Among the essential minerals and nutrients that our body needs to stay healthy is Potassium. Potassium is mainly responsible for our heart health and muscle functionality. As a result, we need to make sure that our body is not facing a deficiency of potassium. However, at the same time we need to ensure that we do not have excess potassium as well. The reason behind this is that excess potassium or hyperkalemia is a severe condition that can lead to consequences and even death in certain medical conditions. So, if you are experiencing high levels of potassium then you need to learn how to flush excess potassium out of your system. Here, in this blog we’ll be discussing the same.
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In Emergency how to flush excess potassium?
If you are in an urgent need of flushing out excess potassium then there are certain medications present that can instantly bring down potassium level. This include an IV of the following things:
- Insulin and glucose
- Sodium bicarbonate
Besides these IVs, you can also take inhaled albuterol. These things can start working in a few minutes and can provide you an instant flushing of potassium. Also in some cases, doctors can suggest you go for dialysis.
How to flush excess potassium: Dietary and Medications to take and avoid
Besides some emergency ways, there are other ways of how to flush excess potassium so that you can control its level in your body. In this section, we’ll take a look at them one by one.
There are certain medications available that you can take after consulting your doctor for flushing out excess potassium.
One of the most common medications recommended for hyperkalemia is a diuretic. Diuretics generally increase sodium and water flow along with other electrolytes including potassium and filter them to pass out of the body quickly. In conditions like chronic and acute hyperkalemia, diuretics are something that are always given. If you have high potassium levels in your body then taking diuretics can certainly flush the excess out and maintain its balance.
Another medication generally used in the treatment of hyperkalemia is potassium binders. These binders remove the excess potassium from your body via bowel movements. Some common potassium binders include sodium polystyrene sulfonate (SPS), patiromer (Veltassa), calcium polystyrene sulfonate (CPS), and sodium zirconium cyclosilicate (Lokelma).
Patiromer and sodium zirconium cyclosilicate
The next medication that your doctor can recommend you is Patiromer and sodium zirconium cyclosilicate. However, they are quite new in the treatment medications for hyperkalemia. They are currently recommended to those people who have diabetes or heart conditions along with hyperkalemia.
If you want to manage hyperkalemia on your own then there are certain dietary changes that you can do.
Firstly, you can avoid or limit the consumption of foods that have high potassium levels. Secondly, you can boil some specific foods before eating. Following is a list of foods containing vegetables, fruits, beverages, and more that you need to avoid or limit their consumption if you want to maintain potassium level in your body:
- Root vegetables that include potatoes, beets, parsnips, and taro, along others
- Prunes and their juice
- Tomato paste or puree or sun-dried
- Beans including chickpeas, kidney beans, soybeans, and more
- French fries
- Alternatives of salt
- Passion fruit and its juice
- Carrot juice
Out of these foods, there are some that you can boil before eating them as boiling decreases potassium amount present. This includes potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, and yam. Moreover, you can also discuss with your dietician what salt alternatives you can consume and which foods you can eat after boiling. They will be able to guide you the best depending upon your overall health.
Avoiding herbal remedies or supplements
If you are bringing changes in your diet, then there are certain more things to avoid. This include herbal remedies and supplements. There are certain herbs present that can increase potassium level in your body. So, if you have hyperkalemia, you need to avoid these herbs:
- Chan’su, Bufo, or Senso
- Hawthorn berries
- Noni juice
- Siberian ginseng
Moreover, if you are taking any supplements or want to take them, then ensure to have a talk with your doctor first.
1. Can I take resins to remove excess potassium?
Yes you can take resins to flush out excess potassium as they bind to potassium and help transport them out via bowel movements.
2. Is consuming calcium safe in hyperkalemia?
If you take calcium in either calcium chloride or calcium gluconate form then it’s quite safe for hyperkalemia as it tends to reduce the effect of high potassium levels on the heart.
3. Is it mandatory to get dialysis if potassium level is not going down?
No it is not mandatory to get dialysis. However if you have chronic kidney disease and your potassium levels are high, then you will have to get dialysis done to flush out excess potassium and other toxic substances as well out of your system.
4. When to get hemodialysis in hyperkalemia?
If you have kidney failure, which has led to high potassium levels, then the best option for you is to get hemodialysis.
High potassium levels or hyperkalemia can be dangerous as it can lead to development of heart diseases, abnormal muscle functionality, and kidney diseases as well. So, if you ever suspect that you have high potassium levels, then it’s better to get it checked and start controlling its level. If you didn’t know how to flush excess potassium, then we hope we have helped you out in the same.