Potassium & Your Kidneys The Great Balancing Act, Pt. I Laxatives, Hyperkalemia & Lowering Potassium


Among the numerous minerals within your body, potassium is perhaps one of the ones you should most cautiously be monitoring. Potassium is in many different foods and this presents a challenge for kidney disease sufferers, as it necessitates a shift in diet that is not always easy for the uninitiated. This is the first in a series of videos devoted to understanding how to best balance potassium and manage the troublesome mineral whilst navigating your chronic kidney disease.

In today’s video, Robert draws upon resources presented in a recent study chronicling the use of laxatives to help alleviate severe hyperkalemia (or excess potassium levels) which has not responded to changes in diet, lifestyle and other methods.

Although laxative use can be helpful according to the study, great care needs to be exercised in pursuing this course of action. It should only be used if the hyperkalemia is extremely severe and not responding to other alternative modes of treatment. Secondly, physicians should always be consulted before using laxatives, supplements, vitamins or any over-the-counter medicines to alleviate or otherwise.

Also of note, despite the fact that you may believe you have hyperkalemia resistant to changes in diet, this may not necessarily be the case, as sometimes potassium is added in foods you don’t even know contain any. To lessen sodium in foods, some manufacturers have replaced sodium additives with potassium additives. A study was done where one out every 11 foods usually eaten by Canadian dialysis patients contained potassium additives. The potassium bioavailability of whole fruits and vegetables is lower therefore they should be included in CKD patients’ diets and this may improve their blood pressure and metabolic acidosis and decrease the chance of kidney injury without increasing potassium.

Lowering potassium requires the help of a renal dietitian who can balance restrictions with nutrition. Also important is considering the potassium amounts in medications. Many medications like ibuprofen and naproxen, diuretics and others may cause high potassium levels. Always check your regimen to ensure you’re not self-sabotaging your potassium balancing act.


Some recommended articles:

Could Higher Potassium Levels Actually Influence Long-Term Survival In People With Kidney Issues?

What Does Exercise Do To Bones In Those Living With Kidney Problems?

Exercise Improves Mental & Physical Symptoms in Those With Impaired Kidney Function

Exercise Will Benefit Your Kidney Transplant

If you are someone suffering from kidney disease, be sure to check out our website for beneficial products, diet plans, and dietary supplements.


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Don’t forget to check out our other videos:

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