In this video how to tell if your potassium
is too high or too low how to manage potassium levels and how to use potassium to balance
sodium levels And I’m super excited to present you this
video because really a lot of people are asking me hey Katherine am I getting too much potassium
or maybe too little potassium and how can I tell
Don’t worry I’m here to make things as easy and comprehensible as possible and to give
you all the answers you need Hello how are your kidneys doing this is Katherine
welcome to 00Kidney don’t forget to like and subscribe
Most kidney patients have either too low potassium or too high potassium and this is absolutely
not their fault When chronic kidney disease is present or
there’s a kidney damage of any kind including acute kidney failure the chances of having
the wrong potassium levels are very high and very dangerous
This depends on a lot of factors like GFR diet and if you are on dialysis
And if you have already been googling about how to lower potassium levels and what foods
are good for renal diet etcetera you may already know that there are a lot of sites and video
talking about this topic But there’s also a lot of misinformation and
a lot of those “how to guides” are not entirely suitable for kidney patients
This is because this topic is complicated and depending on the stage of kidney disease
you may be prone to hyperkalemia meaning too much potassium or hypokalemia too little potassium
But don’t worry in the next few minutes I’ll clear things up and you’ll see that getting
the correct amount of potassium in your kidney diet will be easy and beneficial for the health
of your kidneys The first thing to get right is that not everyone
with kidney problems needs to reduce their potassium levels There’s in fact a chance
that you need to get more of it Potassium is very important it’s an essential
mineral Essential means that the body cannot synthetize
it by its own and it needs it from foods Potassium is also an electrolyte meaning that
the body uses it to conduct the electricity needed for several vital functions like nerve
signals and muscle contraction including those of the heart
This means that a severe unbalance in the potassium levels can even cause the heart
to stop More on how to prevent this in a moment Potassium is also what regulates the intracellular
fluid balance of the body The body needs a perfect balance of fluids potassium and sodium
to function This balance can also affect the health of the kidneys
A lot of people eat too much sodium and too little potassium
This is very common since healthy foods are rich in potassium while junk foods and processed
foods are full of salt and sodium So if you have low levels of potassium very
healthy foods rich in potassium that you can add to your diet include spinaches potatoes
and sweet potatoes oranges kiwis bananas and dark chocolate
Now kidney patients are often told to limit the potassium intake but this is only helpful
when the kidneys are not working enough to filter the potassium from the blood and the
person is still not on dialysis Usually people with CKD chronic kidney disease
up to stage 3 and GFR above 40 or 50 are still able to get rid of the excess of potassium
through their kidneys GFR means glomeruli filtration rate and tells us in percentage
how much our kidneys are working So when the kidneys are still working at 40
or 50 percent the potassium is usually still filtered well enough
Unfortunately GFR numbers can fluctuate and potassium levels can go up or down in a short
amount of time so if you have any doubts get checked for your potassium levels
Patients in advanced stages of chronic kidney disease are always on a low potassium diet
Usually is your doctor that will tell you when to start managing your diet to reduce
potassium intake Unfortunately we all know that this is not always the case and a lot
of people have to schedule their tests by their own and to study their diets all by
themselves Now what I usually tell people is to listen
to their body and to gradually take steps to become healthier
But I’m also strongly recommending you to get checked regularly especially for potassium
levels This is because the symptoms of hyperkalemia
levels of potassium too high can be really dangerous
Especially for kidney patients In the advanced stages of CKD stage 4 and 5 the kidneys can
no longer remove excess potassium from the blood
Symptoms of hyperkalemia include fatigue nausea vomiting chest pain trouble breathing and
a feeling of numbness or tingling Now most of these symptoms are to be expected
in stage 4 or 5 so they are not enough to tell that there’s a problem with potassium
This is why getting checked is important But there are other symptoms only present
when the potassium levels are starting to become dangerous
Palpitations irregular heartbeat and even heart failure and heart attack
So if you need to keep in check the levels of potassium there are some foods that you
should absolutely avoid First of all there are processed foods FDA
regulations do not require food producers to label potassium levels so canned and processed
foods are usually full of sodium too Just avoid them
Salt substitutes are also full of potassium Also avoid orange juice and other juices tomatoes
spinach potatoes etcetera There are also other foods In a moment I’ll
show you the full list on the screen There’s a link in description to the full
list it’s on newhopeforkidneypatientscom our website You can download it from there so
you can consult it when you need it This is all for today If you liked this video
please like and leave a comment Thank you for watching