Overcoming K+

Potassium ions  (K+) have dominated my health over the past week – the battle to bring the values down have been protracted and in the end it has been suppressed to sensible values.

But I must remain vigilant

  1. Drinking lots of water is one thing I need to do – 3L per day is my target each day. The more I drink, the more I need the loo, the more I flush the kidneys, the better they get.  They are pleased with the urine production, though I don’t think I’ve ever been to the loo so much as I have this past week.
  2. A low potassium diet is vital  and once home there are restrictions on the foods I can eat – this will be easier in some ways than picking and choosing from the hospital menu.

A guide to reducing Potassium in  the Diet

Low Potassium Higher Potassium High Potassium
Food Type  Choose Maximum Portion Size Avoid
 Starchy – try to include in each meal
  • Bread
  • Chapatti
  • Noodles
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Cereal (Rice Krispies, Cornflakes)
  • Potatoes (150g boiled – then either mashed, roasted, chipped or sautéed
  • Do not steam or microwave or use a pressure cooker  – throw cooking water away 
  • Chips (unless pre-boiled)
  • Roast potato
  • Croquette Potato
  • Jacket Potato
  • Potato Waffles
  • Cereals with dried fruit , chocolate or nuts
  • Fruit ‘n’ Fibre
  • Muesli
  • Coco Pops
 Meat / Poultry
  • 4oz (113g) main
  • 2oz (57g) snack
 Beans / Pulses
  • Instead of meat up to 3 Tbsp 
  • Not as an accompaniment 
Dairy Products 
  •  Eggs
  • Cheese 
  •  Yoghurt up to 2 pots / week
  • Milk up to 1/3 pint (200ml) / day
 Soup  
  •  All soups – packet / tinned / homemade
 Snacks
  •  Corn / Maize / Wheat
  • Tortillas
  • Quavers
  • Bread Sticks
  • Popcorn
  • Plain Biscuits
  • Shortbread
  • Madeira
  • Sponge Cake
 
  •  Potato Crisps
  • Nuts (all)
  • Bombay Mix
  • Chocolate
  • Biscuits made with dried fruit or nuts
 Sweets
  •  Boiled Sweets
  • Jelly Sweets
  • Mints
  •  Chocolate
  • Toffee
  • Fudge
 Condiments / Seasonings
  •  Fresh Herbs
  • Pepper
  •  Dried Herbs
    (1 pinch)
  • Apple Sauce (1tbsp)
  • Cranberry Sauce (1 tsp)
  •  Salt Substitutes (LoSalt)
 Drinks
  •  Diluted squash / cordial
  • Fizzy Drinks
  • Spirits
  • Tea
  •  Coffee (1 cup / day)
  • Wine / Beer / Stout ( 1 glass / day)
  •  All fruit juices
  • High Juice Drinks
  • Blackcurrant Juices
  • Chocolate / Cocoa
  • Malted Milks

Fruit and Veg

 Lower Potassium  Higher Potassium
 Portion Size  Avoid
Vegetables

Up to 2 portions / day from lower potassium list

Vegetables should be boiled and the water thrown away

Do not steam, use a microwave or pressure cooker 

  •  Asparagus – 4 spears
  • Aubergine
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Carrot
  • Courgettw
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Red Pepper
  • Leeks
  • Mangetout
  • Marrow
  • Mushrooms (canned)
  • Onion
  • Peas
  • Runner Beans
  • Spring Greens
  • Swede
  • Baby Sweetcorn
  • Turnip 
  •  Artichoke
  • Baked Beans
  • Beetroot (Raw / boiled)
  • Broad Beans
  • Butternut Squash
  • Celeriac
  • Chard
  • MushroomsParsnips
  • Red Kidney Beans
  • Spinach
  • Sweetcorn
  • Vegetable Juices
  • Water Chestnuts
Tomatoes   A couple of slices in a sandwich is fine. 

Tomato dishes must be served with  Rice, Pasta or Bread

Must not be served with potatoes and no potatoes to be eaten on the same day as tomatoes
 Fruit

Up to 2 portions / day from lower list

  • Apples (1)
  • Blueberries (20)
  • Blackberries (15)
  • Cherries (12)
  • Clementines (2)
  • Cranberries (20)
  • Fig (1)
  • Gooseberries (12)
  • Grapes (15)
  • Grapefruit (1/2)
  • Kiwi (1)
  • Melon (water or galia) (1 slice)
  • Nectarine (1)
  • Oranges (1 small)
  •  Peaches (1)
  • Pears (1)
  • Pimeapple (2 slices)
  • Plums (1)
  • Raspberries (15)
  • Strawberries(8)
  • Tangerines / satsumas(1)
  • Tinned Fruit (1 small tin – juice drained)
  •  Apricot
  • Avocado
  • Blackcurrants
  • Damsons
  • Dried Fruit (all)
  • Elderberries
  • Guava
  • Mangoes
  • Melon (Canteloupe / Honeydew)
  • Papaya
  • Pomegranate
  • Redcurrants
  • Rhubarb
  • Sharon Fruit

Hot off the press – Potassium levels are now down to 4.8 and I am likely to be released tomorrow – subject to further blood tests in the morning.

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