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Potassium


  1. Where can I find a dietitian who works with kidney disease or high potassium blood levels? Answer
  2. My friend decided to take large doses of potassium. Now she has a terrible case of consitpation. What are the side effects of too much potassium? Answer
  3. If you eat a lot of fruit before your menstrual cycle, do you retain as much water because the potassium does something to the salt? Answer
  4. I have been taking Lasix, a high blood pressure pill. The bottle says I should drink orange juice or eat a banana every day for potassium. What else has potassium? Answer
  5. Does bananas have more potassium when they are green or less when they are ripe. Answer


Where can I find a dietitian who works with kidney disease or high potassium blood levels?

The Renal Dietitians dietetic practice group of the American Dietetic Association specializes in working with patients with kidney disease and elevated blood potassium levels. You can find a dietitian at the American Dietetic Association. Include your zip code or city / state and the type of service you want (individual consultation) with expertise in renal (kidney) nutrition.


My friend has decided to take large doses of potassium for some reason or another. Now, she has a terrible case of constipation. What are the side effects of too much potassium? Thank you.

Your kidneys regulate potassium and depending on the levels in her blood and inside her cells, she is probably excreting the excess in her urine if she is taking a potassium pill. If however, the potassium were injected into her blood, it could cause her heart to suddenly stop (cardiac arrest).

Don't know why she would be taking potassium unless she has been vomiting, had diarrhea or sweating excessively due to heat. Do you suspect she may have an eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia)? Is she vomiting or taking laxatives? This could cause a potassium deficiency.

Potassium doesn't cause constipation. The majority of stool a person produces comes from the food they eat; very little comes from cells the body sloughs off and replaces. Constipation can be caused by a low fiber diet, inadequate water intake or some drugs cause constipation. Is she on any prescribed or over the counter medications?


If you eat a lot of fruit before your menstrual cycle, do you retain as much water because the potassium does something to the salt? Maybe I should eat more fruit.

A lot of fruit added to your diet by itself will not reduce premenstrual fluid retention. A lower salt intake will help reduce that bloated feeling.

Sodium is outside the cells in your body and potassium is found inside the cells. A higher sodium intake by women can increase fluid retention outside your cells. Increasing your potassium intake will not cause that extra sodium to be excreted. If you have normally functioning kidneys, the extra potassium will be excreted.

Popular women's magazines often have articles on losing five or ten pounds. Some of these diets just deal with water weight loss and not fat weight loss. If you limit salt, drink at least eight glasses of water and eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as the articles advise, you may limit your sodium intake. Remember to take a look at your total nutrient intake as well. If your nutrient intake is out of balance, such as a low protein, you may have additional fluid moving into your tissues. Protein affects the pressure in your blood vessels and may cause a leaking of fluid from the blood into the surrounding tissue.

You should not look to just your diet as a cause of premenstrual fluid retention. Hormonally, your body is retaining water the last two weeks before your menses. Your body is preparing itself for pregnancy every month. Progesterone is the hormone that helps build up the uterine lining to support a pregnancy. When pregnancy does not occur, progesterone decreases, the lining sloughs off and with it the additional fluid that your body retained. You will probably lose the water weight after your monthly menses is over.

A balanced diet including a variety of foods from the Food Guide Pyramid -meat, milk, bread, fruit, vegetables, fats - contain the nutrients you need. Also, if you limit salt intake at the table, you can lower the amount of sodium in your diet.


I have been taking Lasix, a high blood pressure pill, every other day. Now my doctor has me taking one every day. The bottle of pills says I should drink orange juice or eat a banana every day for potassium. I like bananas, but orange juice is too acid for my stomach. What else has potassium in it?

Foods high in potassium are: one-half cup of orange juice, one large banana, one baked potato, one-half winter squash, one cup tomato juice, one cup vegetable juice cocktail, one-half cup avocado, one-half cup cooked dried beans and one tablespoon black strap molasses.

Additional foods that are moderately high in potassium are: 100% bran cereals, dried fruit (apricots, dates, peaches, figs, prunes, raisins), meat (beef, chicken, halibut, pork, salmon, veal), cantaloupe, milk, grapefruit juice, lima beans, mushrooms (canned), parsnips, peanut butter, pineapple juice, plums, spinach, watermelon, yams and yogurt. A wide variety of foods have potassium in them. If you eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods, you would normally eat enough foods high in potassium.

You have an increased need for potassium because Lasix forces your body to excrete excess water to help decrease your blood pressure. When the water is excreted, Lasix causes potassium to go with it.

Potassium is necessary for water balance and is found inside of every cell in your body. The potassium inside the cells balances the sodium outside the cells to maintain pressure and water balance in the body. Otherwise, if either the potassium or the sodium is high or either low or one high and the other one low, a pooling of water or dehydration can occur.

Symptoms of low potassium levels are tiredness, muscle weakness and heart muscle irritability. As the dosage of a blood pressure pill is increased, the likelihood of low blood potassium will increase. This loss of potassium only occurs with some of the medications prescribed by doctors for high blood pressure.

Because you are taking Lasix, which does cause a loss of potassium, you should have two servings from the above list of high potassium foods. You should also be aware of low potassium symptoms that last for days. Your doctor will probably test your blood potassium periodically while you are on Lasix.

Lastly, orange juice is not as acidic as the hydrochloric acid in your stomach. Orange juice helps to neutralize the acid in your stomach that your body secretes to digest food you eat. The only food more acidic than your stomach acid is lime juice. However, if you feel that you don't tolerate orange juice, don't drink it.


Does bananas have more potassium when they are green or less when they are ripe? I eat a banana every morning.

The potassium of green and ripe bananas is the same. Bananas and orange juice are very good sources of potassium.






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