Tag Archives: high potassium

More Potassium Stuff

End of July I had blood work done and it turned out I had high potassium. I was told to stop drinking my protein shake (I occasionally drink a Premier Protein, chocolate flavour) and the thought was it was probably high in potassium and may be the culprit. I doubted this as I rarely drink them, but nobody seemed to listen to me when I tried explaining how infrequently I drink them so I ended up nodding and agreeing to quitting the protein drink.

Last week I had another appointment for blood work – this was to see if the potassium level had gone down after being off the protein drink for a week.

The follow-up for this set of blood work was with my GP, not anybody from the eating disorder program. I don’t go see her often, I don’t get sick often, and I don’t care for doctors so I tend to avoid her. I have to tell her every time I see her that I am in the ED recovery program even though I’m sure it must be in the file she is reading because she skims, doesn’t read stuff, and has no idea what is going on with me.

Fine, whatever, I can deal with that.

Well today she takes a look at the most recent blood work report and says “your potassium is high”

I say “yeah I know, this is the follow-up to the first test that showed it is high”

Then she gets her panties in a twist because some other doctor is involved with sending me for blood work *rolls eyes*

She then decides that my potassium must be high because of something I am eating. If it was high because of other problems my other test results would be abnormal and they are all showing as fine.

Side note: the fact that all my other test results show things within my body are fine make me wonder if I don’t need treatment, since obviously I haven’t done damage to my body so I can’t be doing anything all that bad…right?

Anyways!

She then goes on to say I have to stop eating bananas, asparagus, and orange juice.

I told her I don’t eat, or drink, any of those things.

The convo went a bit like this..

Doc: “What do you mean you don’t drink orange juice?”

Me: “I don’t drink orange juice”, shrug, “I don’t drink any juice, too much sugar, it’s unhealthy.”

Doc: obviously not believing me “Everyone drinks juice. You don’t drink any juice?” looking at me like I’m going to change my story…

Me: “Nope, I don’t drink juice.”

Doc: “Well, hmm…you also need to stop eating bananas. And asparagus.”

Me: “I only eat asparagus once a month at most, and only in small amounts, but ok, I’ll stop. I don’t eat bananas, I stopped eating those months ago.”

Doc: “You don’t eat bananas?” gives me disbelieving look

Me: “Nope, haven’t eaten one in months.” (then I lied and said…) “It’s summer, I stopped eating bananas because I’m eating all the summer fruit.” I wave my hand around vaguely as if to indicate towards all the copious amounts of summer fruits around. When in reality I am not eating any of those either…too much sugar…

Doc: “hmm…” seems to possibly believe I might not be eating bananas because I am eating other fruits.

Doc: “Still! Your high potassium levels must be because of something you are ingesting, check everything you eat, read all nutritional labels, see how much potassium is in everything before you eat it. Don’t eat any processed foods, they are all high in potassium, and cut back on how much salt you use when cooking.”

Me: “I don’t use salt when cooking.”

Doc: “You don’t use salt, when cooking? Of course you do. There are two types on the store shelves, make sure to choose (insert specific type of sale here) instead of the other, this type is better for you. But still, don’t use too much of it, cut back, you’re using too much.”

Me: “I can’t cut back, I don’t use it. I don’t cook with it, I don’t season with it. I haven’t bough salt in years.”

Doc: looks at me like I am a lunatic

Me: “So how much potassium should I be getting in a day?”

Doc: “Not as much as other people because we need to bring your levels down and you’re eating too much of it.”

Me: “Yeah, I get that, but I don’t know how much I should be aiming for…and what is considered too high for a serving? If a serving of something has say, 50mg of potassium, should I consider that too high and not eat it, or is it only too high if it is over 100mg per serving?”

Doc: didn’t answer any of those questions, went back to talking about how I must be ingesting too much potassium and then said “google a list of foods high in potassium and don’t eat any of them”

So…she didn’t tell me how much potassium I should be trying to get in a day, and she told someone who restricts their food intake to restrict it even more…wtf.

I didn’t even know what to say, so I said nothing and left…left with a form to get more blood work done in 3 weeks so she can see if the potassium levels have gone down. Oh, and the warning that if I experience chest palpitations or chest pain to go to the ER asap because high potassium could kill me.

Greeeeeeat.

I haven’t decided if I will google the list of high potassium foods or not. I know I should, so that I know what to stay away from, but I don’t know that I should be increasing my list of unsafe foods. Even if the list contains mostly things I already don’t eat, if I think I have a medically sound reason to not eat them how will I ever manage to increase my list of safe foods? Today I’ve been checking nutritional labels for potassium and found that not all labels show potassium. I’m not sure if that means the food has so little of it they don’t put it on, or if it is because it is not required to put potassium on a nutrition label.

I have a meeting with my nutrition person from my recovery program next week so I guess I’ll just ask her all the questions and see if she knows the answers.

Doctors. *shake my head* next to useless, sigh.

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Potassium

Potassium? Who the fuck gives a care about potassium levels? Apparently doctors…but why? *rolls eyes*

I haven’t actually made it back to the doc’s office about the blood work test results but the whole reason I had to have them was because of an appointment set up with a shrink and to stay compliant with my recovery program.

The shrink took a look at the report and said I have high potassium.

I have nooooo idea how I have high anything, considering the amount of food I eat, but apparently I have high potassium.

I asked what I should cut out, he suggested bananas, I scoffed and said I don’t eat those…they used to be my favourite fruit but I haven’t eaten them in months, they ended up on my not safe food list, sigh.

He also asked if there are foods I don’t eat, I told him it would be easier to give him a list of the foods I do eat, since the “don’t eat” foods list is super long.

Turns out the meeting with him was for a psychiatric evaluation, which sounds terrifying, and makes me worried I’ll forever be labelled a crazy person. It took an hour and he asked a bit about practically every aspect of my life. He said the goal is to get a bit of information about everything and then go into more detail in follow-up sessions. Apparently I warrant follow-up sessions now…greeeeeeat…

My case worker sat in for the meeting, so there was a witness to this horribleness. He tried to get me to stand on a scale, like that was gonna happen! Ha! He also said I could tell him “no” if he asked about anything I really didn’t want to answer. There were a lot of questions I didn’t want to answer but I didn’t really say no to any of them…just sorta shut down and became less verbally responsive. Probably was shouting out like crazy with my body language though. Ugh. I irritate myself.

But yeah, so at the end of this appointment he pulled out the blood work results. They didn’t test for some stuff he wanted looked at so I get to go back in a week and get more blood taken, and get another ECG, fuuuuuck. Like I don’t have other things I am supposed to be doing?

Plus! I am supposed to cut out my protein drink to see if that is where my high potassium level is coming from. I don’t think it will be since I don’t drink them with any type of regularity. I had been trying to a while ago, but they are just so gross. Now I am basically trying to get through them so I don’t have to throw them all out and waste all that money. Since I am not adverse to drinking them calorie or nutrition wise I’d rather not pour them down the drain. If they had turned in to an unsafe food you can bet I’d have already poured them, waste of money or not. Oh the screwy logic that is mine lol

So one week of no protein drinks, then blood work and the ECG. I’m not sure what I am supposed to eat in place of the protein drink though. For all that I don’t drink them that often they do have a purpose when I do take them in and I don’t have anything I can swap in there. My list of safe foods is shrinking a little more every week and taking out one item makes a huge dent in what is available to me.

I dunno, I guess I’ll just go without, not like I couldn’t stand to cut out more calories, but I wish it had been my decision, and not one made for me…