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Nutrition

Potassium

Potassium is another important mineral that has a wide range of functions in your body. These functions include having a role in both nerve and muscles activity. People with low kidney function have an increased risk for an elevated potassium level, also known as hyperkalemia. This occurs because the kidneys can no longer remove excess potassium from the blood as waste. When there is a buildup of potassium in the blood, the heart will begin to beat irregularly and may even cause death, due to insufficient blood pumping and flow. To determine if you are at risk for hyperkalemia, it is important to review lab results with the healthcare professionals to ensure you are within the normal range. The normal range for potassium is 3.5-5.0 mEq/L. To stay within this safe limit, it is important to be aware of foods that are high and low in potassium and control your diet.

In addition to diet, some blood pressure medications are known to reduce the amount of potassium excreted in the urine. Working with your kidney care clinic team will ensure that your medications and diet reduce your risk of hyperkalemia. The Registered Dietitian will review the type of foods that should be avoided and what alternatives can be eaten when planning your diet.

Foods low in potassium:

Foods high in potassium:

Here is a helpful document from the National Kidney Disease Education Program and Toronto East General Hospital on potassium!