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Pauline, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8631
Experience:  Medical Doctor & Registered Pharmacist. Worked as Community pharmacist for 17 years.
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How do you get your blood potassium down from 5.6 without ...

Customer Question

How do you get your blood potassium down from 5.6 without taking meds. It was 3.9 1/08.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Pauline replied 8 years ago.

How is your health?

Do you take any medication?

Do you have any kidney problems?

What is yout diet like?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
my health is good. Am going thru divorce and was
almost shot to death. I take lexapro, klonopin,
valium, calcium with magnesium and Centrum silver.
Kidneys checked ok on ultra sound. Liver is
showing fatty infiltrates and almost maxium size
as compared to previous ulta showing it normal.
Have gained 18 lbs in 3-4 months, no activity,
eat fatty food, no diet. Drink a lot of coffee
and have been trying to drink more water. My
Carbon dioxide level is down to 23 from 27.
Chlorestrol elevated 40 points due to my eating
Expert:  Pauline replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for the information.

Normally if an unexpectedly high potassium is obtained then the test needs to be repeated to rule out an error in the previous test. Do check that a new sample was taken from a different site and repeat the potassium check.

You do not mention any diuretics which are the most common cause of raised potassium, nor any NSAIDs such as ibuprofen. Diarrhea and vomiting can also cause irregular levels.

If none of these reversible conditions occurred then I would suggest you use the medication because a raised potassium is very serious for the functioning of the heart.

When people have kidney problems then we recommend low potassium diet such as avoiding bananas, boiling vegetables before consumption and avoiding chocolate.

So if your diet has been very 'bad' recently then that may be the cause, but do see a nutritionalist for advise before trying any special diets.
Pauline and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I have been dehydrated and eating a lot of
chocolate.Also take ibuprophen on occasion.
Do you think that is the reason why?
Expert:  Pauline replied 8 years ago.

I think these factors could certainly contribute to your problem, this should be brought to the attention of your doctor however the short term need is to bring it back to normal as soon as possible so do follow your doctor's instructions. Improving your fluid intake within moderation should help.