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Top 10 Foods Highest in Potassium


Potassium is an essential nutrient used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. A deficiency in potassium causes fatigue, irritability, and hypertension (increased blood pressure). Unless you are on dialysis, or have a special condition, overdose of potassium from natural sources is nearly impossible; however, it is possible to consume too much potassium via potassium salts which can lead to nausea, vomiting, and even cardiac arrest. Potassium from natural food sources, like the ones listed below, are considered safe and healthy. The current percent daily value for potassium is 3.5 grams. Below is a list of high potassium foods ranked by common serving sizes, for more please see the lists of high potassium foods by nutrient density, potassium rich foods, fruits high in potassium, and vegetables high in potassium.

#1: White Beans
Potassium in 100g1 cup cooked (179g)
561mg (16% DV)1004mg (29% DV)
Other Beans High in Potassium (%DV per cup): Adzuki (35%), Soy (28%), Lima (28%), Kidney (20%), Great Northern (20%), Pinto (18%) and others at an average of 15% DV per cup cooked. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#2: Dark Leafy Greens (Spinach)
Potassium 100g (Raw)1 Cup (Raw - 30g)1 Cup (Cooked - 180g)
558mg (16% DV)167mg (5% DV)839mg (24% DV)
Other Greens High in Potassium (%DV per cup cooked): Swiss Chard (27% DV), Kale (8% DV), and Collards (6% DV).
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#3: Baked Potatoes (With Skin)
Potassium 100gAverage Potato (173g)
535mg (15% DV)926mg (26% DV)
Warning: Potatoes are high in simple carbohydrates and not recommended for people with diabetes. Sweet potatoes are actually better for regulation blood sugar, an average baked sweet potato with skin (114g) provides 542mg (15% DV) of potassium. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#4: Dried Apricots
Potassium 100g1/2 cup (65g)
1162mg (33% DV)755mg (22% DV)
Other Dried Fruits High in Potassium (%DV per 1/2 cup): Peaches (22% DV), Prunes (20% DV), Raisins (18% DV).
Warning: Dried fruits are high in sugar. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#5: Baked Acorn Squash
Potassium 100g1 cup cubed (205g)
437mg (12% DV)899mg (26% DV)
Other Squash High in Potassium (%DV per cup baked): Hubbard (21%), Butternut (17% DV), Zucchini (14% DV), Average Winter Squash (10% DV). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#6: Yogurt (Plain, Skim/Non-Fat)
Potassium 100g1 cup (245g)
255mg (7% DV)625mg (18% DV)
Other Yogurt High in Potassium (%DV per cup): Whole-Fat (11% DV), Chocolate Yogurt (24% DV). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#7: Fish (Salmon)
Potassium 100g1 3oz fillet (85g)
628mg (18% DV)534mg (15% DV)
Other Fish High in Potassium (%DV per 3oz fillet (85g)): Pompano (15% DV), Lingcod (14% DV), Halibut (13% DV), Yellowfin Tuna (13% DV), Anchovies (12% DV), Mackerel (10% DV), Herring (10% DV) and most other fish at an average of 10% DV. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#8: Avocados
Potassium 100gAverage Avocado (201g)1/2 Cup Pureed (115)
485mg (14% DV)975mg (28% DV)558mg (16% DV)
An average avocado provides 322 calories, half a cup purred contains 184 calories. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#9: Mushrooms (White)
Potassium 100g1 cup sliced (108g)
396mg (11% DV)428mg (12% DV)
1 cup cooked sliced white mushrooms contain 28 calories.
Other mushrooms high in potassium (%DV per cup sliced): Portabella (9% DV), Brown or Crimini (9% DV), Enoki (7% DV), Shiitake (5% DV), Maitake (4% DV). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#10: Bananas
Potassium 100gAverage Banana(118g)1 Cup Mashed (225)
358mg (10% DV)422mg (12% DV)806mg (23% DV)
An average banana provides 105 calories, 1 cup mashed contains 200 calories. Click to see complete nutrition facts.



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The Top 10 High Potassium Foods by Nutrient Density (Potassium per Gram)

#1: Dried Herbs (Parsley, Chervil, Corriander, Basil, Dill) 4740mg (135% DV) per 100 grams95mg (3% DV) per tablespoon (2 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Dried Herbs
#2: Sun-Dried Tomatoes 3427mg (98% DV) per 100 grams69mg (2% DV) per piece (2 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sun Dried Tomatoes
#3: Cocoa Powder and Dark Chocolate 2509mg (72% DV) per 100 grams125mg (4% DV) per tablespoon (5 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cocoa Powder
#4: Whey Powder 2289mg (65% DV) per 100 grams69mg (2% DV) per tablespoon (3 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Whey Powder
#5: Paprika and Chili Powder 2280mg (65% DV) per 100 grams160mg (5% DV) per tablespoon (7 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Paprika and Chili Powder
#6: Yeast Extract Spread (Marmite) 2100mg (60% DV) per 100 grams126mg (4% DV) per teaspoon (6 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Yeast Extract Spread (Marmite)
#7: Rice Bran 1485mg (42% DV) per 100 grams1752mg (50% DV) per cup (118 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Rice Bran
#8: Molasses 1464mg (42% DV) per 100 grams293mg (8% DV) per tablespoon (20 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Molasses
#9: Dry Roasted Soybeans 1364mg (39% DV) per 100 grams2346mg (67% DV) per cup (172 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Dry Roasted Soybeans
#10: Dry Seaweed (Spirulina) 1363mg (39% DV) per 100 grams95mg (3% DV) per tablespoon (7 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Dry Seaweed (Spirulina)

Other Potassium Rich Foods

Pistachios1007mg (29% DV) per 100 gram serving1239mg (35% DV) per cup (123 grams)282mg (8% DV) per ounce (49 nuts or 28g)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Pistachios
Chestnuts592mg (17% DV) per 100 gram serving847mg (24% DV) per cup (143 grams)166mg (5% DV) per ounce (3 nuts or 28g)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Chestnuts
Almonds705mg (20% DV) per 100 gram serving1008mg (29% DV) per cup (143 grams)197mg (6% DV) per ounce (23 nuts or 28g)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Almonds
Cashews565mg (16% DV) per 100 gram serving774mg (22% DV) per cup (137 grams)158mg (5% DV) per ounce (28g)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cashews
Walnuts441mg (13% DV) per 100 gram serving441mg (13% DV) per cup halves (100 grams)123mg (4% DV) per ounce (14 halves or 28g)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Walnuts
Squash and Pumpkin Seeds919mg (26% DV) per 100 gram serving588mg (17% DV) per cup (64 grams)257mg (7% DV) per ounce (85 seeds or 28g)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Squash and Pumpkin Seeds
Sunflower Seeds850mg (24% DV) per 100 gram serving1088mg (31% DV) per cup hulled (128 grams)238mg (7% DV) per ounce (85 seeds or 28g)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sunflower Seeds
Watermelon Seeds648mg (19% DV) per 100 gram serving700mg (20% DV) per cup (108 grams)181mg (5% DV) per ounce (28 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Dried Watermelon Seeds
Coconut Water (Juice)250mg (7% DV) per 100 gram serving600mg (17% DV) in a cup (240 grams)515mg (15% DV) per coconut (206 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Coconut Water (Juice)
Orange Juice200mg (6% DV) per 100 gram serving496mg (14% DV) in a cup (248 grams)172mg (5% DV) in the juice of one orange (86 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Orange Juice
Brussels Sprouts (Raw)389mg (11% DV) per 100 gram serving342mg (10% DV) per cup (88 grams)74mg (2% DV) per brussel sprout (19 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Brussels Sprouts
Palm Hearts177mg (5% DV) per 100 gram serving258mg (26% DV) per cup (146 grams)58mg (2% DV) per piece (33 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Canned Palm Hearts
Clams628mg (18% DV) per 100 gram serving534mg (15% DV) per 3 ounce serving (85 grams)1.2g (34% DV) in 20 small clams (190 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cooked Clams
Whelk694mg (20% DV) per 100 gram serving350mg (15% DV) per 3oz serving (85 grams)117mg (5% DV) per ounce (28 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Whelk
Dried Figs680mg (19% DV) per 100 gram serving1g (29% DV) per cup (149 grams)54mg (2% DV) in a single fig (8 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Dried Figs
Dates696mg (20% DV) per 100 gram serving167mg (5% DV) in a single large date (24 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Dates (Medjool)
To find even more high potassium foods, use the nutrient ranking tool.

Health Benefits of Potassium

  • Osteoporosis Protection - Several studies have found a relation between increased bone density and increased intake of dietary potassium. These studies were true even for post menopausal women and older men.2-4
  • Reduced Risk of Stroke - Several observational studies have found that those with high potassium levels experience a lower risk of stroke. The health benefits are likely through reduction of blood pressure combined with a diet high in fruits and vegetables.5-9
  • Alleviation of High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) - Studies show that a diet high in potassium, especially potassium from fruits and vegetables, lowers blood pressure. This is especially true if the increase in potassium foods is not accompanied by an increase in high sodium foods. 10-12

People at Risk of a Potassium Deficiency

  • Alcoholics
  • People taking Diuretics - Especially thiazide or furosemide
  • Long distance athletes - People who exercise over long distances lose electrolytes via sweat and need to replenish their sodium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus levels.
  • Dehydration - People who consume excess alcohol, or suffer severe vomiting/diarrhea, or can be otherwise dehydrated need to replenish their sodium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus levels.
  • Anorexics or bulimics
  • People with a magnesium deficiency
  • People taking Certain Medications13,14
    • Beta-adrenergic agonists - Epinephrine
    • Decongestants - Pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine
    • Bronchodilators - Albuterol, terbutaline, pirbuterol, isoetharine, fenoterol, ephedrine, isoproterenol, metaproterenol, theophylline
    • Tocolytic (labor suppressing) agents - Ritodrine, nylidrin
    • Diuretics - Acetazolamide, thiazides, chlorthalidone, indapamide, metolazone, quinethazone, bumetanide, ethacrynic acid, furosemide, torsemide
    • Mineralocorticoids - Fludrocortisone
    • Substances with mineralocorticoid effects - Licorice, carbenoxolone, gossypol
    • High-dose glucocorticoids
    • High-dose antibiotics - Penicillin, nafcillin, carbenicillin
    • Other - Caffeine, phenolphthalein, sodium polystyrene sulfonate

Further Reading




Comments.
Name:Manuel
Location:Albuquerque
Subject:Potassium
Need to list problems with Potassium. Many people like myself are on dialysis and many foods will kill me. All these food are dangerous, and you state that it is hard to eat too much potassium, but it is really easy to eat to much if you are sick.
Posted on 2011-05-05 11:15:58
Name:Kelli
Location:U.S. Gulf Coast
Subject:To Manuel
Manuel, I'm sorry to hear that you are sick. I'm sure this article was written for the average healthy person with no disrespect intended to those who are an exception to the rule. If you have to avoid potassium due to kidney or neuromuscular disease, you can use this article as a guide for what to avoid instead of what to take in. When we have medical conditions that diet greatly impacts (I am sick as well), we have to apply general information such as this carefully. Take care.
Posted on 2011-05-06 08:42:39
Name:Jesse
Location:Pennsylvania
Subject:Thanks
I'm a healthy guy but I have hypokalemic periodic paralysis, which makes my potassium levels drop from out of nowhere! This actually helped me out a lot, so thanks. :D
Posted on 2011-06-15 05:43:48
Name:Jose Balcewich
Location:N.W. Ontario
Subject:Potassium Information
Due to congested heart attack and now with water pills, I have to keep my potassium up. This information is just what I needed.
Posted on 2011-06-23 06:06:11
Name:Holly
Location:Aurora, colorado
Subject:Breastfeeding and trying to get the most out of my diet
Thank you for this information. I did not realize the average person needs to be taking in so much potassium until I became pregnant with and started breastfeeding my now 6wk old son and tracking everything I am eating. I found myself still needing a very high amount of potassium at the end of the day just to meet the daily requirement and realized I really did not know how to go about doing that until I read this.
Posted on 2011-06-27 22:55:16
Name:Gloria
Location:Colorado
Subject:Amounts
I can easily see how getting the DV of potassium can be gotten from some of these foods, avocados, for example. But to unilaterally compare 100g of these foods to each other is a bit out of balance. To eat 100g of avocado can be done easily, half an avocado. 100g of paprika is nearly a cup of paprika! The suggestions need to be based not only on what percentages of nutrients contain the nutrients, but what amounts are reasonable for consumption by a person within a meal or a daytime.
Posted on 2011-07-19 21:17:26
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Amounts
Hi Gloria, thanks for raising a good concern. There are several criteria to take into account formulating a food nutrient ranking and choosing a standard ranking criteria is one of them. It is true that few people would consume a cup of paprika, but paprika is still an incredibly nutrient dense food that is low in calories. Just one tablespoon of paprika provides 5% of the DV of potassium. The goal of this article is not that people get all their potassium from one food, but to encourage them to try new foods and get their potassium from many sources. In addition, paprika is a spice and can serve as a substitute for salt. This serves well for people with high blood pressure (hypertension) who are looking for high potassium salt substitutes to help lower their blood pressure while keeping their meals flavorful.
Posted on 2011-07-21 02:04:28
Name:Judy
Location:Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
Subject:Conns Sydrome
I have a tumor on the adrenal gland which causes loss of pottassium and high blood pressure.
Posted on 2011-07-24 01:53:17
Name:Curt
Location:Colorado
Subject:Potassium Levels
Good information. I'm on diuretics so I need extra potassium as the pills take potassium out of my body at an accelerated rate. I love avocados so it makes it easier to get the potassium intake I need.
Posted on 2011-08-21 21:57:25
Name:Etta
Location:California
Subject:Potasssium Intake v. Potassium Pills
Hello. Due to the skyrocking price of medicine these days I have found it hard to afford all of my medications. I have high blood pressure. I take atetenol, hydrocholorthizine (hydrochorothiazine? sp?), lisinipril, and two potassium pills daily. The potassium pills are costly! My family and I have taken steps to change our diets and exercise more. We have joined the YMCA for fitness. Anyway, I want to know what foods are equal to two potassium pills?
Posted on 2011-08-23 08:54:34
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Potasssium Intake v. Potassium Pills
Hi Etta, thanks for your question. First, be sure you consult with your health care provider before trying to stop any prescription medications. After that, the amount of food you need to eat depends on the amount of potassium in your pills. Assuming that your pills contain 100mg of potassium each, then it follows that:
  • 1 Avocado = 10 pills
  • 1 cup cooked White Beans = 10 pills
  • 1 Baked Potato = 9 pills
  • 1 cup of nuts&seeds=6 pills
  • 1 Fish Fillet = 4-6 pills
  • 1 Sweet Potato = 5 pills
  • 1 Banana = 4 pills
Hope that helps, and be sure to avoid high sodium foods and do not overdo your potassium consumption!
Posted on 2011-08-23 10:24:10
Name:Merlyn
Location:Berkshire
Subject:Barley
I need to know if Barley is a good source of potassium? I need to lower my levels and suspect tat barley might be the cause of my sudden spike.
Posted on 2011-08-28 10:12:57
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Barley
Hi Merlyn, thanks for your question. 1 cup of cooked pearl barley provides 93mg (3% DV) of potassium. It is not particularly a good source of potassium. Click here to see the complete nutrition facts for barley.
Posted on 2011-08-28 20:53:52
Name:Terry
Location:Westchester County, New York
Subject:High levels of potassium
I recently had my blood work done for my annual physical and my potassium levels are high. I do not eat meat, mostly fish, chicken and legumes. My doctor wants to re-do my blood work in October. I drink almond milk and eat almonds. I suspect that between the fish, almond milk and almonds my potassium level spiked. Is there anything else I should be aware of?
Posted on 2011-09-01 07:46:32
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High levels of potassium
Hi Terry, thanks for your question. In addition to the fish, and almonds, you should be aware that other nuts and seeds are also high in potassium. Further, the legumes you eat are also a great source of potassium. Are you drinking enough fluids and water during the day? Having enough water should help regulate your potassium levels. Did the doctor say you should be concerned about your high potassium levels? How is your blood pressure? The high level may not be anything to worry about and may actually be a good thing.
Posted on 2011-09-01 07:57:15
Name:Elizabeth
Location:San Juan Puerto Rico
Subject:High levels of potassium
Your answer to Terry said that the high level of potassium may not be anything to worry about and may actually be a good thing. But how high should be the level? My doctor said that high levels of potassium might be an indication of kidney problems. Could you clarify this.
Posted on 2011-09-01 18:46:39
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High levels of potassium
Hi Elizabeth, thanks for a good follow up question. What you are saying is true, high levels of potassium can be good and can be bad. As other people have commented here several people have to take potassium pills or eat more potassium to keep their blood pressure low and prevent heart disease, others are on diuretic medications which lower their potassium levels. Other people who have kidney problems need to avoid potassium, so as you have said, there are people who need to limit their potassium intake. In general, if your doctor or health provider does not specifically say your high potassium is a sign of a larger problem you are probably OK.
Posted on 2011-09-01 19:03:02
Name:Hannah
Location:Missouri
Subject:Potassium via grapes
I love green seedless grapes, and as such, consume QUITE a bit on a daily basis. Reading that an overdose of potassium can potentially lead to death is now causing concern; I've looked and looked but can't seem to find a clear answer to my question, which is: how much grapes is TOO much with regards to potassium intake? I would say, on average, I consume about six cups a day/every other day, should I be worried?
Posted on 2011-09-01 19:06:50
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Potassium via grapes
Hi Hannah, thanks for your question. One cup of seedless grapes provides around 8% of the percent daily value (DV) for potassium. Thus 6 cups only provides 48% of the DV. Therefore you are safe from potassium overdose. In general potassium toxicity, or high levels of blood potassium (Hyperkalemia) occurs from taking potassium supplements, or from having a physiological problem, like kidney failure. Potassium from fruits and vegetables, as well as other natural sources is GENERALLY quite safe and easily regulated by the body. Click here to see complete nutrition facts for grapes.
Posted on 2011-09-01 19:18:04
Name:Eloise
Location:Auckland, New Zealand
Subject:Illness from High Potassium Foods?!
For many years I have not been able to eat Bananas or Avocados without feeling very ill, within 30mins I have severe stomach cramps. Pineapples and pineapple juice also have the same affect, I assumed I was allergic to potassium rich foods but I see from this article that Pineapples do not contain high levels. I am also fine with other foods such as potatoes? I am confused as to what it could be now! Any ideas?!
Posted on 2011-09-02 01:05:53
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Illness from High Potassium Foods?!
Hi Eloise, thanks for your question. Looking at the nutrition facts comparison for bananas, avocados, and pineapples it does not appear that any of the fruits are particularly high in any one nutrient which could cause your symptoms. It is possible that you are allergic to some other compound shared by all 3 fruits. Try talking to your extended family to see if anyone else shares the same reaction.
Posted on 2011-09-02 04:56:22
Name:Lilly
Location:Boston
Subject:Banana and Avocado Allergy
Some people with a latex allergy are also allergic to bananas, avocados, & kiwi, to address the Eloise's earlier concern. Best to talk to your primary care provider.
Posted on 2011-09-02 05:12:43
Name:Richard
Location:Florida
Subject:Low Potassium
I have just had a pace maker put in and they found while I was in the hospital I had low potassium. Too low to use pills. They used an intravenous drip. This was extremley painful and I would not like to have to do it again. This article has shown me how to keep up my levels by proper eating.
Posted on 2011-09-15 03:38:19
Name:Pauline Hamed
Location:Alexandria, Egypt
Subject:High Cholesterol/Blood Pressure
I am currently taking hypertension medication and according to one of the charts my potassium levels could be reduced significantly. However, my blood test showed that mine is actually high. Could this represent a kidney failure or is it just that I am eating a well balanced diet. I do eat a good variety of all the right foods and living in Egypt I use spices (turmeric/chiliginger etc) on a daily basis. I found this site very helpful thank you. :)
Posted on 2011-09-19 04:20:12
Name:Rhona Baxter
Location:Dubai United Arab Emirates
Subject:Potassium Lowering Foods
Hi.... My father has kidney failure and has been told to avoid foods high in potassium. Please could you advise of any foods that do this?
Posted on 2011-09-27 22:49:32
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Potassium Lowering Foods
Hi Rhona, thanks for your question and sorry to hear of your father's condition. Almost all foods have potassium and there are no known foods, other than water, which will lower the concentration of potassium in your body. One thing you can do is try to leach, or remove, the potassium from fruits and vegetables. You can do this by soaking the vegetables in water, and then boiling them in water. The National Kidney Foundation will have more resources that can help you, including an article on potassium.
Posted on 2011-09-28 09:35:27
Name:Cindy
Location:Alberta
Subject:Parasites
Just got the blood work back for my 9 year old son. I was concerned about his slow growth rate so lab work was done (for just about everything). The only things that showed up was a high parasitic level and low potassium level. Could the low potassium be due to the intestinal parasites? Should I be giving him potassium rich foods/supplements or should I await treatment for the parasites before I worry too much about the potassium?
Posted on 2011-10-20 21:41:00
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Parasites
Hi Cindy thanks for your question and sorry to hear of your son's condition. Basically, if the parasites are causing diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, or some other loss of liquids and electrolytes from the body then you should definitely try to get your son's potassium level back up. Avoid supplements as they can be extremely dangerous if taken in excess, and for a 9 month old, overdose of supplements is very easy. Try more natural foods high in potassium to get your son's level up. What did your health provider say? Definitely contact them to confirm.
Posted on 2011-10-22 15:02:44
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:ARB Blood Pressure Meds and Potassium
For high blood pressure, my doctor added an ARB-type medication to my existing beta-blocker one. He had me take a blood test after a week to see the effect on my potassium level. Later that caused me to think about the Morton Lite Salt that I have used for many years, to reduce sodium intake. I think I started it before having any BP issues. Sure enough, Lite Salt (the closest taste to real salt I can find) is something like 55% potassium chloride. So I pretty much stopped using the Lite Salt until I understood what the doctor wanted to see. My BP was dropping, but very slowly. One day I decided to try the Lite Salt for just a day and sure enough, the following day my BP jumped almost 20 points. Now, I can't really call that a sample and I haven't confirmed this with my doctor, but it seems prudent that anyone who is on a sodium-restricted diet or for any other reason uses any form of salt substitute should remember to tell their doctor about it, particularly if about to begin the use of a new medication for blood pressure or renal issues.
Posted on 2011-10-23 19:53:56
Name:Paula
Location:UAE
Subject:Low levels of Potassium
Hi, My sister who was fit and healthy became sick in June she was vommiting for 24 hours then she stopped breathing and they could not revive her. They could find no cause of death but suggested it could be caused by low potassium levels due to her cotinued vomiting. They said it affected her electrical pulses to her heart and that is why it stopped. Is this true? Thanks she was taking no other medication she did drink alcohol and recently gave up smoking. She was a little over weight but her BP was normal. Thanks
Posted on 2011-11-01 04:19:08
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Low levels of Potassium
Hi Paula, sorry to hear about your sister. It is possible that her death was caused by a lack of potassium, however, there could have been many causes. During the time your sister was throwing up, was she eating or drinking anything besides water? If she was consuming anything to replenish her potassium then maybe her death was caused by something else, however, if she was not, then it is more possible that the lack of potassium and other important minerals played a roll in her death.
Posted on 2011-11-01 14:06:40
Name:Elizabeth
Location:TN
Subject:No Carb Diet
I've developed cramps in my legs at night and a friend suggested that I am probably in need of potassium. My diet consists only of meat, eggs, a little fat (like cream) and salads. I only plan on eating like this until I am no longer obese. I have been quite successful in losing weight. It seems I am going to be very limited in potassium rich foods that do not contain carbs. Spinach looks like it will work. Any other ideas?
Posted on 2011-11-08 11:09:15
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: No Carb Diet
Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your question. Spinach will be a good source of potassium for you, also try dried herbs, and other vegetables high in potassium. What meats are you eating in your diet? Consider eating more fish which, as listed in this article, is a good source of potassium.
Posted on 2011-11-08 11:14:53
Name:Person
Location:Home
Subject:Potassium-Rich Foods
So I made homemade pumpkin seeds spiced with paprika (and other spices). Very spicy but it is awesomly awesome!
Posted on 2011-11-13 22:19:07
Name:Sandra
Location:Switzerland
Subject:Potassium
Like Manuel, I have to watch my potassium intake because of kidney problems (I had a transplant). It is difficult because unlike what is good for everybody else (fruits, vegetables, and fish) these foods raise the potassium levels in the blood and for people like us, it can be dangerous. Thank you for all the good advice.
Posted on 2011-11-16 16:50:33
Name:Cindy
Location:Ontario
Subject:High Potassium
I have had my blood work done and my potassium is high. I was told to stay away from bananas, potatoes, and orange juice. I am on a BP pill but I also take omega 3 and flax seed pills. I was wondering if it could be them making my potassium level high?
Posted on 2011-11-20 19:30:33
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High Potassium
Hi Cindy, thanks for your question. Check the label of your omega 3 and flax seed supplements to see if they contain any potassium. It is unlikely that they do, and more likely that your high potassium is caused by your blood pressure medication. Can you read the list of ingredients in your blood pressure medication? Is potassium listed? Are you taking any other supplements? Potassium is well regulated by the body, so unless you are taking another supplement, you may have a kidney problem. Check with your doctor about trying another blood pressure medication.
Posted on 2011-11-22 21:08:39
Name:Elsabe Alheit
Location:South Africa
Subject:Interstitial Cystitis
I have the above illness, Interstitial Cystitis, severe bladder problems, and my doctor advises that I don't eat anything containing potassium, i.e. no fruits except sweet melon and pears, all vegetables except tomatoes, peppers and onions, and only white flour products, no red meat - only fish and chicken and no processed meat products...and of course no chocolates (hard for a chocoholic!!) as well as no alcohol. Apparently milk, cheese, eggs, and pasta is allright. What are your comments?
Posted on 2011-12-05 10:24:04
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Interstitial Cystitis
Hi Elsabe, thanks for your question. Helping to alleviate your Interstitial Cystitis involves avoiding foods high in potassium as well as acidic foods. The U.S. National Library of Medicine article on Interstitial Cystitis has a complete list of foods to avoid including:
  • Aged cheeses
  • Alcohol
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus juices
  • Coffee
  • Cranberry juice (Note: Although cranberry juice is often recommended for urinary tract infections, it can make IC symptoms worse.)
  • Fava and lima beans
  • Meats that are cured, processed, smoked, canned, aged, or that contain nitrites
  • Most fruits except blueberries, honeydew melon, and pears
  • Nuts except almonds, cashews, and pine nuts
  • Onions
  • Rye bread
  • Seasonings that contain MSG
  • Sour cream
  • Sourdough bread
  • Soy
  • Tea
  • Tofu
  • Tomatoes
  • Yogurt
Further, it appears some of your doctor's recommendations are wrong. For example, fish has more potassium than beef, so you would be better off eating beef over fish. You can see the complete nutrition comparison here. You should also avoid tomatoes and onions, they are high in potassium and on the list to avoid. Futher dairy foods tend to be high in potassium and are likely no better than a lot of other foods. Your doctor's advice about the white flour and pasta, the melons, and the pears was correct, so you can enjoy those. Hope that helps!
Posted on 2011-12-05 10:42:59
Name:Monet
Location:Maryland
Subject:High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease
I have hypertension and a kidney disease that isn't helped at all by the hypertension. It says that potassium will help regulate and lower blood pressure but also not to consume a lot if you have a kidney disease. Right now I'm on a combo pill Prenozide(HCTZ and lisinopril) I would like to get off these pills one day, what amout of potassium would you suggest I consume? I want my blood pressure lower but I don't want to hurt my kidneys more.
Posted on 2011-12-07 08:53:39
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease
Hi Monet, thanks for your question and sorry to hear of your condition. Potassium is thought to lower blood pressure by providing a counter balance to sodium in your body. Given your kidney disease, you would probably be best trying to lower your blood pressure via lifestyle choices such as reducing or cutting sodium (salt) intake, exercising everyday, and eating foods high in fiber. All these choices would hopefully lower your blood pressure without causing excess strain on your kidneys. Unfortunately it is a bit of a vicious cylce as high blood pressure can worsen kidneys and bad kidneys can raise blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about your proposed lifestlye changes of cutting sodium from your diet and exercising. For further information you can consult the PubMed page on blood pressure (hypertension), or the HealthAliciousNess article on Understanding Blood Pressure. Good luck and hope that you can avoid taking the medication.
Posted on 2011-12-07 21:52:47
Name:Jay D Mann
Location:Christchurch, New Zealand
Subject:Sodium-Potassium Ratio
There is an ever-growing body of research showing that in people with healthy kidneys, the sodium:potassium ratio is a good predictor of death from strokes. A good target is to eat twice as much potassium as sodium. Work by Morris et al at University of California suggests that high enough potassium intake can block blood-pressure rise from salt challenge.
Posted on 2012-01-13 00:49:53
Name:Michael
Location:Philadelphia
Subject:Hard to get enough Potassium...
Am I laboring under a misimpression or is it harder to regularly get your 100% DV of Potassium than it is to get most other nutrients? It seems that once you move away from a few of the highest potassium foods, you'd have to eat a LOT to get enough, and regular multi-vitamin/mineral pills that give you 100 - 300% of almost everything else only provide about about 5 to 10% of a day's potassium! (P.S. a diet rich in chocolate milk and potato chips seems to be good for potassium... that's one consolation!)
Posted on 2012-02-07 20:21:43
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Hard to get enough Potassium...
Hi Michael, thanks for your comment. Potassium is a fairly common nutrient and it is probably easier to get the DV than you think. Several people have conditions where they have to avoid potassium foods, and they often struggle to find what to eat. Further, too much potassium can be dangerous, which is why only 5-10% is administered in common supplements. As long as you eat whole grains, fruits, and vegetables you are probably easily obtaining your DV for potassium.
Posted on 2012-02-07 20:48:12
Name:Megs
Location:Michigan
Subject:Advice
I used to be Anorexic and anybody that is reading this who is, don't be, get help. My entire system is screwed up and I have to take vitamins now because of my potassium deficiency & if you forget I get major major charlie horses so bad they make me cry. It's great to know what foods I can eat that will help me, because I hate bananas :) .
Posted on 2012-02-15 20:20:20
Name:Ruth
Location:Ontario, Canada
Subject:Charlie Horse
Regarding charlie horses, try a bar of hand soap in the bed. It sounds stupid, but it works for a lot of people. When the cramps come back you will know you have to change the soap. Try it, you have nothing to loose. But also do keep your potassium checked for sure.
Posted on 2012-02-16 06:28:30
Name:Jacqueline
Location:Dallas, Texas
Subject:RE: Charlie Horse and Leg Cramps
To answer Ruth in Ontario about her leg cramps. I was put on Fluoroquione Antibiotics too many times and it caused me to have SEVERE leg cramps that were horrible. Some nights I had to stand up half the night the pain was so bad when I laid down. I had used he Soap bar in bed for milder leg cramps (as you have suggested) and it works fine for normal leg cramps but not these severe ones. My Altenative Doctor resolved this dilemma by having me drink 8 oz of Low Sodium V-8 juice every morning and every night. It has been like a miracle cure for me! My regular doctors had no solutions to help me nor did they realize the cause of the problem!
Posted on 2012-02-17 22:19:31
Name:Stan
Location:Maryland
Subject:Great Information
Thanks to the site for this article & to those who posted questions and comments. Very helpful for my research! Potassium content is not required to be posted on foods, so it is often difficult to know what you're getting with some foods.
Posted on 2012-03-05 12:26:51
Name:Eileen
Location:Ga
Subject:My potassium level is 5.7
When I had my blood work done, my level was 5.7, I had it rechecked a week later and it had gone down to 5.5. I am suppose to eat foods lower in potassium and I am having trouble finding a good list with lower potassium. All of my other numbers in the blood work were good. My health is over all good, I do take blood pressure medicine and lipitor. I am supposed to stay off of a multi vitamin for 2 weeks. Would love to hear what you have to say about this.
Posted on 2012-03-17 13:14:09
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: My potassium level is 5.7
Hi Eileen, thanks for your comment, your potassium is definitely on the high side and classifies you as having mild Hyperkalemia (high blood potassium). You will be best to avoid all the foods listed here, as well as the following fruits and vegetables high in potassium. Try using the nutrient ranking tool to find foods low in potassium. Stay off your supplement, or try find a multi-vitamin supplement that does not contain potassium! Hope that helps.
Posted on 2012-03-17 15:32:02
Name:Jan
Location:East London SA
Subject:High Potassium
Recently my wife ended up in the hospital. She is on dialysis and hypertension medication, she is also a diabetic on insulin. The doctor immediately took her off Prexum hypertension tabs, he advised this influences the level of potassium.
Posted on 2012-03-22 11:09:57
Name:Ellen
Location:Ohio USA
Subject:High Potassium Levels in Otherwise Healthy People
Several people have posted about high potassium levels in their bloodwork. If you have kidney problems disregard, but if you don't, consider that one of the most common causes of high postassium in blood work is improper handling of the blood. If the tube of blood sits too long before the test is run, the potassium level can be sky high. So, if you got a high level on a routine screening, ask when the blood was drawn and when the test was run. Try not to get bloodwork done on a Friday and if possible, have your blood drawn at the hospital, you will be much less likely to have a artificially high reading.

As for the person that was taking prescription diuretics and presciption potassium pills, please be very careful about stopping those pills. Prescription potassium pills are often 10 to 40 mEq (milliequivalents) this can equate to 600 to 2400 mg of potassium per pill. This will be hard to replace with diet. Always talk to your doctor before stopping any prescription medication (by the way KCL is available for $4 for a month supply at many pharmacies, you may need to switch pharmacies or brands, but cost shouldn't prevent you from taking this.) Thanks for the great list! This will help so many people to make better food choices!

Posted on 2012-04-08 15:31:19
Name:Kelly
Location:Maryland
Subject:Alcohol and Potassium Deficiency
I have read elsewhere that alcoholics are at high risk for low potassium levels and can't seem to put two and two together. How do these two interact and what is causing the decrease? Thanks for the great article!
Posted on 2012-04-11 22:16:26
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Alcohol and Potassium Deficiency
Hi Kelly, thanks for your question. Alcoholics do have an increased risk of potassium deficiency and this is becuase alcohol impairs kidney function and affects the balance of nutrients/electolytes in the blood. Over time, this can lead to a potassium deficiency. This aritcle from Montana State University has more information.
Posted on 2012-04-11 22:16:26
Name:Norman Fish
Location:United Kingdom
Subject:High Potassium and Kidney Failure
I have kidney failure and am on dialysis. My renal doctor tells me that my potassium levels in the blood are much too high (averaging 6.0 over the past three months) and warns me that this could cause heart failure unless resolved. As far as I can see that apart from eating 3 bananas weekly during dialysis, I do not consume most of the other products causing this problem, except in moderation only. I have also a pacemaker fitted for heart disease (icd) which has given me a number of defribrillation shocks over the past 4 years which the doctors seem to think may be a low potassium blood count-below 3.0mmol. The problem appears to be that the dialysis machine does not recognise potassium levels in the blood specifically and treats it as toxic materials. The only way to control levels is the use of concentrates with a higher potassium replacement to achieve a higher level of potassium to avoid shocks in future. I seem to be between the devil and the deep blue sea! Is there another possible source of potassium other than dietary ones that could be causing the higher levels recently seen? Have you come across any other patients with a similar problem as it is one that the renal and cardiological specialists cannot seem to recognise? Thanks in anticipation of your comments and suggestions.
Posted on 2012-04-12 07:02:27
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High Potassium and Kidney Failure
Hi Norman, thanks for your question and sorry to hear of your condition. Potassium is sometimes added to foods as a preservative (potassium sorbate etc...) so be sure to check ingredient labels to be sure you are not getting potassium that way. Further, potassium is found in many supplements and even some medicines. Again, be sure to check ingredient labels and consult your doctor before taking any supplement or medicine. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2012-04-13 10:40:53
Name:Vicki
Location:New Jersey
Subject:Flaxseed Oil vs. Flax seeds
You suggested flax seeds as a good source of potassium. Is flaxseed oil or flaxseed capsules high in potassium also?
Posted on 2012-04-17 12:02:50
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Flaxseed Oil vs. Flax seeds
Hi Vicki, thanks for your question. Here is the nutriton facts comparison for flaxseeds vs flaxseed oil. As you can see, flaxseed oil does not naturally provide potassium. Some flaxseed oil capsules may contain added potassium, however, it is unlikely.
Posted on 2012-04-17 15:04:03
Name:Donna Cook
Location:Georgia
Subject:Do Potassium Preservatives Increase Potassium Levels?
Thank you for all the info. My potassium level is 5.8. Love bananas, avocados, etc., eat a lot of raw veggies with hummus. Now I know which vegies not to eat for now. Does potassium iodide (iodine in my multi powder vitamins) and potassium sorbate (for freshening in hummus) add to my high level? Thank you, thank you for your dedication in this. Boy, did I need this! Blessings. Donna
Posted on 2012-04-28 00:06:50
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Do Potassium Preservatives Increase Potassium Levels?
Hi Donna, thanks for your kind comments and your question. The additives and preservatives: potassium iodide, potassium sorbate (E202), potassium benzoate (E212), as well as any other potassium preservative can be absorbed by your body and increase your potassium levels. You should try avoid them. Unless you need iodine, you should also try to avoid iodized salt which may contain potassium iodine. You can also soak or boil vegetables in water before eating them to try lower their potassium content. Hope that helps and good luck lowering your potassium level.
Posted on 2012-05-04 03:59:19
Name:Cactus
Location:Florida, USA
Subject:Potassium in V8
I just had a high potassium level on my blood test (5.4) and have been trying to figure out what I was eating that could have caused it. I had been eating low carb and drinking V8 daily for breakfast. V8 has 470 mg of Potassium per cup. I plan to cut back or quit the V8.
Posted on 2012-05-18 06:59:20
Name:TeeDiva
Location:Ohio
Subject:Blood Pressure and Potassium
I am glad I found your website. I have been on BP meds for the past 7 years after delivering my daughter. Started on 25 mg of hctz. Never had any potassium issues until the fall of 2010 when they change my hctz to Lisinopril/hctz and the problems started. My potassium levels would drop to 3.3 or 3.4. I tried potassium supplements and they would upset my stomach. One doctor wanted me to continue with the supplements despite the upset stomach, but I went against her wishes and ate foods high in potassium had my blood re-checked and they were as high as 3.7. But as the months progressed, my potassium levels kept going up and down and then she wanted me to take the lowest dose of a potassium-sparing diuretic (triamterene/hctz). Taking that and BP numbers kept spiking (high as 154/90) and my potassium levels would go up and down again. Doctor had me see a cardiologist who added a calcium channel blocker to my medicine regiment. While taking both meds the bp levels are normal (119/79, 121/81), I would experience low potassium level symptoms, fatigue, muscle cramps. I would increase my food consumption (extra banana, orange juice, raisins, prunes, salmon, etc, the cramps would go away, but my potassium level still fluctuates between 3.5 or dip to 3.4. Planning to see the caridiologist in a week to discuss changing my meds to something that will keep my bp numbers and my potassium levels in the normal range with less side effects. Wish me luck.
Posted on 2012-05-24 11:33:28
Name:Jackie
Location:Illinois
Subject:Weight gain with Potassium Pills?
Because I had a low potassium level, my doctor put me on potassium pills over a year ago. Since then, I have gained 15 pounds. I was already overweight and did not need this extra poundage! I have been trying to watch what I eat and do a little exercise. I stress "little." I am 70 years old and feel 50. I am considering going off the potassium pills to see if that will help with weight loss. I am also taking high blood pressure medication. Is it possible that the potassium pills have added to my weight gain?
Posted on 2012-05-24 19:33:26
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Weight gain with Potassium Pills?
Hi Jackie, thanks for your question. Potassium pills are not known to cause weight gain, and it would be best if you talked to your doctor before stopping them!
Posted on 2012-05-25 04:38:50
Name:Noella
Location:Halifax, NS
Subject:Diuretics and Potassium
I have been on 3 different diuretics now for swollen ankles. The 1st one gave me the trots, the 2nd gave me hives, both of which required me to take more potassium and now the 3rd, "Spironolactone (Novo-Spiroton)" which causes me to take less potassium. None of these pills have done much for the swollen ankles however and I don't like having to avoid the kinds of foods that have high potassium in them. Any suggestions?
Posted on 2012-05-25 23:03:44
Name:ND
Location:NJ
Subject:Ranking Methodology
Thank you for your article! I recently was prescribed Spironolact and told to watch my potassium intake. I never realized how many food outside of bananas are potassium rich! This will be a great guide for me!

However, I was curious to know why you listed them in the order you did? While dried Chervil may have 195% per 3.5 oz, if the average serving is only a 3% dv from a tablespoon wouldn't the paragraph have been more informative if it had been devoted to the 98% dv from 3.5 oz of sun dried tomatoes. A far more likely serving size to be used on a daily basis by far more people. Same with Whey powder, a popular weight loss and body building supplement (and one I use myself). I had no idea whey was so high in potassium and 3.5 oz is less than two shakes a day! I'm now on the search for a new meal replacement, but I would have missed that information because I assumed the Top 10 were not only the highest (they aren't) but the most popular (they aren't) and almost didn't bother with the smaller, less visually interesting list below it!

Posted on 2012-06-12 21:36:15
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Ranking Methodology
Hi ND, thanks for your thoughtful feedback. Creating a ranking of foods is a challenging task, in the end, some standard had to be chosen, and that was to rank which foods have the greatest potassium density gram per gram. If the top 10 list was created by what are common serving sizes, then everyone would have their own opinion on what are common foods.

Further, the list was created with the mentality to inform people of ways they could get more potassium in their diet. From this perspective, dried herbs are an easy low calorie food that can be added to most dishes for extra potassium. There are, unfortunately, many pitfalls and problems with food nutrient rankings, which you can read about here. Thanks for your feedback to draw more attention to the extended table. A note will be added in the opening paragraph.

Good luck with your new diet, and thanks again for the comment.

Posted on 2012-06-12 21:36:15
Name:Maritimer
Location:Nova Scotia
Subject:Unexplained High Potassium
Thank you for all of your very informative responses to these questions - they are a big help!

My husband has worked hard to lose 65-70 lbs through calorie restriction & exercise. He has never been a vegetable eater (putting it mildly) and is among the pickiest eaters I know. He recently found a lump on his neck and went to the doctor. Doctor was not overly concerned and believes it to be a cyst. He wanted to have his bloodwork checked because the last time he did was 3 years ago when he was still very much overweight at which time, he had high glucose, BP and triglycerides.

Low and behold after losing the weight, his new bloodwork showed perfection in all areas EXCEPT potassium which was 6.0. His kidney function appears normal. The doctor gave him a list of foods that are high in potassium and was advised to stay away from them and will re-check in 2 weeks.

The thing about this is that I know what his diet is like and while I know next to nothing about this, I'm 99% sure there's no possible way his potassium could have been that high from eating the amount of whole wheat bread and sweet potatoes that he eats (2 of the things I see that are "high"). He would eat an average amount of potatoes or sweet potatoes but NEVER eats any leafy greens or hardly any of the foods that he is advised to stay away from.

Admittedly, I think he's quite pleased with himself that a health care professional is now condoning him to stay away from the greens that I've been trying to get him to eat all of this time! :-) I'm hoping his re-check in a few weeks will tell a different story, but I just can't rest easy assuming that his high levels are from diet alone. Wouldn't a person have to eat a TON of potatoes and sweet potatoes (the only high potassium foods he eats) for it to get that high? He does drink a LOT of diet pop and will only drink water if it's flavoured with splenda, so I can't help but want to blame artificial sweeteners, but I haven't heard that discussed. Do you have any comments on this?

Posted on 2012-07-07 01:35:53
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Unexplained High Potassium
Hi Maritimer, thanks for your question. It is possible that artificial sweetners have high potassium, but this is not the norm, and you will have to check the labels of each product. As it turns out, lab test errors often incorrectly report high potassium levels, so you would be wise to get re-tested. Also, medicines which lower blood pressure often raise potassium levels, you mentioned your husband had high blood pressure, was he on any meds?

Further, supplements often contain potassium, does your husband take a multivitamin that is high in potassium? In either case, as long as the body is healthy enough to regulate levels of potassium then high potassium is rarely caused by high potassium foods. Your husband should get re-tested and see if his level doesn't come out normal, if not, find a doctor who can find the underlying cause. Hope that helps.

Posted on 2012-07-07 01:54:04
Name:Caroline
Location:Summersville WV
Subject:Thoughts on Potassium
Excellent article! Sounds like 80% of my diet.. the rest being pastured meats and a wider range of vegetables :^) Regarding Potassium and diuretics, I have Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy.. inherited from mum.. genetic mutations of my heart muscle means that it is developing gross abnormalities. It can't pump properly so I am on a Beta blocker to stop obstruction of my aorta and Furosemide (diuretic) to reduce fluid build up. I manage extremely well without Potassium supplements. My fave high potassium foods are dried fruits (I bulk buy sun-dried currants, raisins and apricots from California) and dried tomatoes (I dry my own). These provide awesome levels of potassium. Diuretics also cause the loss of vital Magnesium, Zinc and Calcium but these are rarely addressed by doctors. Eating naturally high potassium foods will also supply good quantities of the above.
Posted on 2012-08-09 10:37:00
Name:Allison
Location:Louisville, Kentucky
Subject:Potassium on a diet
Loved the article! I do have one problem, though. I am on a 1,200 calorie diet and would have to eat nothing but bananas and potassium rich foods in order to reach my required potassium levels, which would leave other nutrients out. How can I get my fill of both potassium rich foods and foods high in other vitamins without overeating?
Posted on 2012-08-14 17:18:42
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Potassium on a diet
Hi Allison, thanks for your question. The dried herbs, and spices, like paprika and chilli powder would be a great way to add more potassium to your diet with few calories. Try find ways to add extra tablespoons of each to your meals. Further, vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrients. The list of high potassium vegetables will have good suggestions for you. For example, a cup of swiss chard will provide 27% of the DV for potassium but only 35 calories. Mushrooms are also a great low calorie nutrient dense food. Hope that helps!
Posted on 2012-08-15 08:09:54
Name:Susan
Location:Colorado
Subject:Symptoms of low potassium
I have leg/foot cramps occassionally and when it gets really bad, I can take a bit of salt in the palm of my hand, lick it and tuck it under my tongue. I might have to do this several times to get the cramps to stop (they get so bad, I want to scream). Is this a symptom of low potassium? What is robbing my body of potassium? How do I stop it?
Posted on 2012-11-27 14:05:53
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Symptoms of low potassium
Hi Susan, thanks for your question. Are you taking regular sodium table salt? Or potassium salts? Muscle cramps are caused by an electrolyte imbalance, which means too much or too little, sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and/or calcium can cause them. To stop getting cramps be sure you are getting enough(but not too much) sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and potassium. Many things can cause an electrolyte imbalance including: excessive sweating and exercise, taking diuretics, renal (kidney) failure, dehydration, and drinking too much water. Basically it is important to keep a balance, which should not be difficuilt if you are drinking enough water and consuming enough of the minerals (sodium etc..) listed. You can get your blood tested to find a particular deficiency. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2012-11-28 02:50:53
Name:Dana
Location:AL
Subject:High Potassium Low Sodium
One thing that has not been mentioned is Adrenal issues. I have Addison's Disease. It causes high potassium and low sodium. THANKS for the list to avoid, but I would LOVE a list of high sodium foods as I do not like the taste of salt. Right now I supplement my sodium with lots of pickles.
Posted on 2012-12-01 06:33:24
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High Potassium Low Sodium
Hi Dana, thanks for your comment and adding to the conversation. This site does provide a list of high sodium foods. Check back in a few months as the list will be extended, and tips to boost your sodium will be added.
Posted on 2012-12-01 06:50:00
Name:Stephanie
Location:SD
Subject:Another medication to watch out for
One medication that can also cause low potassium/magnesium: NexIUM, a popular antacid pill.
Posted on 2013-01-07 14:42:25
Name:Rebekah Henretty
Location:PA
Subject:Charlie horses
I was wondering, I am pregnant and am getting horrible charlie horses, and retaining water, a lot of people told me I am lacking potassium, the problem is I am a really picky when it comes to food, so I'm looking for something I can eat that can help with this problem, I did see the baked potatoes which I love but how many would I need to eat? And I do take vitamins, shouldn't those be helping?
Posted on 2013-01-28 17:40:59
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Charlie horses
Hi Rebekah, thanks for your questions. 4 medium baked potatoes would be enough to meet your recommended daily intake. However, that is a lot of potatoes, and you would be best to try some other foods, like bananas or spinach. As for the Charlie horses there can be a variety of causes. Check your potassium levels at your next blood test to be sure it really is potassium. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2013-01-28 17:42:03
Name:Gerry
Location:AZ.
Subject:Constipation with Potassium Supplements
I was put on pills for potassium 20meq. because of leg cramps. Could you tell me if this will cause me to have constipation? Could you tell me also what to eat not to take these pills?
Posted on 2013-02-19 14:21:24
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Constipation with Potassium Supplements
Hi Gerry thanks for your questions. The potassium supplements can cause constipation. As for foods to eat, both the high potassium foods listed here, and high magnesium foods should help with leg cramps. Bran is a great food to boost your magnesium and alleviate your constipation. Otherwise focus on eating the food sources of potassium that are high in fiber, like fruits and dried fruits. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2013-02-19 16:35:34
Name:Issues
Location:TN
Subject:IC and Low Potassium
I have IC pretty bad (of which I use D-Mannose for), and I also have low potassium from doing (necessary) enemas on a regular basis.

I know the enemas are depleting my potassium levels and I eat many of the high potassium foods to counter act this. But from reading other comments on this site, I also found that eating the high potassium foods are probably what is causing my constant flare-ups with IC.

If I don't eat the foods to bring my potassium levels up, my feet and lower legs cramp really bad, my heart does weird things, and my hands will tend to just flop or drop onto my keyboard at work sometimes.

At least through reading this blog, I now know why the IC flare-up issues, but now I'm feeling frustrated. Got any suggestions as to how to deal with both?

Posted on 2013-03-06 20:04:36
Name:Shirley
Location:North Carolina
Subject:What are Normal Potassium Levels?
I have enjoyed reading about potassium and its effects on blood pressure/kidneys and heart. My husband is fighting the problem of potassium level being too high along with chronic kidney disease. His doctor has said his potassium level is too high and prescribed a liquid medication (kayexel) to quickly reduce this; however, the med was mixed with a cherry syrup instead of water, therefore he could not drink the med. He is highly allergic to cherry and cherry flavored liquids. We are trying to find a pharmacy with the powder form so that our pharmacist can mix this with water. Now, no one has mentioned the normal level of potassium or the extremes of highs and lows. I have read about 3.4 and 3.5 and then 6, but no one has defined a normal figure. Can someone help with this? We will return to his nephrologist on Monday, and I would love to have more information before this visit. Thank you for your help.
Posted on 2013-03-31 18:09:31
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: What are Normal Potassium Levels?
Hi Shirley, thanks for your comment and questions. Normal potassium levels range between 3.7 to 5.2 mEq/L. Where mEq/L = milliequivalent per liter. Hope that helps!
Posted on 2013-04-03 23:11:50
Name:Ed O
Location:Ft. Montgomery, NY
Subject:Digoxin and low potassium
I have not seen any questions that might address the connection between Digoxin, which I am taking, and low potassium levels possibly "triggering an irregular heart beat, or A-Fib condition. How likely is that?
Posted on 2013-05-12 00:43:42
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Digoxin and low potassium
Hi Ed, thanks for your question and comment. Having low potassium levels does increase the risk of digitalis (digoxin) toxicity. Symptoms include: confusion, irregular pulse, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, palpitations, and vision changes. For more see this article on digitalis toxicity.
Posted on 2013-05-14 02:21:06
Name:Mary
Location:United States
Subject:Restless Leg Syndrome
For some RLS sufferers, potassium is a help. For others, such as myself, potassium highly exacerbates RLS. I've been having oatmeal on a daily basis, not realizing it has a fair share of potassium, and, as an example, I've had RLS unrelenting for 15 hours straight. Taken all the med's I can, but still, RLS. No sleep can be done either.
Posted on 2013-05-25 12:29:10
Name:Ric
Location:Sydney
Subject:Try to lower my potassium level...
Hi, I have just had blood work and been advised by my GP that I have High Cholesterol [6.5] and High Potassium [6.9]. I have checked my food intake and cannot find anything that would be pushing my potassium up. I am not on any medication. I have to admit to not doing regular exercise, and not drinking water as regularly as I should [mostly it comes in the form of 5-6 cups of tea or coffee]. He did not find anything to suggest Kidney or Adrenal problems, so he has suggested I modify my food intake to cut out high potassium foods. This is an issue for as I don't eat large quantities of, or high level potassium foods. I read above that water helps to flush potassium through the system, would cutting out tea and coffee and replacing with 2 liters of water drop my potassium level enough to bring it back to 'normal levels'? What level would be considered 'normal'?
Posted on 2013-06-05 03:20:09
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Try to lower my potassium level...
Hi Ric, thanks for your question. Drinking more water will definitely help to regulate and lower your potassium level. Normal potassium levels range between 3.7 to 5.2 mEq/L. Where mEq/L = milliequivalent per liter. Hope that helps!
Posted on 2013-06-05 23:51:50
Name:Paul
Location:North Carolina
Subject:Don't take medication which raises your potassium!
Went into V-tack in May of 2011 and had a pacemaker/defib implanted. Cardiologist put me on a diuretic that increased my potassium level. Potassium level was checked once after that. On August 10,2011 the defibrillator fired 4 or 5 times. Fortunately, I had two mild warnings and was actually in a hospital bed when they hit hard. After being stabilized and transported to the cardiac unit in Carolina Medical Center, Charlotte, NC the nurse in the unit told me that my potassium level was at 6.8. Then she went on to explain that high levels of potassium used to be used to stop the heart when required for surgery. Apparently my potassium level had reached that critical point. I was flushed with saline solution (I think) until the level was back down to the normal range (3.6-5.1) My potassium level normally runs slightly higher (about 5.2-5.4) and I try to stay away from the higher sources. Sometimes not so easy, as most low sodium foods (I HAVE to keep mine in the normal range) are normally high in potassium. Whether from the high potassium or not(I don't really know), I had two ablations in a three day period, and spent three weeks in the hospital, at least half the time in Cardiac Critical Care. Based on this experience and explanation, I make it a point NOT to take any medication that will raise my potassium level.
Posted on 2013-06-10 02:47:58
Name:Laurel
Location:Kansas
Subject:High potassium from birth control pills
I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this but some birth control pills can increase your potassium levels dramatically.
Posted on 2013-08-06 11:26:22
Name:JohnP
Location:Pasadena, MD
Subject:Better to get it from good foods
I take diuretics. I am aware of and am prescribed some potassium sparing Spironolactone but still need the super acting Lasix (Furosemide). This apparently causes my blood potassium levels to drop. Low potassium causes me crippling and painful leg and hand cramping, but this article is inspiring and I am happy to learn about good foods that I can eat to help control this. I love to eat! But not pills.
Posted on 2013-08-10 19:24:56
Name:Ulli
Location:California
Subject:Potassium and Blood Pressure Meds
I am on Losartan, a blood pressure medication and just found out that high levels of potassium in combination with blood pressure medication can cause irregular heart beat which I now have. I am in the habit of eating almonds and am on a mostly fish and vegetable diet. Avocados and beans are on my daily intake. Apparently I have been eating the wrong foods and never knew it.
Posted on 2013-08-14 18:07:51
Name:Elizabeth
Location:Missouri
Subject:Potassium and Epilepsy
I recently had a grand mal seizure bad enough to put me in the ER (usually I recover from my--fairly rare--seizures on my own.) My doctor's office called and said that the lab work done in the ER showed low potassium levels and recommended that I work on the problem through diet rather than supplements. They gave me a "basic" list of suggestions--bananas, spinach, mushrooms, baked potatoes, yogurt...but your list was very helpful as it is so much more comprehensive and offers more options.

However, I notice that none of my meds are on the list of "problem" meds. Is this just because anticonvulsants are less common medications than the others, or does my problem likely have no direct relationship to them?

In addition, my father has a lot of kidney problems, but he LOVES to eat several foods on the list--especially bananas and beans--and is very stubborn. Any foods that might "counter" the effects of someone unlikely to give up their favorite foods just because they are not good for them?

Posted on 2013-09-17 09:37:13
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Potassium and Epilepsy
Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your comments and questions. You assumption is correct and it is unlikely that your anticonvulsant medication is affecting your potassium levels. Also, there unfortunately is no "anti-potassium" food for your father. The best thing might be to try drink lots of water to help dilute the level of potassium. Drinking a lot of water is a good idea for kidney problems anyway. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. Be careful though, as drinking too much water too quickly can be harmful to your body. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2013-09-18 23:23:40
Name:Richard
Location:NYC
Subject:What to do? What to eat?
Diagnosed with kidney disease, must lower intake of potassium, calcium, protein, salt, chocolate. Chocolate, can you imagine? Oh well, adjustments must be made. Off to new recipe adventures.
Posted on 2013-10-03 13:10:25
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: What to do? What to eat?
Hi Richard thanks for your questions and comments. The National Kidney Foundation has a page on Kidney Disease Friendly Cooking. Amazon also has some recipe books related to the condition.
Posted on 2013-10-04 03:49:28
Name:Lee Henry
Location:Singapore
Subject:High Potassium/High White Blood
I have very high potassium level and very high white blood cells... What causes it ?
Posted on 2013-11-07 22:15:42
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High Potassium/High White Blood
Hi Lee, thanks for your question. The first you want to do is get retested to make sure the counts are right. After that, the most common cause of high potassium is kidney failure/disease. Consult your doctor. Hope that helps and that you feel better soon.
Posted on 2013-11-08 03:35:35
Name:Theodore
Subject:High Blood Pressure
I am trying to bring down my high blood pressure with foods rich in potassium...How long will it take?
Posted on 2013-11-16 11:50:10
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High Blood Pressure
Hi Theodore, thanks for your question. Potassium will help low your blood pressure, but also consider drinking more water and doing more exercise. If you have a high BMI, weight loss also helps. It can take 1-6 months to see results, depending on how much you do. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2013-11-17 05:53:39
Name:Cheryl
Location:Mississippi
Subject:Ate potassium and feeling better.
Last night while at work my potassium level had gotten extremely low. Cramps in my legs, hands, and feet. My blood pressure was high as well. Then I remembered something my late Mom had taught me about potassium. So this morning I found your page and I ate an avocado when I got home. This morning I am feeling much better. Thank you so much for all your information. Happy New Year!
Posted on 2013-12-29 11:00:31
Name:Elsa
Location:Tennessee
Subject:High Potassium from Fertilizer on Produce...
Potassium is one of the three major components of fertilizer. My potassium was high until I quit eating red grapes. I always washed them before eating, but it is pretty difficult to wash a bunch of grapes! My potassium came down when I stopped eating them. I think it was a case of foliar fertilizer on the grapes.
Posted on 2014-01-08 20:04:33
Name:Susan
Location:Florida
Subject:White Beans Confusion
Hi, I too appreciate the article, but I'm stumped about "white beans" because the name isn't clear, or that our country just throws around the word "white beans". I've tried to find out just what beans these are (after all, with 1000 mg potassium per cup, that's an important find!) For instance, Goya has "small white beans" but doesn't list the potassium content on the label, and in fact, when you click on that name at their site, it takes you to a recipe for a soup with cannellini beans, which seems to have a MUCH lower potassium content. Some are saying they're navy beans. I'd like to know for sure, mostly because I suspect the ONLY can of "white beans" I can find is Goya's, and I suspect it's true that theirs is just small cannellini beans.
Posted on 2014-01-15 08:16:46
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: White Beans Confusion
Hi Susan, thanks for your question, and it is true this is a tough issue. The U.S. Agricultural Research Service which creates these nutrition facts simply defines white beans as any bean which is white. This is not particularly helpful unless you are actually looking at the beans. Another thing to keep in mind is that the data on white beans is an average across all white beans. This would mean some are higher than others, but generally, if the bean is white, it should be high in potassium. You can also always use the the nutrient comparison tool to check any speific bean. Further Lima beans are very close in potassium content to white beans and easier to identify. The same goes for kidney beans and Great Northerns (a kind of white bean with 692mg of potassium per cup). So in summary the label "white beans" should be taken as a guideline and an average for all white beans, and to get more accurate, go for lima. Hope that all makes sense.
Posted on 2014-01-15 14:41:31
Name:Margaret
Location:Alabama
Subject:Cooking Oil and Potassium
I just got a call from my doctor sending me to the pharmacy for potassium. Years ago I switched from soybean oil to canola oil. Since soybeans are listed as a good source of potassium, should I switch back? I don't use a ton of oil but every little bit helps when trying to right a deficiency and hopefully get off the pills and stay off them.
Posted on 2014-01-24 11:46:11
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Cooking Oil and Potassium
Hi Margaret, thanks for your question, and you are right that every little bit helps to stop taking pills, however, taking pills is sometimes necessary. In regards to cooking oil, every oil has very little to no potassium. This is because potassium is water soluble, thus when you separate the oil out of soybeans all the potassium stays in the part with the water, not with the oil. Hope that makes sense. Here are the complete nutrition facts for olive, peanut, and soybean oil.
Posted on 2014-01-24 23:27:05
Name:Kim
Location:Minnesota
Subject:Drug induced renal failure
July 29, 2011, I went to the doctor because of very weak legs. When the MD wanted me to get up on the exam table, my legs gave out. Thank god he was a larger, stronger man. He caught me and put me back in the chair. He said he was calling the paramedics to take me to the hospital. I argued, but finally gave in when he said I could go home if they said I could. About 15 minutes after reaching the ER, I crashed. My legs and arms would not work and then I could not get enough oxagen. They put a c-pap (larger one) on me and when I started fighting with them, they knocked me out with Lorazepam. They had labs drawn immediately when I got there, so they found out that the problem was high potassium ... 8.9. The nephrologist in the hospital at that time said that he did not know if he was asked to check on a patient or a corpse with that high a level. He was also very surprised that I did not have a heart attack. After an hour, he finally put the puzzle together. It was a combination of Lisinopril and Spironolactone (diuretic), and then getting Septra DS (sulfa). Since then, my potassium has gone up and down, up and down,but my kidney function has been getting better. This article has been VERY helpful. Thanks much.
Posted on 2014-02-09 15:11:52
Name:Cleo
Location:London
Subject:Potassium and IC (Interstitial cystitis)
I've spent ages reading every post on this site. I'd never connected my cramps and RLS to alcohol but a fright about my liver function bloodwork a few weeks ago concentrated my mind! I radically altered my diet to exclude all alcohol and feature lots of raw veg, fruit and, nuts and fish. I've no only lost quite a bit of fat, I've also stopped suffering from RLS and cramps. I'm just beginning to learn about nutrition - at the tender age of 69! One thing, I've never heard of the IC condition but have had what I can only call 'low grade cystitis' for weeks now. It's not very uncomfortable and my urine looks as pure as water so there's no sign of infection. The same set of blood tests showed an 'imbalance' in my kidney function which my doctor said might be related to the diuretic I take (together with beta blocker) for hypertension. So I stopped taking the diuretic - and am retaining far less fluid than when I was on it! Can you please tell me if the bladder problem is what people are calling IC and if it could be related to my new way of eating/living? Many thanks for an amazingly informative, open and honest website! Quite restored my flagging faith in human nature.
Posted on 2014-02-15 19:07:27
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Potassium and IC (Interstitial cystitis)
Hi Cleo, thanks for sharing your experience and for your question. Starting a diet high in potassium is not necessarily a cause or trigger of IC. Given all the other conditions you have, you are best to stick to your new healthy high potassium diet than not, especially if the IC is not too bothersome. You can find more information about Intersitial cystitis (IC) here and here. Consult your doctor for more information, and keep up the healthy eating.
Posted on 2014-02-20 15:44:10
Name:Need_Info
Location:Carrollton
Subject:Not getting enough potassium
I just stumbled on this site and found some very useful information. I do not have any specific problems but I track my food intake on MyFitnessPal and I find I am coming up short on my potassium intake even though I do have a cup of spinach daily, half a banana daily plus nuts (almond, walnut) and also a glass of almond milk.

For my 1200 calories diet, it recommends 2300 units of sodium and 3500 units of potassium (unclear what the units are). Anyway my sodium is fine but I barely get 50% of my daily value of potassium. I eat a lot of other fruits and veggies btw. I do however refrain from grains as I am prediabetic and my Doctor has asked me to cut down on carbs. My BP and cholesterol levels are fine as is my kidney functions. I am obese and trying to cut down my weight so would appreciate suggestions.

It does not look like adding a little paprika to my smoothies wold bridge the wide difference between what I consume and what the recommendation is. Thanks in advance.

Posted on 2014-02-24 17:57:13
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Not getting enough potassium (low calorie high potassium sources)
Hi and thanks for your question. First congratulations on choosing a good diet, counting your calories, and sticking to it. In regards to potassium, spinach is probably the lowest calorie source with 1 cup of cooked (steamed) spinach providing 24% RDA for just 41 calories. Steamed white mushrooms are a substitute but only about half as good with 16% RDA for 44 calories. Given that you are only consuming 1200 calories a day, you might consider taking a multivitamin to provide extra potassium, and other nutrients like vitamin B12. Also, as you are drinking almond milk, try to find one that is fortified. Vitamin Water may be another option. Adding dried herbs and spices is also another nearly calorie free way to get a bit more potassium, but might not get you to the full recommended intake. Hope those thoughts help.
Posted on 2014-02-25 11:37:35

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Comments.
Name:Manuel
Location:Albuquerque
Subject:Potassium
Need to list problems with Potassium. Many people like myself are on dialysis and many foods will kill me. All these food are dangerous, and you state that it is hard to eat too much potassium, but it is really easy to eat to much if you are sick.
Posted on 2011-05-05 11:15:58
Name:Kelli
Location:U.S. Gulf Coast
Subject:To Manuel
Manuel, I'm sorry to hear that you are sick. I'm sure this article was written for the average healthy person with no disrespect intended to those who are an exception to the rule. If you have to avoid potassium due to kidney or neuromuscular disease, you can use this article as a guide for what to avoid instead of what to take in. When we have medical conditions that diet greatly impacts (I am sick as well), we have to apply general information such as this carefully. Take care.
Posted on 2011-05-06 08:42:39
Name:Jesse
Location:Pennsylvania
Subject:Thanks
I'm a healthy guy but I have hypokalemic periodic paralysis, which makes my potassium levels drop from out of nowhere! This actually helped me out a lot, so thanks. :D
Posted on 2011-06-15 05:43:48
Name:Jose Balcewich
Location:N.W. Ontario
Subject:Potassium Information
Due to congested heart attack and now with water pills, I have to keep my potassium up. This information is just what I needed.
Posted on 2011-06-23 06:06:11
Name:Holly
Location:Aurora, colorado
Subject:Breastfeeding and trying to get the most out of my diet
Thank you for this information. I did not realize the average person needs to be taking in so much potassium until I became pregnant with and started breastfeeding my now 6wk old son and tracking everything I am eating. I found myself still needing a very high amount of potassium at the end of the day just to meet the daily requirement and realized I really did not know how to go about doing that until I read this.
Posted on 2011-06-27 22:55:16
Name:Gloria
Location:Colorado
Subject:Amounts
I can easily see how getting the DV of potassium can be gotten from some of these foods, avocados, for example. But to unilaterally compare 100g of these foods to each other is a bit out of balance. To eat 100g of avocado can be done easily, half an avocado. 100g of paprika is nearly a cup of paprika! The suggestions need to be based not only on what percentages of nutrients contain the nutrients, but what amounts are reasonable for consumption by a person within a meal or a daytime.
Posted on 2011-07-19 21:17:26
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Amounts
Hi Gloria, thanks for raising a good concern. There are several criteria to take into account formulating a food nutrient ranking and choosing a standard ranking criteria is one of them. It is true that few people would consume a cup of paprika, but paprika is still an incredibly nutrient dense food that is low in calories. Just one tablespoon of paprika provides 5% of the DV of potassium. The goal of this article is not that people get all their potassium from one food, but to encourage them to try new foods and get their potassium from many sources. In addition, paprika is a spice and can serve as a substitute for salt. This serves well for people with high blood pressure (hypertension) who are looking for high potassium salt substitutes to help lower their blood pressure while keeping their meals flavorful.
Posted on 2011-07-21 02:04:28
Name:Judy
Location:Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
Subject:Conns Sydrome
I have a tumor on the adrenal gland which causes loss of pottassium and high blood pressure.
Posted on 2011-07-24 01:53:17
Name:Curt
Location:Colorado
Subject:Potassium Levels
Good information. I'm on diuretics so I need extra potassium as the pills take potassium out of my body at an accelerated rate. I love avocados so it makes it easier to get the potassium intake I need.
Posted on 2011-08-21 21:57:25
Name:Etta
Location:California
Subject:Potasssium Intake v. Potassium Pills
Hello. Due to the skyrocking price of medicine these days I have found it hard to afford all of my medications. I have high blood pressure. I take atetenol, hydrocholorthizine (hydrochorothiazine? sp?), lisinipril, and two potassium pills daily. The potassium pills are costly! My family and I have taken steps to change our diets and exercise more. We have joined the YMCA for fitness. Anyway, I want to know what foods are equal to two potassium pills?
Posted on 2011-08-23 08:54:34
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Potasssium Intake v. Potassium Pills
Hi Etta, thanks for your question. First, be sure you consult with your health care provider before trying to stop any prescription medications. After that, the amount of food you need to eat depends on the amount of potassium in your pills. Assuming that your pills contain 100mg of potassium each, then it follows that:
  • 1 Avocado = 10 pills
  • 1 cup cooked White Beans = 10 pills
  • 1 Baked Potato = 9 pills
  • 1 cup of nuts&seeds=6 pills
  • 1 Fish Fillet = 4-6 pills
  • 1 Sweet Potato = 5 pills
  • 1 Banana = 4 pills
Hope that helps, and be sure to avoid high sodium foods and do not overdo your potassium consumption!
Posted on 2011-08-23 10:24:10
Name:Merlyn
Location:Berkshire
Subject:Barley
I need to know if Barley is a good source of potassium? I need to lower my levels and suspect tat barley might be the cause of my sudden spike.
Posted on 2011-08-28 10:12:57
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Barley
Hi Merlyn, thanks for your question. 1 cup of cooked pearl barley provides 93mg (3% DV) of potassium. It is not particularly a good source of potassium. Click here to see the complete nutrition facts for barley.
Posted on 2011-08-28 20:53:52
Name:Terry
Location:Westchester County, New York
Subject:High levels of potassium
I recently had my blood work done for my annual physical and my potassium levels are high. I do not eat meat, mostly fish, chicken and legumes. My doctor wants to re-do my blood work in October. I drink almond milk and eat almonds. I suspect that between the fish, almond milk and almonds my potassium level spiked. Is there anything else I should be aware of?
Posted on 2011-09-01 07:46:32
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High levels of potassium
Hi Terry, thanks for your question. In addition to the fish, and almonds, you should be aware that other nuts and seeds are also high in potassium. Further, the legumes you eat are also a great source of potassium. Are you drinking enough fluids and water during the day? Having enough water should help regulate your potassium levels. Did the doctor say you should be concerned about your high potassium levels? How is your blood pressure? The high level may not be anything to worry about and may actually be a good thing.
Posted on 2011-09-01 07:57:15
Name:Elizabeth
Location:San Juan Puerto Rico
Subject:High levels of potassium
Your answer to Terry said that the high level of potassium may not be anything to worry about and may actually be a good thing. But how high should be the level? My doctor said that high levels of potassium might be an indication of kidney problems. Could you clarify this.
Posted on 2011-09-01 18:46:39
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High levels of potassium
Hi Elizabeth, thanks for a good follow up question. What you are saying is true, high levels of potassium can be good and can be bad. As other people have commented here several people have to take potassium pills or eat more potassium to keep their blood pressure low and prevent heart disease, others are on diuretic medications which lower their potassium levels. Other people who have kidney problems need to avoid potassium, so as you have said, there are people who need to limit their potassium intake. In general, if your doctor or health provider does not specifically say your high potassium is a sign of a larger problem you are probably OK.
Posted on 2011-09-01 19:03:02
Name:Hannah
Location:Missouri
Subject:Potassium via grapes
I love green seedless grapes, and as such, consume QUITE a bit on a daily basis. Reading that an overdose of potassium can potentially lead to death is now causing concern; I've looked and looked but can't seem to find a clear answer to my question, which is: how much grapes is TOO much with regards to potassium intake? I would say, on average, I consume about six cups a day/every other day, should I be worried?
Posted on 2011-09-01 19:06:50
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Potassium via grapes
Hi Hannah, thanks for your question. One cup of seedless grapes provides around 8% of the percent daily value (DV) for potassium. Thus 6 cups only provides 48% of the DV. Therefore you are safe from potassium overdose. In general potassium toxicity, or high levels of blood potassium (Hyperkalemia) occurs from taking potassium supplements, or from having a physiological problem, like kidney failure. Potassium from fruits and vegetables, as well as other natural sources is GENERALLY quite safe and easily regulated by the body. Click here to see complete nutrition facts for grapes.
Posted on 2011-09-01 19:18:04
Name:Eloise
Location:Auckland, New Zealand
Subject:Illness from High Potassium Foods?!
For many years I have not been able to eat Bananas or Avocados without feeling very ill, within 30mins I have severe stomach cramps. Pineapples and pineapple juice also have the same affect, I assumed I was allergic to potassium rich foods but I see from this article that Pineapples do not contain high levels. I am also fine with other foods such as potatoes? I am confused as to what it could be now! Any ideas?!
Posted on 2011-09-02 01:05:53
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Illness from High Potassium Foods?!
Hi Eloise, thanks for your question. Looking at the nutrition facts comparison for bananas, avocados, and pineapples it does not appear that any of the fruits are particularly high in any one nutrient which could cause your symptoms. It is possible that you are allergic to some other compound shared by all 3 fruits. Try talking to your extended family to see if anyone else shares the same reaction.
Posted on 2011-09-02 04:56:22
Name:Lilly
Location:Boston
Subject:Banana and Avocado Allergy
Some people with a latex allergy are also allergic to bananas, avocados, & kiwi, to address the Eloise's earlier concern. Best to talk to your primary care provider.
Posted on 2011-09-02 05:12:43
Name:Richard
Location:Florida
Subject:Low Potassium
I have just had a pace maker put in and they found while I was in the hospital I had low potassium. Too low to use pills. They used an intravenous drip. This was extremley painful and I would not like to have to do it again. This article has shown me how to keep up my levels by proper eating.
Posted on 2011-09-15 03:38:19
Name:Pauline Hamed
Location:Alexandria, Egypt
Subject:High Cholesterol/Blood Pressure
I am currently taking hypertension medication and according to one of the charts my potassium levels could be reduced significantly. However, my blood test showed that mine is actually high. Could this represent a kidney failure or is it just that I am eating a well balanced diet. I do eat a good variety of all the right foods and living in Egypt I use spices (turmeric/chiliginger etc) on a daily basis. I found this site very helpful thank you. :)
Posted on 2011-09-19 04:20:12
Name:Rhona Baxter
Location:Dubai United Arab Emirates
Subject:Potassium Lowering Foods
Hi.... My father has kidney failure and has been told to avoid foods high in potassium. Please could you advise of any foods that do this?
Posted on 2011-09-27 22:49:32
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Potassium Lowering Foods
Hi Rhona, thanks for your question and sorry to hear of your father's condition. Almost all foods have potassium and there are no known foods, other than water, which will lower the concentration of potassium in your body. One thing you can do is try to leach, or remove, the potassium from fruits and vegetables. You can do this by soaking the vegetables in water, and then boiling them in water. The National Kidney Foundation will have more resources that can help you, including an article on potassium.
Posted on 2011-09-28 09:35:27
Name:Cindy
Location:Alberta
Subject:Parasites
Just got the blood work back for my 9 year old son. I was concerned about his slow growth rate so lab work was done (for just about everything). The only things that showed up was a high parasitic level and low potassium level. Could the low potassium be due to the intestinal parasites? Should I be giving him potassium rich foods/supplements or should I await treatment for the parasites before I worry too much about the potassium?
Posted on 2011-10-20 21:41:00
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Parasites
Hi Cindy thanks for your question and sorry to hear of your son's condition. Basically, if the parasites are causing diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, or some other loss of liquids and electrolytes from the body then you should definitely try to get your son's potassium level back up. Avoid supplements as they can be extremely dangerous if taken in excess, and for a 9 month old, overdose of supplements is very easy. Try more natural foods high in potassium to get your son's level up. What did your health provider say? Definitely contact them to confirm.
Posted on 2011-10-22 15:02:44
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:ARB Blood Pressure Meds and Potassium
For high blood pressure, my doctor added an ARB-type medication to my existing beta-blocker one. He had me take a blood test after a week to see the effect on my potassium level. Later that caused me to think about the Morton Lite Salt that I have used for many years, to reduce sodium intake. I think I started it before having any BP issues. Sure enough, Lite Salt (the closest taste to real salt I can find) is something like 55% potassium chloride. So I pretty much stopped using the Lite Salt until I understood what the doctor wanted to see. My BP was dropping, but very slowly. One day I decided to try the Lite Salt for just a day and sure enough, the following day my BP jumped almost 20 points. Now, I can't really call that a sample and I haven't confirmed this with my doctor, but it seems prudent that anyone who is on a sodium-restricted diet or for any other reason uses any form of salt substitute should remember to tell their doctor about it, particularly if about to begin the use of a new medication for blood pressure or renal issues.
Posted on 2011-10-23 19:53:56
Name:Paula
Location:UAE
Subject:Low levels of Potassium
Hi, My sister who was fit and healthy became sick in June she was vommiting for 24 hours then she stopped breathing and they could not revive her. They could find no cause of death but suggested it could be caused by low potassium levels due to her cotinued vomiting. They said it affected her electrical pulses to her heart and that is why it stopped. Is this true? Thanks she was taking no other medication she did drink alcohol and recently gave up smoking. She was a little over weight but her BP was normal. Thanks
Posted on 2011-11-01 04:19:08
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Low levels of Potassium
Hi Paula, sorry to hear about your sister. It is possible that her death was caused by a lack of potassium, however, there could have been many causes. During the time your sister was throwing up, was she eating or drinking anything besides water? If she was consuming anything to replenish her potassium then maybe her death was caused by something else, however, if she was not, then it is more possible that the lack of potassium and other important minerals played a roll in her death.
Posted on 2011-11-01 14:06:40
Name:Elizabeth
Location:TN
Subject:No Carb Diet
I've developed cramps in my legs at night and a friend suggested that I am probably in need of potassium. My diet consists only of meat, eggs, a little fat (like cream) and salads. I only plan on eating like this until I am no longer obese. I have been quite successful in losing weight. It seems I am going to be very limited in potassium rich foods that do not contain carbs. Spinach looks like it will work. Any other ideas?
Posted on 2011-11-08 11:09:15
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: No Carb Diet
Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your question. Spinach will be a good source of potassium for you, also try dried herbs, and other vegetables high in potassium. What meats are you eating in your diet? Consider eating more fish which, as listed in this article, is a good source of potassium.
Posted on 2011-11-08 11:14:53
Name:Person
Location:Home
Subject:Potassium-Rich Foods
So I made homemade pumpkin seeds spiced with paprika (and other spices). Very spicy but it is awesomly awesome!
Posted on 2011-11-13 22:19:07
Name:Sandra
Location:Switzerland
Subject:Potassium
Like Manuel, I have to watch my potassium intake because of kidney problems (I had a transplant). It is difficult because unlike what is good for everybody else (fruits, vegetables, and fish) these foods raise the potassium levels in the blood and for people like us, it can be dangerous. Thank you for all the good advice.
Posted on 2011-11-16 16:50:33
Name:Cindy
Location:Ontario
Subject:High Potassium
I have had my blood work done and my potassium is high. I was told to stay away from bananas, potatoes, and orange juice. I am on a BP pill but I also take omega 3 and flax seed pills. I was wondering if it could be them making my potassium level high?
Posted on 2011-11-20 19:30:33
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High Potassium
Hi Cindy, thanks for your question. Check the label of your omega 3 and flax seed supplements to see if they contain any potassium. It is unlikely that they do, and more likely that your high potassium is caused by your blood pressure medication. Can you read the list of ingredients in your blood pressure medication? Is potassium listed? Are you taking any other supplements? Potassium is well regulated by the body, so unless you are taking another supplement, you may have a kidney problem. Check with your doctor about trying another blood pressure medication.
Posted on 2011-11-22 21:08:39
Name:Elsabe Alheit
Location:South Africa
Subject:Interstitial Cystitis
I have the above illness, Interstitial Cystitis, severe bladder problems, and my doctor advises that I don't eat anything containing potassium, i.e. no fruits except sweet melon and pears, all vegetables except tomatoes, peppers and onions, and only white flour products, no red meat - only fish and chicken and no processed meat products...and of course no chocolates (hard for a chocoholic!!) as well as no alcohol. Apparently milk, cheese, eggs, and pasta is allright. What are your comments?
Posted on 2011-12-05 10:24:04
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Interstitial Cystitis
Hi Elsabe, thanks for your question. Helping to alleviate your Interstitial Cystitis involves avoiding foods high in potassium as well as acidic foods. The U.S. National Library of Medicine article on Interstitial Cystitis has a complete list of foods to avoid including:
  • Aged cheeses
  • Alcohol
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus juices
  • Coffee
  • Cranberry juice (Note: Although cranberry juice is often recommended for urinary tract infections, it can make IC symptoms worse.)
  • Fava and lima beans
  • Meats that are cured, processed, smoked, canned, aged, or that contain nitrites
  • Most fruits except blueberries, honeydew melon, and pears
  • Nuts except almonds, cashews, and pine nuts
  • Onions
  • Rye bread
  • Seasonings that contain MSG
  • Sour cream
  • Sourdough bread
  • Soy
  • Tea
  • Tofu
  • Tomatoes
  • Yogurt
Further, it appears some of your doctor's recommendations are wrong. For example, fish has more potassium than beef, so you would be better off eating beef over fish. You can see the complete nutrition comparison here. You should also avoid tomatoes and onions, they are high in potassium and on the list to avoid. Futher dairy foods tend to be high in potassium and are likely no better than a lot of other foods. Your doctor's advice about the white flour and pasta, the melons, and the pears was correct, so you can enjoy those. Hope that helps!
Posted on 2011-12-05 10:42:59
Name:Monet
Location:Maryland
Subject:High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease
I have hypertension and a kidney disease that isn't helped at all by the hypertension. It says that potassium will help regulate and lower blood pressure but also not to consume a lot if you have a kidney disease. Right now I'm on a combo pill Prenozide(HCTZ and lisinopril) I would like to get off these pills one day, what amout of potassium would you suggest I consume? I want my blood pressure lower but I don't want to hurt my kidneys more.
Posted on 2011-12-07 08:53:39
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease
Hi Monet, thanks for your question and sorry to hear of your condition. Potassium is thought to lower blood pressure by providing a counter balance to sodium in your body. Given your kidney disease, you would probably be best trying to lower your blood pressure via lifestyle choices such as reducing or cutting sodium (salt) intake, exercising everyday, and eating foods high in fiber. All these choices would hopefully lower your blood pressure without causing excess strain on your kidneys. Unfortunately it is a bit of a vicious cylce as high blood pressure can worsen kidneys and bad kidneys can raise blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about your proposed lifestlye changes of cutting sodium from your diet and exercising. For further information you can consult the PubMed page on blood pressure (hypertension), or the HealthAliciousNess article on Understanding Blood Pressure. Good luck and hope that you can avoid taking the medication.
Posted on 2011-12-07 21:52:47
Name:Jay D Mann
Location:Christchurch, New Zealand
Subject:Sodium-Potassium Ratio
There is an ever-growing body of research showing that in people with healthy kidneys, the sodium:potassium ratio is a good predictor of death from strokes. A good target is to eat twice as much potassium as sodium. Work by Morris et al at University of California suggests that high enough potassium intake can block blood-pressure rise from salt challenge.
Posted on 2012-01-13 00:49:53
Name:Michael
Location:Philadelphia
Subject:Hard to get enough Potassium...
Am I laboring under a misimpression or is it harder to regularly get your 100% DV of Potassium than it is to get most other nutrients? It seems that once you move away from a few of the highest potassium foods, you'd have to eat a LOT to get enough, and regular multi-vitamin/mineral pills that give you 100 - 300% of almost everything else only provide about about 5 to 10% of a day's potassium! (P.S. a diet rich in chocolate milk and potato chips seems to be good for potassium... that's one consolation!)
Posted on 2012-02-07 20:21:43
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Hard to get enough Potassium...
Hi Michael, thanks for your comment. Potassium is a fairly common nutrient and it is probably easier to get the DV than you think. Several people have conditions where they have to avoid potassium foods, and they often struggle to find what to eat. Further, too much potassium can be dangerous, which is why only 5-10% is administered in common supplements. As long as you eat whole grains, fruits, and vegetables you are probably easily obtaining your DV for potassium.
Posted on 2012-02-07 20:48:12
Name:Megs
Location:Michigan
Subject:Advice
I used to be Anorexic and anybody that is reading this who is, don't be, get help. My entire system is screwed up and I have to take vitamins now because of my potassium deficiency & if you forget I get major major charlie horses so bad they make me cry. It's great to know what foods I can eat that will help me, because I hate bananas :) .
Posted on 2012-02-15 20:20:20
Name:Ruth
Location:Ontario, Canada
Subject:Charlie Horse
Regarding charlie horses, try a bar of hand soap in the bed. It sounds stupid, but it works for a lot of people. When the cramps come back you will know you have to change the soap. Try it, you have nothing to loose. But also do keep your potassium checked for sure.
Posted on 2012-02-16 06:28:30
Name:Jacqueline
Location:Dallas, Texas
Subject:RE: Charlie Horse and Leg Cramps
To answer Ruth in Ontario about her leg cramps. I was put on Fluoroquione Antibiotics too many times and it caused me to have SEVERE leg cramps that were horrible. Some nights I had to stand up half the night the pain was so bad when I laid down. I had used he Soap bar in bed for milder leg cramps (as you have suggested) and it works fine for normal leg cramps but not these severe ones. My Altenative Doctor resolved this dilemma by having me drink 8 oz of Low Sodium V-8 juice every morning and every night. It has been like a miracle cure for me! My regular doctors had no solutions to help me nor did they realize the cause of the problem!
Posted on 2012-02-17 22:19:31
Name:Stan
Location:Maryland
Subject:Great Information
Thanks to the site for this article & to those who posted questions and comments. Very helpful for my research! Potassium content is not required to be posted on foods, so it is often difficult to know what you're getting with some foods.
Posted on 2012-03-05 12:26:51
Name:Eileen
Location:Ga
Subject:My potassium level is 5.7
When I had my blood work done, my level was 5.7, I had it rechecked a week later and it had gone down to 5.5. I am suppose to eat foods lower in potassium and I am having trouble finding a good list with lower potassium. All of my other numbers in the blood work were good. My health is over all good, I do take blood pressure medicine and lipitor. I am supposed to stay off of a multi vitamin for 2 weeks. Would love to hear what you have to say about this.
Posted on 2012-03-17 13:14:09
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: My potassium level is 5.7
Hi Eileen, thanks for your comment, your potassium is definitely on the high side and classifies you as having mild Hyperkalemia (high blood potassium). You will be best to avoid all the foods listed here, as well as the following fruits and vegetables high in potassium. Try using the nutrient ranking tool to find foods low in potassium. Stay off your supplement, or try find a multi-vitamin supplement that does not contain potassium! Hope that helps.
Posted on 2012-03-17 15:32:02
Name:Jan
Location:East London SA
Subject:High Potassium
Recently my wife ended up in the hospital. She is on dialysis and hypertension medication, she is also a diabetic on insulin. The doctor immediately took her off Prexum hypertension tabs, he advised this influences the level of potassium.
Posted on 2012-03-22 11:09:57
Name:Ellen
Location:Ohio USA
Subject:High Potassium Levels in Otherwise Healthy People
Several people have posted about high potassium levels in their bloodwork. If you have kidney problems disregard, but if you don't, consider that one of the most common causes of high postassium in blood work is improper handling of the blood. If the tube of blood sits too long before the test is run, the potassium level can be sky high. So, if you got a high level on a routine screening, ask when the blood was drawn and when the test was run. Try not to get bloodwork done on a Friday and if possible, have your blood drawn at the hospital, you will be much less likely to have a artificially high reading.

As for the person that was taking prescription diuretics and presciption potassium pills, please be very careful about stopping those pills. Prescription potassium pills are often 10 to 40 mEq (milliequivalents) this can equate to 600 to 2400 mg of potassium per pill. This will be hard to replace with diet. Always talk to your doctor before stopping any prescription medication (by the way KCL is available for $4 for a month supply at many pharmacies, you may need to switch pharmacies or brands, but cost shouldn't prevent you from taking this.) Thanks for the great list! This will help so many people to make better food choices!

Posted on 2012-04-08 15:31:19
Name:Kelly
Location:Maryland
Subject:Alcohol and Potassium Deficiency
I have read elsewhere that alcoholics are at high risk for low potassium levels and can't seem to put two and two together. How do these two interact and what is causing the decrease? Thanks for the great article!
Posted on 2012-04-11 22:16:26
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Alcohol and Potassium Deficiency
Hi Kelly, thanks for your question. Alcoholics do have an increased risk of potassium deficiency and this is becuase alcohol impairs kidney function and affects the balance of nutrients/electolytes in the blood. Over time, this can lead to a potassium deficiency. This aritcle from Montana State University has more information.
Posted on 2012-04-11 22:16:26
Name:Norman Fish
Location:United Kingdom
Subject:High Potassium and Kidney Failure
I have kidney failure and am on dialysis. My renal doctor tells me that my potassium levels in the blood are much too high (averaging 6.0 over the past three months) and warns me that this could cause heart failure unless resolved. As far as I can see that apart from eating 3 bananas weekly during dialysis, I do not consume most of the other products causing this problem, except in moderation only. I have also a pacemaker fitted for heart disease (icd) which has given me a number of defribrillation shocks over the past 4 years which the doctors seem to think may be a low potassium blood count-below 3.0mmol. The problem appears to be that the dialysis machine does not recognise potassium levels in the blood specifically and treats it as toxic materials. The only way to control levels is the use of concentrates with a higher potassium replacement to achieve a higher level of potassium to avoid shocks in future. I seem to be between the devil and the deep blue sea! Is there another possible source of potassium other than dietary ones that could be causing the higher levels recently seen? Have you come across any other patients with a similar problem as it is one that the renal and cardiological specialists cannot seem to recognise? Thanks in anticipation of your comments and suggestions.
Posted on 2012-04-12 07:02:27
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High Potassium and Kidney Failure
Hi Norman, thanks for your question and sorry to hear of your condition. Potassium is sometimes added to foods as a preservative (potassium sorbate etc...) so be sure to check ingredient labels to be sure you are not getting potassium that way. Further, potassium is found in many supplements and even some medicines. Again, be sure to check ingredient labels and consult your doctor before taking any supplement or medicine. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2012-04-13 10:40:53
Name:Vicki
Location:New Jersey
Subject:Flaxseed Oil vs. Flax seeds
You suggested flax seeds as a good source of potassium. Is flaxseed oil or flaxseed capsules high in potassium also?
Posted on 2012-04-17 12:02:50
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Flaxseed Oil vs. Flax seeds
Hi Vicki, thanks for your question. Here is the nutriton facts comparison for flaxseeds vs flaxseed oil. As you can see, flaxseed oil does not naturally provide potassium. Some flaxseed oil capsules may contain added potassium, however, it is unlikely.
Posted on 2012-04-17 15:04:03
Name:Donna Cook
Location:Georgia
Subject:Do Potassium Preservatives Increase Potassium Levels?
Thank you for all the info. My potassium level is 5.8. Love bananas, avocados, etc., eat a lot of raw veggies with hummus. Now I know which vegies not to eat for now. Does potassium iodide (iodine in my multi powder vitamins) and potassium sorbate (for freshening in hummus) add to my high level? Thank you, thank you for your dedication in this. Boy, did I need this! Blessings. Donna
Posted on 2012-04-28 00:06:50
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Do Potassium Preservatives Increase Potassium Levels?
Hi Donna, thanks for your kind comments and your question. The additives and preservatives: potassium iodide, potassium sorbate (E202), potassium benzoate (E212), as well as any other potassium preservative can be absorbed by your body and increase your potassium levels. You should try avoid them. Unless you need iodine, you should also try to avoid iodized salt which may contain potassium iodine. You can also soak or boil vegetables in water before eating them to try lower their potassium content. Hope that helps and good luck lowering your potassium level.
Posted on 2012-05-04 03:59:19
Name:Cactus
Location:Florida, USA
Subject:Potassium in V8
I just had a high potassium level on my blood test (5.4) and have been trying to figure out what I was eating that could have caused it. I had been eating low carb and drinking V8 daily for breakfast. V8 has 470 mg of Potassium per cup. I plan to cut back or quit the V8.
Posted on 2012-05-18 06:59:20
Name:TeeDiva
Location:Ohio
Subject:Blood Pressure and Potassium
I am glad I found your website. I have been on BP meds for the past 7 years after delivering my daughter. Started on 25 mg of hctz. Never had any potassium issues until the fall of 2010 when they change my hctz to Lisinopril/hctz and the problems started. My potassium levels would drop to 3.3 or 3.4. I tried potassium supplements and they would upset my stomach. One doctor wanted me to continue with the supplements despite the upset stomach, but I went against her wishes and ate foods high in potassium had my blood re-checked and they were as high as 3.7. But as the months progressed, my potassium levels kept going up and down and then she wanted me to take the lowest dose of a potassium-sparing diuretic (triamterene/hctz). Taking that and BP numbers kept spiking (high as 154/90) and my potassium levels would go up and down again. Doctor had me see a cardiologist who added a calcium channel blocker to my medicine regiment. While taking both meds the bp levels are normal (119/79, 121/81), I would experience low potassium level symptoms, fatigue, muscle cramps. I would increase my food consumption (extra banana, orange juice, raisins, prunes, salmon, etc, the cramps would go away, but my potassium level still fluctuates between 3.5 or dip to 3.4. Planning to see the caridiologist in a week to discuss changing my meds to something that will keep my bp numbers and my potassium levels in the normal range with less side effects. Wish me luck.
Posted on 2012-05-24 11:33:28
Name:Jackie
Location:Illinois
Subject:Weight gain with Potassium Pills?
Because I had a low potassium level, my doctor put me on potassium pills over a year ago. Since then, I have gained 15 pounds. I was already overweight and did not need this extra poundage! I have been trying to watch what I eat and do a little exercise. I stress "little." I am 70 years old and feel 50. I am considering going off the potassium pills to see if that will help with weight loss. I am also taking high blood pressure medication. Is it possible that the potassium pills have added to my weight gain?
Posted on 2012-05-24 19:33:26
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Weight gain with Potassium Pills?
Hi Jackie, thanks for your question. Potassium pills are not known to cause weight gain, and it would be best if you talked to your doctor before stopping them!
Posted on 2012-05-25 04:38:50
Name:Noella
Location:Halifax, NS
Subject:Diuretics and Potassium
I have been on 3 different diuretics now for swollen ankles. The 1st one gave me the trots, the 2nd gave me hives, both of which required me to take more potassium and now the 3rd, "Spironolactone (Novo-Spiroton)" which causes me to take less potassium. None of these pills have done much for the swollen ankles however and I don't like having to avoid the kinds of foods that have high potassium in them. Any suggestions?
Posted on 2012-05-25 23:03:44
Name:ND
Location:NJ
Subject:Ranking Methodology
Thank you for your article! I recently was prescribed Spironolact and told to watch my potassium intake. I never realized how many food outside of bananas are potassium rich! This will be a great guide for me!

However, I was curious to know why you listed them in the order you did? While dried Chervil may have 195% per 3.5 oz, if the average serving is only a 3% dv from a tablespoon wouldn't the paragraph have been more informative if it had been devoted to the 98% dv from 3.5 oz of sun dried tomatoes. A far more likely serving size to be used on a daily basis by far more people. Same with Whey powder, a popular weight loss and body building supplement (and one I use myself). I had no idea whey was so high in potassium and 3.5 oz is less than two shakes a day! I'm now on the search for a new meal replacement, but I would have missed that information because I assumed the Top 10 were not only the highest (they aren't) but the most popular (they aren't) and almost didn't bother with the smaller, less visually interesting list below it!

Posted on 2012-06-12 21:36:15
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Ranking Methodology
Hi ND, thanks for your thoughtful feedback. Creating a ranking of foods is a challenging task, in the end, some standard had to be chosen, and that was to rank which foods have the greatest potassium density gram per gram. If the top 10 list was created by what are common serving sizes, then everyone would have their own opinion on what are common foods.

Further, the list was created with the mentality to inform people of ways they could get more potassium in their diet. From this perspective, dried herbs are an easy low calorie food that can be added to most dishes for extra potassium. There are, unfortunately, many pitfalls and problems with food nutrient rankings, which you can read about here. Thanks for your feedback to draw more attention to the extended table. A note will be added in the opening paragraph.

Good luck with your new diet, and thanks again for the comment.

Posted on 2012-06-12 21:36:15
Name:Maritimer
Location:Nova Scotia
Subject:Unexplained High Potassium
Thank you for all of your very informative responses to these questions - they are a big help!

My husband has worked hard to lose 65-70 lbs through calorie restriction & exercise. He has never been a vegetable eater (putting it mildly) and is among the pickiest eaters I know. He recently found a lump on his neck and went to the doctor. Doctor was not overly concerned and believes it to be a cyst. He wanted to have his bloodwork checked because the last time he did was 3 years ago when he was still very much overweight at which time, he had high glucose, BP and triglycerides.

Low and behold after losing the weight, his new bloodwork showed perfection in all areas EXCEPT potassium which was 6.0. His kidney function appears normal. The doctor gave him a list of foods that are high in potassium and was advised to stay away from them and will re-check in 2 weeks.

The thing about this is that I know what his diet is like and while I know next to nothing about this, I'm 99% sure there's no possible way his potassium could have been that high from eating the amount of whole wheat bread and sweet potatoes that he eats (2 of the things I see that are "high"). He would eat an average amount of potatoes or sweet potatoes but NEVER eats any leafy greens or hardly any of the foods that he is advised to stay away from.

Admittedly, I think he's quite pleased with himself that a health care professional is now condoning him to stay away from the greens that I've been trying to get him to eat all of this time! :-) I'm hoping his re-check in a few weeks will tell a different story, but I just can't rest easy assuming that his high levels are from diet alone. Wouldn't a person have to eat a TON of potatoes and sweet potatoes (the only high potassium foods he eats) for it to get that high? He does drink a LOT of diet pop and will only drink water if it's flavoured with splenda, so I can't help but want to blame artificial sweeteners, but I haven't heard that discussed. Do you have any comments on this?

Posted on 2012-07-07 01:35:53
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Unexplained High Potassium
Hi Maritimer, thanks for your question. It is possible that artificial sweetners have high potassium, but this is not the norm, and you will have to check the labels of each product. As it turns out, lab test errors often incorrectly report high potassium levels, so you would be wise to get re-tested. Also, medicines which lower blood pressure often raise potassium levels, you mentioned your husband had high blood pressure, was he on any meds?

Further, supplements often contain potassium, does your husband take a multivitamin that is high in potassium? In either case, as long as the body is healthy enough to regulate levels of potassium then high potassium is rarely caused by high potassium foods. Your husband should get re-tested and see if his level doesn't come out normal, if not, find a doctor who can find the underlying cause. Hope that helps.

Posted on 2012-07-07 01:54:04
Name:Caroline
Location:Summersville WV
Subject:Thoughts on Potassium
Excellent article! Sounds like 80% of my diet.. the rest being pastured meats and a wider range of vegetables :^) Regarding Potassium and diuretics, I have Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy.. inherited from mum.. genetic mutations of my heart muscle means that it is developing gross abnormalities. It can't pump properly so I am on a Beta blocker to stop obstruction of my aorta and Furosemide (diuretic) to reduce fluid build up. I manage extremely well without Potassium supplements. My fave high potassium foods are dried fruits (I bulk buy sun-dried currants, raisins and apricots from California) and dried tomatoes (I dry my own). These provide awesome levels of potassium. Diuretics also cause the loss of vital Magnesium, Zinc and Calcium but these are rarely addressed by doctors. Eating naturally high potassium foods will also supply good quantities of the above.
Posted on 2012-08-09 10:37:00
Name:Allison
Location:Louisville, Kentucky
Subject:Potassium on a diet
Loved the article! I do have one problem, though. I am on a 1,200 calorie diet and would have to eat nothing but bananas and potassium rich foods in order to reach my required potassium levels, which would leave other nutrients out. How can I get my fill of both potassium rich foods and foods high in other vitamins without overeating?
Posted on 2012-08-14 17:18:42
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Potassium on a diet
Hi Allison, thanks for your question. The dried herbs, and spices, like paprika and chilli powder would be a great way to add more potassium to your diet with few calories. Try find ways to add extra tablespoons of each to your meals. Further, vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrients. The list of high potassium vegetables will have good suggestions for you. For example, a cup of swiss chard will provide 27% of the DV for potassium but only 35 calories. Mushrooms are also a great low calorie nutrient dense food. Hope that helps!
Posted on 2012-08-15 08:09:54
Name:Susan
Location:Colorado
Subject:Symptoms of low potassium
I have leg/foot cramps occassionally and when it gets really bad, I can take a bit of salt in the palm of my hand, lick it and tuck it under my tongue. I might have to do this several times to get the cramps to stop (they get so bad, I want to scream). Is this a symptom of low potassium? What is robbing my body of potassium? How do I stop it?
Posted on 2012-11-27 14:05:53
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Symptoms of low potassium
Hi Susan, thanks for your question. Are you taking regular sodium table salt? Or potassium salts? Muscle cramps are caused by an electrolyte imbalance, which means too much or too little, sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and/or calcium can cause them. To stop getting cramps be sure you are getting enough(but not too much) sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and potassium. Many things can cause an electrolyte imbalance including: excessive sweating and exercise, taking diuretics, renal (kidney) failure, dehydration, and drinking too much water. Basically it is important to keep a balance, which should not be difficuilt if you are drinking enough water and consuming enough of the minerals (sodium etc..) listed. You can get your blood tested to find a particular deficiency. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2012-11-28 02:50:53
Name:Dana
Location:AL
Subject:High Potassium Low Sodium
One thing that has not been mentioned is Adrenal issues. I have Addison's Disease. It causes high potassium and low sodium. THANKS for the list to avoid, but I would LOVE a list of high sodium foods as I do not like the taste of salt. Right now I supplement my sodium with lots of pickles.
Posted on 2012-12-01 06:33:24
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High Potassium Low Sodium
Hi Dana, thanks for your comment and adding to the conversation. This site does provide a list of high sodium foods. Check back in a few months as the list will be extended, and tips to boost your sodium will be added.
Posted on 2012-12-01 06:50:00
Name:Stephanie
Location:SD
Subject:Another medication to watch out for
One medication that can also cause low potassium/magnesium: NexIUM, a popular antacid pill.
Posted on 2013-01-07 14:42:25
Name:Rebekah Henretty
Location:PA
Subject:Charlie horses
I was wondering, I am pregnant and am getting horrible charlie horses, and retaining water, a lot of people told me I am lacking potassium, the problem is I am a really picky when it comes to food, so I'm looking for something I can eat that can help with this problem, I did see the baked potatoes which I love but how many would I need to eat? And I do take vitamins, shouldn't those be helping?
Posted on 2013-01-28 17:40:59
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Charlie horses
Hi Rebekah, thanks for your questions. 4 medium baked potatoes would be enough to meet your recommended daily intake. However, that is a lot of potatoes, and you would be best to try some other foods, like bananas or spinach. As for the Charlie horses there can be a variety of causes. Check your potassium levels at your next blood test to be sure it really is potassium. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2013-01-28 17:42:03
Name:Gerry
Location:AZ.
Subject:Constipation with Potassium Supplements
I was put on pills for potassium 20meq. because of leg cramps. Could you tell me if this will cause me to have constipation? Could you tell me also what to eat not to take these pills?
Posted on 2013-02-19 14:21:24
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Constipation with Potassium Supplements
Hi Gerry thanks for your questions. The potassium supplements can cause constipation. As for foods to eat, both the high potassium foods listed here, and high magnesium foods should help with leg cramps. Bran is a great food to boost your magnesium and alleviate your constipation. Otherwise focus on eating the food sources of potassium that are high in fiber, like fruits and dried fruits. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2013-02-19 16:35:34
Name:Issues
Location:TN
Subject:IC and Low Potassium
I have IC pretty bad (of which I use D-Mannose for), and I also have low potassium from doing (necessary) enemas on a regular basis.

I know the enemas are depleting my potassium levels and I eat many of the high potassium foods to counter act this. But from reading other comments on this site, I also found that eating the high potassium foods are probably what is causing my constant flare-ups with IC.

If I don't eat the foods to bring my potassium levels up, my feet and lower legs cramp really bad, my heart does weird things, and my hands will tend to just flop or drop onto my keyboard at work sometimes.

At least through reading this blog, I now know why the IC flare-up issues, but now I'm feeling frustrated. Got any suggestions as to how to deal with both?

Posted on 2013-03-06 20:04:36
Name:Shirley
Location:North Carolina
Subject:What are Normal Potassium Levels?
I have enjoyed reading about potassium and its effects on blood pressure/kidneys and heart. My husband is fighting the problem of potassium level being too high along with chronic kidney disease. His doctor has said his potassium level is too high and prescribed a liquid medication (kayexel) to quickly reduce this; however, the med was mixed with a cherry syrup instead of water, therefore he could not drink the med. He is highly allergic to cherry and cherry flavored liquids. We are trying to find a pharmacy with the powder form so that our pharmacist can mix this with water. Now, no one has mentioned the normal level of potassium or the extremes of highs and lows. I have read about 3.4 and 3.5 and then 6, but no one has defined a normal figure. Can someone help with this? We will return to his nephrologist on Monday, and I would love to have more information before this visit. Thank you for your help.
Posted on 2013-03-31 18:09:31
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: What are Normal Potassium Levels?
Hi Shirley, thanks for your comment and questions. Normal potassium levels range between 3.7 to 5.2 mEq/L. Where mEq/L = milliequivalent per liter. Hope that helps!
Posted on 2013-04-03 23:11:50
Name:Ed O
Location:Ft. Montgomery, NY
Subject:Digoxin and low potassium
I have not seen any questions that might address the connection between Digoxin, which I am taking, and low potassium levels possibly "triggering an irregular heart beat, or A-Fib condition. How likely is that?
Posted on 2013-05-12 00:43:42
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Digoxin and low potassium
Hi Ed, thanks for your question and comment. Having low potassium levels does increase the risk of digitalis (digoxin) toxicity. Symptoms include: confusion, irregular pulse, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, palpitations, and vision changes. For more see this article on digitalis toxicity.
Posted on 2013-05-14 02:21:06
Name:Mary
Location:United States
Subject:Restless Leg Syndrome
For some RLS sufferers, potassium is a help. For others, such as myself, potassium highly exacerbates RLS. I've been having oatmeal on a daily basis, not realizing it has a fair share of potassium, and, as an example, I've had RLS unrelenting for 15 hours straight. Taken all the med's I can, but still, RLS. No sleep can be done either.
Posted on 2013-05-25 12:29:10
Name:Ric
Location:Sydney
Subject:Try to lower my potassium level...
Hi, I have just had blood work and been advised by my GP that I have High Cholesterol [6.5] and High Potassium [6.9]. I have checked my food intake and cannot find anything that would be pushing my potassium up. I am not on any medication. I have to admit to not doing regular exercise, and not drinking water as regularly as I should [mostly it comes in the form of 5-6 cups of tea or coffee]. He did not find anything to suggest Kidney or Adrenal problems, so he has suggested I modify my food intake to cut out high potassium foods. This is an issue for as I don't eat large quantities of, or high level potassium foods. I read above that water helps to flush potassium through the system, would cutting out tea and coffee and replacing with 2 liters of water drop my potassium level enough to bring it back to 'normal levels'? What level would be considered 'normal'?
Posted on 2013-06-05 03:20:09
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Try to lower my potassium level...
Hi Ric, thanks for your question. Drinking more water will definitely help to regulate and lower your potassium level. Normal potassium levels range between 3.7 to 5.2 mEq/L. Where mEq/L = milliequivalent per liter. Hope that helps!
Posted on 2013-06-05 23:51:50
Name:Paul
Location:North Carolina
Subject:Don't take medication which raises your potassium!
Went into V-tack in May of 2011 and had a pacemaker/defib implanted. Cardiologist put me on a diuretic that increased my potassium level. Potassium level was checked once after that. On August 10,2011 the defibrillator fired 4 or 5 times. Fortunately, I had two mild warnings and was actually in a hospital bed when they hit hard. After being stabilized and transported to the cardiac unit in Carolina Medical Center, Charlotte, NC the nurse in the unit told me that my potassium level was at 6.8. Then she went on to explain that high levels of potassium used to be used to stop the heart when required for surgery. Apparently my potassium level had reached that critical point. I was flushed with saline solution (I think) until the level was back down to the normal range (3.6-5.1) My potassium level normally runs slightly higher (about 5.2-5.4) and I try to stay away from the higher sources. Sometimes not so easy, as most low sodium foods (I HAVE to keep mine in the normal range) are normally high in potassium. Whether from the high potassium or not(I don't really know), I had two ablations in a three day period, and spent three weeks in the hospital, at least half the time in Cardiac Critical Care. Based on this experience and explanation, I make it a point NOT to take any medication that will raise my potassium level.
Posted on 2013-06-10 02:47:58
Name:Laurel
Location:Kansas
Subject:High potassium from birth control pills
I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this but some birth control pills can increase your potassium levels dramatically.
Posted on 2013-08-06 11:26:22
Name:JohnP
Location:Pasadena, MD
Subject:Better to get it from good foods
I take diuretics. I am aware of and am prescribed some potassium sparing Spironolactone but still need the super acting Lasix (Furosemide). This apparently causes my blood potassium levels to drop. Low potassium causes me crippling and painful leg and hand cramping, but this article is inspiring and I am happy to learn about good foods that I can eat to help control this. I love to eat! But not pills.
Posted on 2013-08-10 19:24:56
Name:Ulli
Location:California
Subject:Potassium and Blood Pressure Meds
I am on Losartan, a blood pressure medication and just found out that high levels of potassium in combination with blood pressure medication can cause irregular heart beat which I now have. I am in the habit of eating almonds and am on a mostly fish and vegetable diet. Avocados and beans are on my daily intake. Apparently I have been eating the wrong foods and never knew it.
Posted on 2013-08-14 18:07:51
Name:Elizabeth
Location:Missouri
Subject:Potassium and Epilepsy
I recently had a grand mal seizure bad enough to put me in the ER (usually I recover from my--fairly rare--seizures on my own.) My doctor's office called and said that the lab work done in the ER showed low potassium levels and recommended that I work on the problem through diet rather than supplements. They gave me a "basic" list of suggestions--bananas, spinach, mushrooms, baked potatoes, yogurt...but your list was very helpful as it is so much more comprehensive and offers more options.

However, I notice that none of my meds are on the list of "problem" meds. Is this just because anticonvulsants are less common medications than the others, or does my problem likely have no direct relationship to them?

In addition, my father has a lot of kidney problems, but he LOVES to eat several foods on the list--especially bananas and beans--and is very stubborn. Any foods that might "counter" the effects of someone unlikely to give up their favorite foods just because they are not good for them?

Posted on 2013-09-17 09:37:13
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Potassium and Epilepsy
Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your comments and questions. You assumption is correct and it is unlikely that your anticonvulsant medication is affecting your potassium levels. Also, there unfortunately is no "anti-potassium" food for your father. The best thing might be to try drink lots of water to help dilute the level of potassium. Drinking a lot of water is a good idea for kidney problems anyway. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. Be careful though, as drinking too much water too quickly can be harmful to your body. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2013-09-18 23:23:40
Name:Richard
Location:NYC
Subject:What to do? What to eat?
Diagnosed with kidney disease, must lower intake of potassium, calcium, protein, salt, chocolate. Chocolate, can you imagine? Oh well, adjustments must be made. Off to new recipe adventures.
Posted on 2013-10-03 13:10:25
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: What to do? What to eat?
Hi Richard thanks for your questions and comments. The National Kidney Foundation has a page on Kidney Disease Friendly Cooking. Amazon also has some recipe books related to the condition.
Posted on 2013-10-04 03:49:28
Name:Lee Henry
Location:Singapore
Subject:High Potassium/High White Blood
I have very high potassium level and very high white blood cells... What causes it ?
Posted on 2013-11-07 22:15:42
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High Potassium/High White Blood
Hi Lee, thanks for your question. The first you want to do is get retested to make sure the counts are right. After that, the most common cause of high potassium is kidney failure/disease. Consult your doctor. Hope that helps and that you feel better soon.
Posted on 2013-11-08 03:35:35
Name:Theodore
Subject:High Blood Pressure
I am trying to bring down my high blood pressure with foods rich in potassium...How long will it take?
Posted on 2013-11-16 11:50:10
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High Blood Pressure
Hi Theodore, thanks for your question. Potassium will help low your blood pressure, but also consider drinking more water and doing more exercise. If you have a high BMI, weight loss also helps. It can take 1-6 months to see results, depending on how much you do. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2013-11-17 05:53:39
Name:Cheryl
Location:Mississippi
Subject:Ate potassium and feeling better.
Last night while at work my potassium level had gotten extremely low. Cramps in my legs, hands, and feet. My blood pressure was high as well. Then I remembered something my late Mom had taught me about potassium. So this morning I found your page and I ate an avocado when I got home. This morning I am feeling much better. Thank you so much for all your information. Happy New Year!
Posted on 2013-12-29 11:00:31
Name:Elsa
Location:Tennessee
Subject:High Potassium from Fertilizer on Produce...
Potassium is one of the three major components of fertilizer. My potassium was high until I quit eating red grapes. I always washed them before eating, but it is pretty difficult to wash a bunch of grapes! My potassium came down when I stopped eating them. I think it was a case of foliar fertilizer on the grapes.
Posted on 2014-01-08 20:04:33
Name:Susan
Location:Florida
Subject:White Beans Confusion
Hi, I too appreciate the article, but I'm stumped about "white beans" because the name isn't clear, or that our country just throws around the word "white beans". I've tried to find out just what beans these are (after all, with 1000 mg potassium per cup, that's an important find!) For instance, Goya has "small white beans" but doesn't list the potassium content on the label, and in fact, when you click on that name at their site, it takes you to a recipe for a soup with cannellini beans, which seems to have a MUCH lower potassium content. Some are saying they're navy beans. I'd like to know for sure, mostly because I suspect the ONLY can of "white beans" I can find is Goya's, and I suspect it's true that theirs is just small cannellini beans.
Posted on 2014-01-15 08:16:46
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: White Beans Confusion
Hi Susan, thanks for your question, and it is true this is a tough issue. The U.S. Agricultural Research Service which creates these nutrition facts simply defines white beans as any bean which is white. This is not particularly helpful unless you are actually looking at the beans. Another thing to keep in mind is that the data on white beans is an average across all white beans. This would mean some are higher than others, but generally, if the bean is white, it should be high in potassium. You can also always use the the nutrient comparison tool to check any speific bean. Further Lima beans are very close in potassium content to white beans and easier to identify. The same goes for kidney beans and Great Northerns (a kind of white bean with 692mg of potassium per cup). So in summary the label "white beans" should be taken as a guideline and an average for all white beans, and to get more accurate, go for lima. Hope that all makes sense.
Posted on 2014-01-15 14:41:31
Name:Margaret
Location:Alabama
Subject:Cooking Oil and Potassium
I just got a call from my doctor sending me to the pharmacy for potassium. Years ago I switched from soybean oil to canola oil. Since soybeans are listed as a good source of potassium, should I switch back? I don't use a ton of oil but every little bit helps when trying to right a deficiency and hopefully get off the pills and stay off them.
Posted on 2014-01-24 11:46:11
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Cooking Oil and Potassium
Hi Margaret, thanks for your question, and you are right that every little bit helps to stop taking pills, however, taking pills is sometimes necessary. In regards to cooking oil, every oil has very little to no potassium. This is because potassium is water soluble, thus when you separate the oil out of soybeans all the potassium stays in the part with the water, not with the oil. Hope that makes sense. Here are the complete nutrition facts for olive, peanut, and soybean oil.
Posted on 2014-01-24 23:27:05
Name:Kim
Location:Minnesota
Subject:Drug induced renal failure
July 29, 2011, I went to the doctor because of very weak legs. When the MD wanted me to get up on the exam table, my legs gave out. Thank god he was a larger, stronger man. He caught me and put me back in the chair. He said he was calling the paramedics to take me to the hospital. I argued, but finally gave in when he said I could go home if they said I could. About 15 minutes after reaching the ER, I crashed. My legs and arms would not work and then I could not get enough oxagen. They put a c-pap (larger one) on me and when I started fighting with them, they knocked me out with Lorazepam. They had labs drawn immediately when I got there, so they found out that the problem was high potassium ... 8.9. The nephrologist in the hospital at that time said that he did not know if he was asked to check on a patient or a corpse with that high a level. He was also very surprised that I did not have a heart attack. After an hour, he finally put the puzzle together. It was a combination of Lisinopril and Spironolactone (diuretic), and then getting Septra DS (sulfa). Since then, my potassium has gone up and down, up and down,but my kidney function has been getting better. This article has been VERY helpful. Thanks much.
Posted on 2014-02-09 15:11:52
Name:Cleo
Location:London
Subject:Potassium and IC (Interstitial cystitis)
I've spent ages reading every post on this site. I'd never connected my cramps and RLS to alcohol but a fright about my liver function bloodwork a few weeks ago concentrated my mind! I radically altered my diet to exclude all alcohol and feature lots of raw veg, fruit and, nuts and fish. I've no only lost quite a bit of fat, I've also stopped suffering from RLS and cramps. I'm just beginning to learn about nutrition - at the tender age of 69! One thing, I've never heard of the IC condition but have had what I can only call 'low grade cystitis' for weeks now. It's not very uncomfortable and my urine looks as pure as water so there's no sign of infection. The same set of blood tests showed an 'imbalance' in my kidney function which my doctor said might be related to the diuretic I take (together with beta blocker) for hypertension. So I stopped taking the diuretic - and am retaining far less fluid than when I was on it! Can you please tell me if the bladder problem is what people are calling IC and if it could be related to my new way of eating/living? Many thanks for an amazingly informative, open and honest website! Quite restored my flagging faith in human nature.
Posted on 2014-02-15 19:07:27
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Potassium and IC (Interstitial cystitis)
Hi Cleo, thanks for sharing your experience and for your question. Starting a diet high in potassium is not necessarily a cause or trigger of IC. Given all the other conditions you have, you are best to stick to your new healthy high potassium diet than not, especially if the IC is not too bothersome. You can find more information about Intersitial cystitis (IC) here and here. Consult your doctor for more information, and keep up the healthy eating.
Posted on 2014-02-20 15:44:10
Name:Need_Info
Location:Carrollton
Subject:Not getting enough potassium
I just stumbled on this site and found some very useful information. I do not have any specific problems but I track my food intake on MyFitnessPal and I find I am coming up short on my potassium intake even though I do have a cup of spinach daily, half a banana daily plus nuts (almond, walnut) and also a glass of almond milk.

For my 1200 calories diet, it recommends 2300 units of sodium and 3500 units of potassium (unclear what the units are). Anyway my sodium is fine but I barely get 50% of my daily value of potassium. I eat a lot of other fruits and veggies btw. I do however refrain from grains as I am prediabetic and my Doctor has asked me to cut down on carbs. My BP and cholesterol levels are fine as is my kidney functions. I am obese and trying to cut down my weight so would appreciate suggestions.

It does not look like adding a little paprika to my smoothies wold bridge the wide difference between what I consume and what the recommendation is. Thanks in advance.

Posted on 2014-02-24 17:57:13
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Not getting enough potassium (low calorie high potassium sources)
Hi and thanks for your question. First congratulations on choosing a good diet, counting your calories, and sticking to it. In regards to potassium, spinach is probably the lowest calorie source with 1 cup of cooked (steamed) spinach providing 24% RDA for just 41 calories. Steamed white mushrooms are a substitute but only about half as good with 16% RDA for 44 calories. Given that you are only consuming 1200 calories a day, you might consider taking a multivitamin to provide extra potassium, and other nutrients like vitamin B12. Also, as you are drinking almond milk, try to find one that is fortified. Vitamin Water may be another option. Adding dried herbs and spices is also another nearly calorie free way to get a bit more potassium, but might not get you to the full recommended intake. Hope those thoughts help.
Posted on 2014-02-25 11:37:35

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