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Potassium (Kalium)

What is potassium and what does it do?

Potassium is an essential mineral. It enables proper functioning of the nerves and thus sensations and muscle and heart contractions. It also helps to produce energy from carbohydrates.

The Latin name for potassium is the same as for alkali — kalium. The chemical symbol for potassium is K.

Recommended Daily Intake

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for potassium has not been set yet due to lack of scientific evidence.

Adequate intake (AI) for potassium for adults–the intake probably sufficient for most healthy adults–has been set at 4.7 g/day. In some studies, this or higher intakes were associated with a lower risk of blood pressure and kidney stones [1,4].

Chart 1. Adequate Intake (AI) for potassium

AGE AI (g/day)
Infants 0-6 months 0.4*
Infants 7-12 months 0.7
1-3 years 3
4-8 years 3.8
9-13 years 4.5
14+ years, including pregnant women 4.7
Breastfeeding women 5.1

Chart 1 source: Institute of Medicine (IOM) in the U.S. [4]  *Breast milk of healthy mothers should provide enough potassium for exclusively breastfed infants 0-6 months of age [4,5]. 

Foods High in Potassium

The major potassium sources are fruits and vegetables. Common foods rich in potassium include potatoes, kiwifruits, avocados, bananas, green leafy vegetables, beans, beef, pork, fish, milk and “low-sodium” products.

Foods high in potassium image

Picture 1. Examples of potassium-rich foods

Chart 2. List of Foods High in Potassium (>200 mg/serving)

PLANT FOODS

POTASSIUM (mg)

Fruits

Dried fruits: apricots, peaches, prunes (1/2 cup, ~60 g) 650-750
Avocado, jackfruit, pomegranate (1 medium fruit); guava (1 cup) 700
Fruit juice: carrot, prune juice (1 cup, 237 mL) 650-700
Dates, medjool (4 pieces, 100 g) 650
Kiwi fruit (1 cup sliced, 180 g) 550
Banana (8 inch, 140 g), figs, dried (1/2 cup, 75 g) 500
Fruit juices: grape, grapefruit, orange, pineapple; vegetable juices (1 cup, 237 mL) 350-500
Cantaloupe (1/2 cup, 160 g) 450
Fruits: grape, grapefruit, orange, nectarine, papaya, peach, pear, persimmon, pineapple, watermelon (1 medium fruit or 1 cup) 300-400

Vegetables, Beans, Nuts

Chestnut, Japanese, dried (1 cup, 155 g) 1,200
Potato, with skin, baked, sweet potato, yam (2-3″ dia, 170 g) 900-950
Tamarind (1 cup) 700-750
Potato, without skin (2-3″ dia, 170 g); cassava, raw (1 cup, 200 g) 550
Beet greens (1/2 cup, 72 g) 650
White beans, adzuki beans, canned; soybeans (1/2 cup, ~120 g) (canned beans can contain >300 mg sodium) 500-600
Coconut water or milk (1 cup, 237 mL) 500-600
Squash, winter; spinach, Swiss chard (1/2 cup, 100 g), tomatoes, red (1 cup, 180 g) 400-500
Legumes: beans (black, lima, kidney, navy, northern, pink, pinto, split); lentils (1/2 cup, ~100 g) (canned beans can contain >300 mg sodium) 350-400
Artichokes (globe/French/Jerusalem), beets, broccoli, bok choy, Brussel’s sprouts, cabbage, celery, kohlrabi, parsnips (1/2 cup), dandelion (raw, 1 cup); Mushrooms, white (1/2 cup, 80 g) 200-300

Other

Dark chocolate (1 bar, 2.6 oz, 75 g) 350
Cereals, ready-to-eat (1 cup, ~30 g prepared with water) 20-350
Quinoa (1 cup, 185 g) 300
Blackstrap molasses (1 tbsp, 20 g) 300
Snacks: seeds, dried kernels: pumpkin, squash, sunflower; pistachios; peanut butter; raisins (1 oz, 28 g), granola bar (2 oz, 57 g) 250-300

ANIMAL FOODS

Salmon, red, smoked (3 oz, 85 g) (canned salmon can contain >500 mg sodium) 800
Fish: cod, halibut, pollock, salmon (Atlantic, wild); sardines, tuna (yellowfin, skipjack) (3 oz, 85 g); clams; oysters  (canned fish can contain >300 mg sodium) 400-500
Soup, beef (1 cup,237 mL)  (can contain >450 mg sodium) 400
Yogurt, plain (1 container, 6 oz, 170 g) 400
Meat: beef, bison, goat, pork (3 oz, 85 g)  (beef can contain > 9 g saturated fat) 300-400
Milk, whole (1 cup, 237 mL)  (5 g saturated fat) 350
Seafood: haddock, mackerel, perch, salmon, [chum, pink, sockeye], tuna [white, canned; bluefin]; crab/blue; mussels, shrimps, squid (3 oz, 85 g)  (canned fish can contain >300 mg sodium) 200-300

Chart 2. source: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA.gov) [5] NOTE: All foods listed are ready to eat.

Potassium Chloride as a Salt Substitute

Potassium chloride is often used as a sodium-free substitute for table salt. It is also used in “low-sodium” and “no sodium” foods, as a food additive in commercial foods and as a potassium supplement. 1 gram of potassium chloride contains about 500 mg (0.5 g) of potassium.

Taking potassium chloride instead of table salt to increase potassium and decrease sodium intake is generally not recommended; you should rather limit sodium intake and eat foods high in potassium.

Can potassium chloride be dangerous?

Large amounts of potassium chloride can cause stomach or intestinal ulcers and bleeding; taking more than 10 grams (2 teaspoons) at once can cause hyperkalemia [1,24].

Absorption and Excretion

From the ingested potassium, about 90% is absorbed, mainly in the small intestine. Most of the excessive potassium is excreted through the urine and only small amounts via feces and sweat [24,32].

Health Benefits of a High-Potassium Diet

High Blood Pressure

In one 2012 systematic review of studies by World Health Organization (WHO) in individuals with high blood pressure high potassium intake (3.5-4.7 g/day) was associated with lower systolic blood pressure (by 7 mm Hg in average) than in individuals with low potassium intake (<3.5 g/day) [12]. In few small studies, taking potassium supplements was not associated with decreased blood pressure but more research is warranted [8]. Most researchers currently recommend consuming foods high in potassium, but not potassium supplements, to prevent high blood pressure [16,28].

Stroke

In the same review by WHO as above, high potassium intake was associated with 24% lower risk of stroke [12]. In some other studies, high potassium intake was associated with significantly lower stroke risk only in men, especially in those with hypertension, and in one study only in black men [1].

Osteoporosis

In some, but not all, studies, higher potassium intake was associated with higher bone mineral density [1].

Calcium Kidney Stones

In several studies, high potassium intake was associated with decreased risk of calcium kidney stones but more research is warranted [1,13,14].

Sodium : Potassium Ratio

A low sodium/potassium ratio in the diet may be more beneficial than a high potassium intake alone [35-p.222,230]. This means low sodium intake (a common recommendation is less than 2.3 g/day) and potassium intake higher than sodium intake (even if less than 4.7 g/day) may be more beneficial for blood pressure and kidney stones than consuming 4.7 g of potassium along with more than 4.7 g of sodium. More research is warranted.

The DASH Diet

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is an eating plan that recommends consuming foods high in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber and protein, and low in sodium, saturated and trans fats. According to National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in the U.S., the DASH diet can lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but it is not clear which exact nutrient, if any, is responsible for this effect [28].

Potassium and Coronary Heart Disease

In the abovementioned review performed by researchers from WHO, high potassium intake was not associated with decreased risk of coronary heart disease [12].

Can high-potassium diet be bad for you?

The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for potassium–the maximal amount unlikely to cause side effects in healthy people–has not been set, because no adverse effects from high dietary potassium intake have not been reported [1]. Individuals with chronic kidney disease, Addison’s disease and those who take potassium-sparing diuretics (amiloride, spironolactone, triamterene) may need to limit potassium intake, though.

A Low-Potassium Diet in Chronic Kidney Disease

If you have a chronic kidney disease, especially if you are on hemodialysis, a doctor may prescribe you a low potassium diet with less than 1.5-2.7 grams of potassium per day, along with a low-phosphorus (800-1,000 mg/day) and low sodium (<2.4 g/day) diet [6].

Chart 3. List of foods low in potassium (<200 mg/serving), phosphorus (<100 mg/serving) and sodium (<500 mg/serving)

PLANT FOODS

POTASSIUM (mg)

Cereals

Cornmeal, degermed, cooked (1 cup, 160 g) 200
Oatmeal, buckwheat groats, barley (pearled), bulgur (1 cup, prepared with water) 150
Corn flakes, corn grits, couscous, farina, rice crisps (1 cup, cooked with water) 20-100
Bread: French, Italian, pumpernickel, raisin, white, whole-grain (2 slices, 60 g) 60-90
Cookies, pretzels, cakes and pastries without nuts or chocolate (3 oz, 85 g) 50-150
Peas, green, boiled (1/2 cup, 80 g) 200
Pasta: macaroni, noodles, spaghetti (1 cup, 140 g) 30-60
Rice (white), tapioca (pearl, dry), arrowroot flour (1 cup, 152 g) 20

Fruits

Apple, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, clementine, currants, gooseberries, grapes (American type), kumquat, lemon, litchis, mango, pear, pineapple, plums, raspberries, strawberries, tangerine (mandarin orange), watermelon (1 fruit or 1/2 cup) 100-200
Cranberries, lime (1 fruit or 1/2 cup) 50-90

Vegetables, Beans, Nuts

Asparagus, cabbage, carrots, chayote, collards, kale, mustard greens, okra, onions, radish, rhubarb, squash (summer, zucchini), turnips, turnip greens, watercress (1/2 cup cooked) 100-200
Alfalfa, bamboo, shoots, cauliflower, corn (canned), cucumbers (raw, pickled), eggplant, leeks, lettuce, peppers, water chestnut, mushrooms, watercress (1/2 cup) 20-100
Nuts: acorns, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, coconut, hazelnuts, macadamia, peanuts, pecans, pili nuts, pine, walnuts (1 oz, 28 g) 100-200

Other

Wine (1 glass, 5 oz, 150 mL) 100-200
Beans, garbanzo (chickpeas), snap, green/yellow (1/2 cup, 60 g) 80-150
Coffee, black tea (1 cup, 8 oz, 237 mL)–limit to 1 cup/day 100
Malt syrup (1 tbsp, 21 g) 70
Spices: anise, chili, coriander, cumin, curry, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger, mustard, nutmeg, onion, paprika, pepper, turmeric (1 tsp) 20-50
Syrups: cane, corn, grenadine, maple (1 tbsp, 20 g) 10-40
Municipal water, herbal tea, carbonated beverages (club soda, ginger ale, lemon-lime, mineral water, orange, tonic water, root beer) (1 cup, 237 mL), table sugar, white/brown (1 tsp, 3 g), candies, hard, jellybeans, toffee (1 oz, 28 g), vinegar, vegetable oils, all types, margarine, butter, jam (1 tbsp, 15 g) 0-20

ANIMAL FOODS

Chicken, turkey; tuna, light (canned in oil) (3 oz, 85 g) 100-200
Cheese: cream, cottage, ricotta (2 tbsp, 30 g) 30-100
Salad dressing: caesar, Italian, mayonnaise, French, Russian; cream, liquid, half and half; sour cream (2 tbsp, 30 g) 20-50
Honey (1 tbsp, 20 g) 10

Chart 3. source: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) [5]

Tips to lower potassium in your diet:

  • Peel vegetables, cut them to thin slices, put them into a large amount of water and bring the water to a boil. Discard the water and boil again in fresh water until cooked (double boiling). This way more potassium will leak into the water than with single boiling. Dry heating (baking, roasting, microwaving) and steaming (cooking in vapor) does not significantly reduce the amount of potassium in foods [7].
  • Leaching for 2 hours or overnight in a large amount of warm water before cooking can also pull some potassium out of vegetables [6].
  • Do not drink liquids from canned foods or cooked meat (beef soup).
  • Avoid foods that list potassium additives on nutrition labels.

Normal Blood Potassium Levels Range

Normal blood potassium levels range from 3.5 to 5.1 mmol/liter (the upper limit may differ from 5.0 to 5.5 among laboratories) [19].

Regulation of Blood Potassium Levels

  • High blood potassium levels stimulate the adrenal gland to release the hormone aldosterone, which stimulates potassium excretion into the urine.
  • A drop of blood pH (acidosis) stimulates potassium retention, and a raise of blood pH (alkalosis) stimulates its excretion into the urine.
  • Reference: 34


Potassium Deficiency and Low Blood Potassium Levels (Hypokalemia)

Potassium deficiency means decreased potassium body stores. Mild potassium deficiency does not cause hypokalemia but can result in water retention [26], increased blood pressure and increased risk of stroke, kidney stones and osteoporosis [35]. Causes of potassium deficiency include decreased potassium intake, especially if accompanied with sodium intake greater than 7 g/day [35-p.191], diarrhea, excessive urination, kidney disease or excessive sweating during prolonged hard work in a hot environment for several days [33].

Severe potassium deficiency results in hypokalemia, which means blood potassium levels lower than 3.5 mmol/liter. In healthy people who eat regularly, a diet low in potassium does not likely cause hypokalemia.

What causes low blood potassium levels?

  • Poor potassium intake due to prolonged fasting, anorexia nervosa, bulimia, alcoholism, “bread-and-water” or “tea-and-toast” diet
  • Quick infusion of glucose into the vein after prolonged starvation, mainly in chronic alcoholics, or insulin injection in a patient with untreated diabetes mellitus (refeeding syndrome, which includes a severe drop of blood potassium, magnesium and vitamin B1 levels)
  • Excessive potassium loss due to prolonged vomiting or diarrhea, diuretics, steroids, untreated diabetes type 1 and other causes of excessive urination (polyuria), adrenal gland tumors (hyperaldosteronism), Cushing syndrome, congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, severe dehydration, low blood magnesium level (for example, during alcohol withdrawal), high blood sodium levels, congenital adrenal hyperplasia and other genetic disorders

Symptoms and Signs

Mild hypokalemia may present with no symptoms or with fatigue, muscle weakness and constipation. Severe hypokalemia can cause excessive urination (polyuria), numbness and tingling (paresthesia), muscle cramps, which can be painful (charley horse) or sustained (tetany), muscle paralysis, depression, pounding heart (palpitations) and irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia), which can be fatal.

Complications. Hypokalemia, especially in diabetics, may cause hyperglycemia. In some studies, both low potassium intake and hypokalemia were associated with increased risk of diabetes 2, but more research is warranted [2].

Treatment of hypokalemia is by oral or intravenous potassium supplements.

References: [20,33,34,35]

Potassium Supplements

Potassium supplements are available only by prescription. In the U.S., potassium may be found in certain over-the-counter (OTC) multivitamin/mineral supplements but only in doses up to 99 mg per tablet, which is usually not enough to treat hypokalemia.

Available oral forms:

Potassium chloride is available in the form of tablets, effervescent tablets or granules, capsules and liquids.

  • Potassium liquid and powder for solution are intended for those who have problem with swallowing tablets.
  • Potassium chloride extended release (KCl Er) tablets and capsules are slow-release supplements that were designed to minimize the risk of gastrointestinal damage. Wax matrix and microencapsulated formulations are available but the differences in their effectiveness are not yet clear [25].
  • Enteric-coated (EC KCl) tablets are no longer commercially available in the U.S. because of possible severe gastrointestinal side effects.

Alkalizing supplements–potassium bicarbonate, citrate and gluconate–are used to treat hypokalemia associated with acidosis (low blood pH) or to prevent calcium-oxalate kidney stones [25,30].

Magnesium potassium aspartate is used as a magnesium and potassium supplement.

Potassium orotate has been occasionally used to treat anxiety [18].

Potassium chelate is a general term for over-the-counter supplements in which potassium is bound to larger molecules, such as amino acids. One tablet usually contains 99 mg potassium.

Intravenous injection:

Potassium chloride, acetate or gluconate are used to treat severe hypokalemia [21,25].

Dosage

The amount of potassium listed on the supplement packages is expressed either in milliequivalents (meq)–which is the same as millimoles (mmol)–or in milligrams (mg). To convert meq or mmol to mg, multiply meq or mmol by 39.1. The usual doses of oral supplements for adults are 15-30 meq (587-1,173 mg), 2 times per day or up to total 100 meq (3,900 mg) per day but it is your doctor who can prescribe the dose appropriate for you [17].

Are potassium supplements good for you?

Potassium supplements are:

  • EFFECTIVE for correcting low blood potassium levels, and preventing hypokalemia during treatment with thiazide diuretics
  • POSSIBLY EFFECTIVE for prevention of kidney stones. In one study in y. 2009, potassium citrate supplements have been effective in prevention of kidney stones in children with epilepsy (seizures) on a ketogenic (low-carb, high-protein) diet [15].

Source: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database [16]

Potassium supplements are NOT EFFECTIVE for prevention of high blood pressure, neither alone or in combination with calcium or magnesium [9,10,16].

There is INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE about potassium supplements effectiveness in prevention or treatment of acne, alcoholism, allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, bloating, blurred vision, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), colitis, constipation, dermatitis, fever, gout, headaches, heart attack, insomnia, infectious mononucleosis, insulin resistance, irritability, Menière’s disease (a type of dizziness), mood swings in menopause, muscle weakness, muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis, rheumatoid arthritis, stress, stroke and thallium poisoning [16].

Which supplement is the best?

  • The percent of absorption and bioavailability of various potassium supplements is probably about the same [31].
  • Potassium chloride is usually used to treat potassium deficiency, and alkaline supplements (potassium citrate, bicarbonate, gluconate or acetate) to treat acidosis (low blood pH) or to prevent kidney stones.

Supplements Safety: Side Effects, Dangers, Toxicity

Side effects of oral potassium supplements may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea and, rarely, intestinal ulcers with blood in the stool or even perforation of the intestine [16,24]. Intravenous potassium chloride can irritate the veins and cause local pain.

During Pregnancy

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), potassium is pregnancy category drug C, which means, harmful effects for the babies have not been confirmed but can not be excluded due to lack of human trials [17]. According to Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, potassium in doses up to 80 meq per day is likely safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding [16].

Overdose

5.5 grams of potassium in a single dose can cause hyperkalemia and 18 grams or more can result in severe hyperkalemia, which may result in abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), nervousness, confusion, lethargy, numbness and tingling in hands and around the lips, difficulty breathing, delirium, heart attack or even death [17,24,29].

Allergy

Certain potassium supplements contain tartrazine, which can trigger allergic reaction in sensitive individuals [16].

Who should avoid potassium supplements?

Individuals who have hyperkalemia, kidney disease with potassium retention, Addison’s disease or those who take potassium-sparing diuretics should avoid potassium supplements. Anyone with swallowing problems or impaired intestinal motility should avoid solid potassium forms (tablets, capsules).

Other Potassium Uses

  • Potassium phosphate is used as a phosphorus supplement.
  • Acesulfame-K is a potassium containing non-caloric sweetener.
  • Various potassium compounds are used as food additives.

Potassium Water Softeners

Potassium chloride pellets are used as water softeners. The potassium in water treated with softeners does not likely affect blood potassium levels in healthy individuals but can cause hyperkalemia in individuals with kidney disease or in those taking potassium-sparing diuretics (amiloride, spironolactone, triamterene). According to Health Canada, water with hardness 100 treated by potassium chloride can contain about 80 mg of potassium per liter and water with hardness 500 about 400 mg of potassium per liter [29].


Increased Blood Potassium Levels (Hyperkalemia)

Hyperkalemia means blood potassium levels above 5.5 mmol/liter. In healthy people, diet high in potassium does not likely cause hyperkalemia.

What causes high blood potassium levels?

  • Kidney failure
  • Adrenal gland insufficiency (Addison’s disease)
  • Diabetes type 1 (insulin deficiency), burns, head trauma, severe muscle damage, advanced cancer
  • Water pills (diuretics) and drugs for hypertension
  • Overdose of oral or intravenous potassium supplements. Ingestion of more than 5.5 grams potassium by a 70 kg man at once can cause measurable hyperkalemia and ingestion of 36 grams of potassium chloride (salt substitute) can cause severe hyperkalemia [1,2].

Symptoms

Mild hyperkalemia may cause no symptoms, but higher potassium levels can cause nausea, tingling, muscular weakness or paralysis, depression, abnormal heart rhythm or even death.

Treatment of hyperkalemia may include an intravenous injection of insulin + glucose, or calcium gluconate (an antidote), and treatment of the underlying disorders.

References: [23,36]

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you get too much potassium by eating bananas?

Eating a lot of bananas or other high-potassium foods should not cause any potassium-related side effects in healthy people, but it could raise blood potassium levels in individuals with chronic kidney disease or in those taking certain diuretics (amiloride, spironolactone, triamterene).

2. Do I need potassium supplements if I am on a low-carb diet?

Probably not. In the first days of a low-carb diet, about 500 grams of glycogen and about 9 grams of potassium bound to it is lost [11]. You can simply replace this amount of potassium by eating potassium-rich foods.

3. Do I need to replace potassium during marathon running?

No. In one small study, marathoners, after running 20 miles, did not have decreased blood potassium levels [35,p.226]. The potassium loss with sweat can be as high as 500 mg per liter of sweat, but can decrease considerably after several days of heat acclimation [35,p.226]. Runners can easily replace the lost potassium by eating common foods after the race, so they do not need potassium supplements or sport drinks during the race.

4. Do I need to follow a low-potassium diet if I have a sensitive bladder (interstitial cystitis)?

Some doctors recommend avoiding high-potassium and acidic foods (tomatoes, citrus fruit juices, etc.) to individuals with interstitial cystitis, but not a low-potassium diet because of the risk of potassium deficiency [40].

5. Does hypokalemia cause eye twitching?

Eyelid twitching might be a symptom of hypokalemia, but fatigue, stress and caffeine overdose are much more likely causes.

6. Is potassium a diuretic and can it be used to treat water retention?

Potassium acts as a mild diuretic, but potassium supplements are not used to treat water retention. For individuals with mild congestive heart failure or other cause of water retention, doctors usually prescribe a high-potassium, low-sodium and fluid-restricted diet [37]. For more severe water retention, doctors can prescribe diuretics along with potassium, but in this case, potassium is used to prevent hypokalemia caused by diuretics and not specifically to treat water retention.

7. Is potassium alkalizing or acidifying?

Potassium naturally present in foods is usually in the form of potassium citrate, which alkalizes the urine, which may help prevent calcium-oxalate kidney stones.

8. Does vitamin K contain potassium?

No. The name vitamin K comes from the German word “Koagulationsvitamin,” and the potassium symbol K from the Latin “kalium.” The two “Ks” have nothing in common.

  1. Function, good sources, hypokalemia, hyperkalemia  Linus Pauling Institute
  2. Hypokalemia and diabetes 2  PubMed Central
  3. Supplements benefits, side effects  Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
  4. Adequate intake  Institute of Medicine
  5. List of foods containing potassium  US Department of Agriculture
  6. Low-potassium diet  UpToDate
  7. Low-potassium diet  Kidney.ca
  8. Potassium supplements and hypertension  PubMed
  9. Oral potassium for high blood pressure in adults  Cochrane Summaries
  10. Potassium, calcium and magnesium supplements and blood pressure  Cochrane Summaries
  11. Low-calorie diet  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
  12. Potassium and cardiovascular risk: a systematic review  BMJ
  13. Kidney stones  PubMed Central
  14. Recurrent nephrolithiasis in adults  Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  15. Potassium citrate and kidney stones in ketogenic diet  Pediatrics
  16. Uses, benefits, side effects  Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
  17. Potassium citrate information  Drugs.com
  18. Potassium orotate  PubMed
  19. Quick facts, normal serum levels  Emedicine
  20. Hypokalemia causes  Emedicine
  21. Hypokalemia treatment  Emedicine
  22. Caffeine overdose and hypokalemia  PubMed
  23. Hyperkalemia causes and symptoms  Emedicine
  24. Potassium properties  Toxnet
  25. Potassium chloride extended release  DailyMed
  26. Potassium depletion and water retention  PubMed
  27. Interstitial cystitis management  Medscape
  28. DASH  National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
  29. Water softeners  Health Canada
  30. Treatment of kidney stones  PubMed Central
  31. Potassium aspartate absorption  European Food Safety Authority
  32. Potassium absorption  PubMed
  33. Sweating  National Academic Press
  34. Sodium, water and potassium metabolism  Elsevierhealth
  35. Potassium overview  National Academic Press
  36. Hyperkalemia medication  Emedicine
  37. Idiopathic edema  Patient.info

6 Responses to "Potassium (Kalium)"

  1. Joann dall says:

    What does 5.1 mean as my high level when the fruit ex: says 1 medium banana (425). How do I calculate it. I need to understand this.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Joann, if your blood potassium level is 5.1 mmol/liter, it means it is high-normal, so still within the normal range. “1 medium banana (425)” is an estimated amount of potassium in an average banana, which means bananas are high in potassium. You can ask a doctor, if there is any concern about your blood potassium level and if you need to avoid foods high in potassium. If a doctor says yes, then you may need to limit eating bananas and other foods high in potassium (as listed above in the article in the Chart 2). You do not need to do any special calculations.

  2. Roger Martin says:

    My potassium level is 5.9 what should I do to get it down

  3. Rosie says:

    I’m a nurse student and i need answers for this case study
    Pt taking Potassium Chloride and HCTZ for high blood, patient consuming lots of bananas given by his wife that read that bananas consumption is necessary when taking HCTZ. Pt c/o of skipping heart beat and weakness.
    What is the possible cause for patient ‘s cardiac symptoms and weakness?
    What diuretic would be more effective than HCTZ
    what would you teach pt. concerning the purpose of diuretic therapy

    • Jan Modric says:

      Rosie, the cause of skipping heart and weakness could be:
      – Hyperkalemia caused by potassium chloride and eating a lot of bananas (which are high in potassium)
      – Hypokalemia, which is a known side effect of thiazide diuretics (but this seems to be less likely if the patient is taking potassium chloride)
      What diuretic would be more effective?
      – Amiloride and spironolactone are potassium-sparing diuretics, so the patient would not need potassium chloride to prevent hypokalemia.
      What is a purpose of diuretic therapy?
      – The purpose is to decrease blood volume and thus blood pressure.

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