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Discharge Instructions for Hyperkalemia

You have been diagnosed with hyperkalemia (a high level of potassium in the blood). Potassium is important to the function of the nerve and muscle cells, including the cells of the heart. But a high level of potassium in the blood can cause  serious problems such as abnormal heart rhythms and even heart attack.

Diet changes

  • Eat less of these potassium-rich foods:

    • Bananas (avoid bananas completely)

    • Apricots, fresh or dried

    • Oranges and orange juice

    • Grapefruit juice

    • Tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato juice

    • Spinach

    • Green, leafy vegetables, including salad greens, kale, broccoli, chard, and collards

    • Melons (all kinds)

    • Peas

    • Beans

    • Potatoes

    • Sweet potatoes

    • Avocados and guacamole

    • Vegetable juice (homemade or store-bought) and vegetable juice cocktail

    • Fruit juices

    • Nuts, including pistachios, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, Brazil, cashew, mixed

    • "Lite" or reduced sodium salt

Other home care

  • Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medicines you are taking. Certain medicines can increase potassium levels.

  • Take all medicines exactly as directed.

  • Have your potassium levels checked regularly.

  • Keep all follow-up appointments. Your healthcare provider needs to monitor your condition closely.

  • Learn to take your own pulse. If your pulse is less than 60 beats per minute or irregular, call your provider.

Follow-up

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

 

When to Call Your healthcare provider

Call your provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Chest pain (call 911)

  • Fainting (call 911)

  • Shortness of breath (call 911 if severe)

  • Slow, irregular heartbeat

  • Fatigue

  • Dizziness

  • Lightheadedness

  • Confusion

 

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