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My potassium level is 5.8 - HELP!

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posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 08:51 AM
I had bloodwork done at my doctor's last week and got a call today that my potassium level is off. The nurse tried to calm my fears, but when I looked up the level online - 5.8 - it was pretty close to what others posted about and could be life-threatening.

They want me to return to their office for another blood draw next week but I am scared. I was reading that abnormally high potassium levels can indicate kidney damage (I am a type-2 diabetic), heart issues, etc.

A person with levels high enough can drop dead from heart failure.

What a way to start my day.....I am extremely scared and can't function. Doing my chores around the house is very difficult and I don't know how I will cope, having to wait another week to have this test done. I am very scared. I don't know what to do.

I can't think of anything else I'm doing that can cause this, except I have been eating large amounts of vegetable protein (like that veggie beef crumble) as it's very low carb. Trying to get my blood sugar levels down.


posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 08:58 AM
a reply to: dianajune
For now, avoid these foods that are high in potassium:

But.... let the doctor be the final word. They can prescribe medication to bring the levels down.

posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 09:03 AM
a reply to: dianajune

I'm no doctor, but I remember reading that your potassium levels are directly effected by, correlated to, your calcium and magnesium levels, and vice versa. They are legs to the same stool, so to speak. Perhaps, look into how to balance these nutrients.

edit on 24-10-2017 by windword because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 09:03 AM
a reply to: dianajune

Firstly, arm yourself with all relevant information.
(Assuming an acurate diagnosis)

The more you learn, the less it will be scary.

There would be forums with patient testamonials and relevant to you and your condition.

Don't be frozen with fear. Do your homework and be informed and in control.

We live in the information age ... all knowledge is at your fingertips or mouse interaction.

I wish you all the best in your new research and health ... stay positive !

posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 09:04 AM
a reply to: dianajune

We share similar physical maladies. Blood work can be highly irregular from time to time.

ONE thing I've learned is not to be too concerned, especially if the docs aren't making it an emergency.

Many times the second blood test isn't out of whack. I've been referred to hematologists 3 times for platelet count and every time they used their own lab and things were 'NORMAL'.

Your stress level about this is far more damaging than the potential malady. Yes,you could have a heart attack - I've had two of them. A few years ago my best friend was diagnosed with cancer - he stressed so bad about it, he died before they could even get a treatment plan - he had no insurance and actually worried himself to death.

Stay calm and wait for next week, please.


posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 09:10 AM
a reply to: dianajune

Good advises above indeed. Just my 2 cents if you are a smoker stop immediately. Studies shows lately that cigarette smoking is elevating the potassium levels.

posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 09:10 AM
i admit i dont know anything about this condition but a poster above i think is onto something about the interplay between potassium levels and calcium and magnesium levels.

Generally speaking the average person has very low magnesium intake on a daily basis. You would do well to do an inventory on how much magnesium you are getting in your diet. Magnesium is VERY well tolerated in very high doses. The daily recommendations are usually not to exceed 1,200 mg or thereabouts but if its spaced out you can do much more.

Magnesium is a critically important nutrient. They give it to women sometimes during childbirth when blood pressure gets to very dangerous levels because one of the things magnesium does is relax blood vessels. Its also very important for proper nerve function.

I urge you to start learning some basic supplemental nutrition and if possible get yourself a nutrition or dietician. Most docs dont take more than one semester/quarter in nutrition so dont expect to get anything useful from most of them.

Be your own advocate and dont settle for anyone, even a doctor, trying to tell you its no big deal.

posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 09:18 AM
a reply to: dianajune

Don't panic, hi potassium is not lethal , it creates an imbalance that can lead to conditions if not addressed. These conditions are not fatal either. Its only higher levels over long periods of time that can be troublesome. One test result isn't something to cause alarm.

Certain meds can cause higher levels of Potassium in the blood.

The doctors want to be sure the blood testing was accurate, If they order new testing then relax, they think its an anomaly too. Follow instructions to not eat or drink for at east twelve hours beforehand.

They will discover the problem and advise you.

For now read the labels of foods you buy, the levels of Sodium and Potassium appear there, regard those.

They want me to return to their office for another blood draw next week but I am scared.

If it was that life threatening, they would have called you in right away instead of 'next week'.

You can go do your chores now.

posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 09:23 AM
High potassium levels can be a symptom of kidney failure, so make sure that the doctor stays on this for you.

posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 09:26 AM
a reply to: dianajune

I have been faced with many different ailments. I am okay right now, but I have been there. The first thing you need to stop doing is freaking yourself out, and take a deep breath. No more internet searches. You will assume the worst. Avoid anything with potassium, someone already gave you a list of some foods, but Yogurt is also high in potassium. Remember deep breath, and no googling it!

posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 09:29 AM
a reply to: dianajune

I would take the recommendations of Butcherguy. That sounds like sound advice. I know it's probably difficult to do, but try not to stress yourself out. I'm sure there's medication that will help reduce your potassium levels along with avoiding foods high in potassium.

posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 09:39 AM
a reply to: dianajune

From what I'm reading you have really been having a rough time lately.
I have nothing to offer in way of help except recalling my Mom having high potassium levels a few times and I believe (if memory serves correctly) it turned out being UTIs and/or kidney infections. She had those often in later life, I believe due to having only one.
I hope it turns out to be nothing serious as you likely need a break AND some good news for a change.
Good luck to you!

posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 09:50 AM
a reply to: dianajune

Ummmm, if it was a major issue your doctor wouldn’t send you home and say see you next week. Step away from the internet and quit self diagnosing

posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 09:52 AM
You should be in hospital for it if it gets higher

Simple as

It’s a medical emergency.

Basically anything about 6.0 can cause cardiac arrhythmias and cardiac arrest, anything above 6.5 you should definitely be in a hospital. Being diabetic is gong to through your potassium levels off potentially as well depending on what type of insulin you take and how good your control is.

Our treatment for it is usually giving calcium-gluconate and then something like actrapid with 50% dextrose and if your diabetic probably a sliding scale if its required.

I would think rechecking in a week is a little long.

In the meantime avoid the foods listed above, also avoid that low sodium salt stuff, its notorious for playing havoc with diabetics potassium levels, keep a eye on your blood sugars and if you can your ketones, if you feel any odd sensations in your chest head to a ER. Potassium can change quite quick and like I say untreated its a medical emergency.
edit on 24-10-2017 by OtherSideOfTheCoin because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 10:21 AM
Are you getting regular, cardio level exercise? If not, you should begin working this into your schedule. Lack of cardio activity makes your blood do unhealthy things at times. With regular exercise, potassium, blood sugar and blood pressure are better controlled over time.

If you are, then it may be your unorthodox diet. Our bodies can be vegetarian or even vegan, but they really arent designed for it so you have to be more attentive to exactly what you are eating. Or maybe youd just want to add a little more carbs. If your body runs out of carb energy, it can affect various blood levels while it switches to fat burn.

posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 10:27 AM
a reply to: pirhanna

I would not recommend starting a new cardio work out when you might be having new cardiac arrhythmias.

Really not a good idea.

Yes regular exercise is important but probably not the best thing to start doing when your heart is potentially under strain from electrolyte imbalances.
edit on 24-10-2017 by OtherSideOfTheCoin because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 10:34 AM
a reply to: dianajune

The very last thing you should be doing, with regard to an electrolyte that directly affects the performance of something as detrimental as cardiac muscle, is looking online for help.

You don't believe what the physician's staff, who can see your chart and all of the other test results, understand the correlation to your own, very unique medical status (no test value means precisely the same thing in everyone), and who are relaying a message from the ordering physician in response to your concerns. Yet you're seeking advice from strangers on the internet who don't know you, haven't seen nor been shown how to accurately interpret your personal test results and how they relate to your apparently numerous ongoing medical issues.

The best person to discuss your concerns with and obtain medical advice from is the person who ordered the tests. Get off the internet and go speak to the physician. And if you still feel that a trained medical professional knows less than strangers on the internet, ffs, leave there and go seek a different medical professional.

When a person trusts unqualified medical advice over what their own care providers are telling them, there's a serious problem. Don't play with your health like that. A sudden drop in that particular level from tinkering with it can be just as fatal as an increase.

posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 10:51 AM
a reply to: intrptr

Don't panic, hi potassium is not lethal

errrr it is actually.....

posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 11:03 AM
Yeah that's high but can be reduced rather quickly so chill a bit. Mine went over 6 last month but got it down to an acceptable 5.4 last week. 5.2 is decent but baby steps I guess. Talk to your doctor about Kayexcelate. Works well to reduce potassium but damn it tastes like #. Not do much taste but it's chalky as hell. Blech. I found that if you mix it with less water and chug it as quick as possible it's much better than nursing it. Oh and mix it well.

posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 11:21 AM
First, take a deep breath... and then understand that sometimes test results show a "false" high, which is probably why the doctor wants to check your levels again in a week. If the doctor had detected any issues with your kidneys or your heart, which are two big red flags with high potassium levels, I'm sure appropriate steps would have been taken. Since those steps were not taken, the doctor probably didn't see any immediate danger. Remember that the doctor already has a better grasp on this than you. It's new for you -- but not for him/her!

You can find some good information at the Mayo Clinic website:

High potassium (hyperkalemia)

The link above takes you to the "causes" page, but there are links to further information/aspects at the end of the article.

And here's some information from the National Kidney Foundation:

Six Steps to Controlling High Potassium

Don't panic. Don't do anything drastic. Use this time to educate yourself and prepare yourself to understand what the doctor tells you at the next appointment, and to prepare questions for the doctor to help you understand how it all pertains to you and your particular situation and circumstances.

Good luck

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