Usually kidney disease patients should have low-protein, low-salt, low-fat, low-potassium and low-phosphorus diets especially if more than 50% of their kidney functions are lost. This is because their kidneys can not function well to remove excessive water and electrolytes efficiently from their blood and proper diets help reduce burdens to the kidney and slow down decline rate of kidney functions.
Whether you should limit potassium intake and how much potassium is proper for you should depend on your specific illness conditions such as which stage of kidney failure you are in, what is your serum potassium level and your present kidney functions. Just like the intake of salt, it should not be fixed for every patients. Kidney disease patients should limit salt intake, however if patients have no edema or high blood pressure, they need not have so strict restriction on salt intake.
The normal potassium level in the blood is 3.5-5.5mmol/L. If CKD patients have blood potassium level higher than 5.5mmol/L or if their daily urine output is less than 1000ml, they need to limit potassium intake through diets. Low-potassium is 1500-2000mg/d.
High blood potassium can cause muscle weakness, cardiac arrhythmia, low blood calcium, metabolic acidosis and in serious conditions can even cause stopping of heart beat and threaten the patient’ life. In some severe conditions that can not be controlled by mere diet restriction, potassium binders will be prescribed by the doctors to help lower blood potassium level.
In case of hyperkalaemia, high-potassium foods should be avoided or at least limited. The top 10 high-potassium foods are bananas, spinach, white beans, baked potatoes, baked acorn squash, dried apricots, yogurt, salmon, mushroom, avocados.
It is necessary to have regular check of potassium level and other electrolytes such as phosphorus besides blood pressure, serum creatinine level, body temperature, urine output, etc.
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