here after I get new labs & see my oncologist Monday. But all of my symptoms point to a bile duct obstruction which surprisingly snowballed into all kinds of other problems: platelets dropping to 64; ALT climbing to 91; and this potassium drop: all related to the obstruction. I'll be having a stent inserted this week to open up and release that trapped bile. I guess I'm saying, even seemingly small things are usually inter-related to something else, and can snowball into bigger problems. When will you have a treatment plan? Or is the rise so low that they think it will right itself? ((((Hugs))))

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 433
Joined: May 2011

You did not miss anything. The doctor did not tell me the level.
I am waiting for results to come to me on Monday.

Gracias!

carolenk's picture
carolenk
Posts: 909
Joined: Feb 2011

As someone already said, high potassium can be just because the blood was handled improperly--as in, the blood sample sat around too long before it was put in the centrifuge & spun down. Usually, the glucose goes low & the potassium goes up if the sample sat around too long.

If your sodium is low & potassium is high, that signals an adrenal problem. Sometimes cancers can produce substances that mimic hormones that can cause electrolyte imbalance. This is called paraneoplastic syndrome.

The treatment for high potassium is to induce diarrhea. Let's hope your level isn't high enough to require treatment.

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 433
Joined: May 2011

I just received my blood work results.
Potassium is just a little high, 5.9.
I am guessing it could have been something a eat on the same day.
My WBC is 5.8 and RBC is 3.57, still a little low.

I feel good, so I hope the RBC goes up by itself.
I think the last time I had a blood work, about 2 and half months ago, the RBC was the same.

Any super powerful foods out there to raise RBC?

carolenk's picture
carolenk
Posts: 909
Joined: Feb 2011

This is gonna sound weird and you did ask for suggestions so here goes: raw bone marrow. It's greasy stuff and the easiest way to get it in you is by mixing it with something else (like hummus). You have to get soup bones sliced up so you can get to the marrow. The stuff is also great for osteoporosis.

After platinum chemo, residual metal stays in the bones & depresses RBC production. I'm trying to figure out how to get platinum out my own bones besides doing chelation therapy.

Bon appetite!

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Thanks Carolen,

My mother used to like the marrow - thought it gross when I was a kid. I have osteopenia and not taking any meds. Doing weight bearing exercise. I will add the bone marrow to my diet. (My mother will be smiling down on me!).

Mary Ann

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

related to bone marrow, perhaps.....My mother always said to crush the little soft round bones in canned salmon and add them to the croquettes, that the bonwa were so good for you. Think there's any truth in that? Based on her advice, I used to steam the dozens of little fish my kids caught, steamed gutted but whole, until the bones were soft enough to crush and include in the croquettes I'd make out of the meat I was able to pick off those tiny crappies and sunnies. I thought I was adding calcium. Any idea if "Mom knew best"?

txtrisha55's picture
txtrisha55
Posts: 684
Joined: Apr 2011

My Mom passed away from a soft tissue sarcoma that had reached stage IV when I was 35 so I never got to tell her that she did now best. I am 55 now and I think back to the things she said and did when I was a kid and she did know a thing or two. She was raised in the country here in Texas, the baby girl of 12 kids, worked on the family farm, picked the crops, had to quit school in the 8th grade to help the family but she had all the common sense needed to get the job done.
She crushed the little bones in the can of salmon and added them to the croquettes, she ate the bone marrow from the bones and could make a meal off pinto beans and cornbread, she made wonderful chicken and dumplings and sage cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving. I still miss her.
Bottom line Mom did know best and I still take what advice she gave me and have passed it on to my daughter.
trish

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