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  • High potassium levels

    My husband, Michael, is a home hemo patient since 06/11, has been on dialysis since 12/24/07. He has a R. forearm fistula. A couple of weeks ago, he was admitted to the hospital with a potassium level of 9.6. His Neph did a fistulagram afterwards and found his fistula was 60 to 70% blocked. While he was in the hospital the first time, I evaluated what was in the home, to see if there was anything that there that was a high potassium food. Could not find anything that I was aware of. He is now back in the hospital with a potassium level 8.6. He hasn't missed any of his treatments and the foods in the house are the same. He is no longer able to drive and he doesn't have much money on him so he is not able to get out and get the wrong foods. My question is this: in anyone's experience how many times does one go through such high potassium levels before the body says enough is enough. Give some experiences you have had with this.

  • #2
    Re: High potassium levels

    Originally posted by Halogirl View Post
    My husband, Michael, is a home hemo patient since 06/11, has been on dialysis since 12/24/07. He has a R. forearm fistula. A couple of weeks ago, he was admitted to the hospital with a potassium level of 9.6. His Neph did a fistulagram afterwards and found his fistula was 60 to 70% blocked. While he was in the hospital the first time, I evaluated what was in the home, to see if there was anything that there that was a high potassium food. Could not find anything that I was aware of. He is now back in the hospital with a potassium level 8.6. He hasn't missed any of his treatments and the foods in the house are the same. He is no longer able to drive and he doesn't have much money on him so he is not able to get out and get the wrong foods. My question is this: in anyone's experience how many times does one go through such high potassium levels before the body says enough is enough. Give some experiences you have had with this.
    Halogirl,

    How long are your husbands treatments? In order to remove the proper amount of treatment, you should add time to the treatment. A regular 3 or 4 hour treatment may not be enouph to remove the proper amount of potassium as well as phosphorus, especially if he has a blockage. Also, what postassium bath are they using during dialysis..a 1k, 2k etc..This makdes a difference as to how much of the levels are removed if he is in center.

    If he is currently at home and doing home dialysis, how long are his treatments and what machine/ is he using. How long does he dialyze? How many days/week? What is his bloodflow? I would recommend extending the hours of treatment.

    When they did the fistulagram, did they fix it by ballooning the stenosed area? It appears as if he is having a recirculation issues.

    You may want to check with your nephrologist about acidosis as well. Also, if you have any types of muscle injury will also cause high potassium.....
    ______________________________
    PD - 13 Years
    3 Transplants
    In-Center Hemo - 6 Months
    NxStage - Since April - 06
    Facebook: Dialysis Discussion Uncensored

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    • #3
      Re: High potassium levels

      I was told today thwt my potasss level is 6.8 and is critical high, how serious is this?, receptiionist told me so no info given, except that it is serious, thanks, tq

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      • #4
        Re: High potassium levels

        Originally posted by tqs
        I was told today thwt my potasss level is 6.8 and is critical high, how serious is this?, receptiionist told me so no info given, except that it is serious, thanks, tq
        You either have to discuss this with Dr or find another Dr.

        High Potassium levels are extremely dangerous. High as well as low potassium levels, sadly, don't come with any symptoms. The only way to know your potassium is elevated with a blood test or if worse (heart stops).

        Call your Dr and ask what the treatment plan is.
        Most times they send you to ER so they can administer Sodium polystyrene sulfonate (brand names - Kayexalate, Kionex).
        If the level is not dangerously high they just give you an RX to take at home.

        Take care!
        I received the GIFT OF LIFE on Nov 9, 2010 thanks to my wonderful donor Laura and her family!

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        • #5
          Re: High potassium levels

          Originally posted by Halogirl View Post
          My husband, Michael, is a home hemo patient since 06/11, has been on dialysis since 12/24/07. He has a R. forearm fistula. A couple of weeks ago, he was admitted to the hospital with a potassium level of 9.6. His Neph did a fistulagram afterwards and found his fistula was 60 to 70% blocked. While he was in the hospital the first time, I evaluated what was in the home, to see if there was anything that there that was a high potassium food. Could not find anything that I was aware of. He is now back in the hospital with a potassium level 8.6. He hasn't missed any of his treatments and the foods in the house are the same. He is no longer able to drive and he doesn't have much money on him so he is not able to get out and get the wrong foods. My question is this: in anyone's experience how many times does one go through such high potassium levels before the body says enough is enough. Give some experiences you have had with this.
          Halogirl,

          First I would get a copy of his past lab history and see if there is a trend upwards and when it started. Try to remember if any changes took place such as change in medications etc...
          Also, other complications such as acidosis, thyroid issues and even intestinal issues can cause the body to have a high potassium. Its not just foods.

          Is your husband on home or in-center hemo, I would suggest adjusting the levels of the baths they use to draw the potassium out. Also, I would suggest longer dialysis as well as more frequent dialysis to get that potassium down.

          His levels are just way to high. When are the levels drawn? Before or after a treatment?

          Have his pharmacy check all of his medicaitons to see if one of them may be the culprit. I would also speak to the nephrologist to look for other conditions that cause high potassium. these are sometimes overlooked when someone is on dialysis because they automatically want to say its dialysis/food related. This is often not the case...

          Also, you may want to keep a 3 day log of what he eats and have the dietition analyze it for the amount of potassium he is taking.

          ///M3R
          ______________________________
          PD - 13 Years
          3 Transplants
          In-Center Hemo - 6 Months
          NxStage - Since April - 06
          Facebook: Dialysis Discussion Uncensored

          ________________________________

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: High potassium levels

            You need to talk to your Neph now. Potassium levels that high can be very dangerous. They like levels to be around 4.0 I have the opposite problem-- mine gets to low. I've been told both way are very dangerous.
            sigpic distal renal tubular acidosis, stage 3 kidney disease, high blood pressure, osteoperosis, Sjogren's, non-diabetic osteoarthriis and an overactive bladder GFR was 55 as of 8/2/10 Linda

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            • #7
              Re: High potassium levels

              Originally posted by Madi's Granny
              You need to talk to your Neph now. Potassium levels that high can be very dangerous. They like levels to be around 4.0 I have the opposite problem-- mine gets to low. I've been told both way are very dangerous.
              You're absolutely right both high and low potassium levels are extremely dangerous.
              Potassium regulates or helps with muscle movement. Since the heart is the biggest and most important muscle our body has, it can take a hit from either high or low K levels.

              I loved having low potassium levels on PD but only because I was "forced" to eat 2-3 high potassium foods/day.
              Summer fruits are my fave, so I lived on nectarines during the summer time.
              I was one happy camper.
              I received the GIFT OF LIFE on Nov 9, 2010 thanks to my wonderful donor Laura and her family!

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              • #8
                Hello Halogirl,
                This is all new (2 months) to me and I'm trying to balance out my high (7.7) potassium level. On 04/02 it dropped down to 6.2 but saw the high level today.
                I have no warning signs and always feel the same. I try my best to eat all the right foods but I can't seem to put my finger on what's causing the level to go up.
                I think I'll write down everything I eat for a week and sit down with my Nutritionist to see what I can change.
                Hope this helps......
                Dan in FL

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                • #9
                  I've had problems with high potassium continually while on HD ... didn't seem to matter WHAT I ate; the potassium value was always high; my neph then put me on a regular dose (60ml) of the generic Kayexalate on all off-dialysis days...potassium hasn't been at or over 5.5 since. My Dr. says he's seen two other cases like this where there's just no explanation to a continually elevated potassium lab value. FORTUNATELY I don't experience some of the rather inconvenient side-effects of this drug. This treatment is by NO MEANS the solution to anyone who has high-potassium levels, but if you're consistently getting them DISPITE diet, it is an OPTION to bring up with your doc.

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