Tips for keeping a healthy potassium level
Potassium is a mineral that keeps your heart beating at a normal rhythm as well as controlling the body’s other muscles. Therefore, because people with kidney failure can’t effectively eliminate excess potassium, it is usually limited on the dialysis diet. So how does someone on the dialysis diet keep potassium at a healthy level?
Generally, people on peritoneal dialysis are able to eat as they normally would because the peritoneal dialysis treatments are performed daily. People on home hemodialysis usually do dialysis treatments 5-6 times a week, making it easier to keep a normal potassium. People who are on in-center hemodialysis generally have 3 treatments a week, leaving more time for potassium levels to rise between treatments. Instruction on how to better control their potassium through the hemodialysis diet is helpful in keeping normal potassium.
People with chronic kidney disease who are not on dialysis may experience high potassium levels. Learning about which foods in their usual diet have the most potassium and making some adjustments can help keep potassium in the normal range.
Some tips for managing potassium include:
- Limiting high potassium foods
- Leach potatoes or double-boil before cooking
- Not overeating low potassium fruits and vegetables
- Making sure packaged and processed foods don’t contain potassium or potassium chloride
- Not skipping dialysis treatments
- Staying on dialysis for the full treatment time
- Limiting or replacing milk products
- Talking to a renal dietitian
Following these tips can help people on dialysis keep their potassium at a healthy level.
Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com
- Discussion Forums
- myDaVita.com Account and Newsletters
- DaVita Diet Helper
- Phosphorus ChallengeTM
- Food Analyzer
- DaVita Cookbooks