Are you suffering from hyperkalemia? If yes, you should probably be keeping a check on your diet. I will be suggesting a few diet tips for hyperkalemia in this article.
Hyperkalemia is a condition where the potassium levels in the blood are frequently high. Renal failure, insulin deficiency, aldosteronism, Cushing’s syndrome, glomerulonephritis, lupus nephritis and urolithiasis are a few reasons, which prevent the excess potassium in the body from getting excreted, thereby leading to higher potassium levels in the blood. If your potassium levels are high, proper care should be taken, or else it will lead to conditions like cardiac arrest, high urine pH, metabolic acidosis or arrhythmias.
Symptoms of Hyperkalemia
Before I start with the low potassium diet tips, I would be stating the symptoms of hyperkalemia. This would help you to identify whether you have high potassium levels in the blood or not. It can also be asymptomatic in nature, which means that they might show no symptoms at all. Even if you have all the symptoms, you should undergo a blood test to confirm hyperkalemia. The symptoms are as follows:
- Exhaustion and malaise
- Palpitation, irregular or absent heartbeats
- Muscle weakness, tingling sensation or numbness
Tips on Diet for Hyperkalemia
|To Eat||Not To Eat|
What Should I Avoid?: When you have hyperkalemia, it is more important to know what you should not consume. You should avoid foods that have a high potassium content. A list of potassium rich foods is present in the box to your RIGHT. Now, if you observe the list, you will find that there are a few things that you would not like avoiding. Chocolates can be one of them. In such cases, I would advice you to moderate the intake of such foods. It would not cause you harm if you consume one of your favorite potassium rich foods once in two weeks. Although you can eat potato, you should avoid baked potato with skin, and roasted potatoes are a complete no-no. Most of the substitutes of salt have potassium chloride. In fact, potassium chloride forms the primary ingredient in such salt substitutes. Thus, such substitutes will increase your potassium levels, if consumed. Ruthmol and LoSalt are two of the high potassium salt substitutes.
Can I Cheat?: Yes you can, but be careful that you do not overeat. As I mentioned earlier, I know it is difficult to avoid your favorite foods. The key here is to minimize the quantity of serving of the high potassium foods. The best way to limit your serving size is to see whether that serving fits in your palm. If it fits in your palm, you can have it. Just have a serving of one potassium rich food a day. Here are my favorite hyperkalemia diet-cheat techniques:
- Potassium gets dissolved in the water. Boil your vegetables in water and then throw the cooking water. You will get rid of some of the potassium in your vegetables.
- Go for black tea instead of coffee, squash instead of chocolate drinks, and dry white wine instead of cider.
- Have plain biscuits instead of toffee, and plain cakes instead of chocolates.
- Instead of using potassium rich salt substitutes, go for spices to add flavor to your meal.
If hyperkalemia is caused due to renal failure or any other such reason, then the illness should be treated first, this will automatically bring down your potassium levels. If the rise in your potassium levels are due to your diet habits, then it can be regulated by minimizing the intake of potassium rich foods. As mentioned earlier, the number of servings of food also makes a difference. In order to treat hyperkalemia, you should focus on its cause.