Which Medications Interact With Potassium
Typically, medications dont tend to interact with potassium. But its important to know that some medication can increase or lower your potassium levels. ACE inhibitors, spironolactone, and antiretroviral drugs all increase your potassium, Dr. Dixon says. Diuretics can decrease your potassium. Even though theres no direct potassium-to-medication interaction, check with your physician to see how your prescriptions are already affecting your potassium levels before you decide to supplement.
How Does Potassium Lower Blood Pressure
Potassium and blood pressure have an inverse relationship to one another. Patients with elevated potassium have lower blood pressure, and patients who have low potassium have an elevated blood pressure, says Craig Beavers, Pharm.D., a member of the American College of Cardiology s Cardiovascular Team Section and Leadership Council and director of cardiovascular services at Baptist Health Paducah. Why? It has to do with the relationship between electrolytes and fluid in your body.
Potassium, sodium, and magnesium are all examples of electrolytes that help maintain the proper fluid and blood volume balance in your body. The role of sodium in high blood pressure is well-known. Too much salt can result in elevated blood pressure in susceptible individuals. Low potassium intake can have the same effect.
Thats because potassium helps kick sodium out of your system. The more potassium you eat, the more sodium you lose through your urine, according to the American Heart Association. If youve got a lot of sodium in your system, it can lead to fluid retention and that makes your heart work harder because theres more fluid to push around. That harder work raises your blood pressure and increases your risk for cardiovascular disease.
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Special Precautions & Warnings
Pregnancy or breast-feedingLIKELY SAFEUNSAFE
Disorders of the digestive tract that might alter the speed food and supplements pass through the body : If you have one of these disorders, do not take potassium supplements. Potassium could build up to dangerous levels in your body.
Allergy to aspirin or tartrazine products: Avoid potassium supplements that contain tartrazine.
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Is It Possible To Have Too Much Potassium
Too much potassium can be harmful in older people and those with kidney disorders, since potassium affects the balance of fluids in the body. As you get older, your kidneys become less able to remove potassium from our blood. So, before taking any over-the-counter potassium supplement, talk to your healthcare provider.
Benefits Of Increased Potassium
Our results on blood pressure are consistent with three previous meta-analyses, and a fourth systematic review without meta-analysis, of trials comparing higher potassium with lower potassium intake.20212223 One previous meta-analysis restricted to studies conducted in people with hypertension reported no effect of potassium supplementation on blood pressure.24 The discrepancy in results could be due to that review having included only six studies and 483 participants, whereas our review included 22 studies and 1892 participants, providing much more power to detect an effect. The meta-analyses of 11 cohort studies in adults suggest an association between higher potassium intake and reduced risk of stroke. These results are consistent with the previous meta-analysis of cohort studies, which reported that a 42 mmol/day higher potassium intake was associated with a 21% lower risk of stroke.19
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Relaxation Against High Blood Pressure
To be able to constantly restore the balance between tension and relaxation is immensely important for keeping the body healthy. But people who tend to have high blood pressure and therefore urgently need regular moments of relaxation, often lack precisely this ability.
It is therefore advisable, especially with high blood pressure, to attend special courses in which relaxation techniques can be learned because they have been proven to promote inner peace and serenity. Particularly suitable relaxation methods are, for example, autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson, yoga, etc.
Instead of watching TV every evening, it is advisable to often listen to relaxing music or read a good book in the evenings, as both have a decidedly calming effect.
The effect of a relaxation measure is of course not only limited to the psyche. The tension of every single muscle in the body is also released. Therefore, the pressure on the vascular wall muscles also decreases steadily, so that the blood pressure can drop.
Also remember that electrosmog can lead to tension, stress, and thus to high blood pressure, and use power switches to ensure a stress-free nights sleep.
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Start Lowering Your Blood Pressure Today
In many cases, high blood pressure doesnt have to be treated and managed with drastic lifestyle changes or medication.
Diet is one of the most important aspects of managing high blood pressure and its the one thing you have the most control over. Taking small steps now, can turn into big improvements and new routines.
Dont wait to take charge of your heart health. With support from your doctor and a little bit of determination you may find your blood pressure coming down sooner than you think.
Dont delay getting the heart care and answers you need
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A Banana A Day: New Study Suggests Potassium Helps Lower Blood Pressure
- Kidney damage and possible kidney failure
- Muscular weakness and possible temporary paralysis
- Red blood cell and tissue damage
- Abnormal heart rhythm , which can lead to a cardiac arrest
Western diets are generally higher in sodium than potassium. This means youll have to put in a little effort to fit high-potassium foods into your daily routine. Here are a few examples:
- Beans/lentils: lentils, lima, navy , lima, peas
- Fruits: apricots, avocadoes, bananas, cantaloupe, nectarines, oranges, raisins, tomatoes
- Meat/poultry: beef , turkey
- Nuts/Seeds: almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
- Seafood: haddock, perch, salmon
- Vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, sweet potatoes, white potatoes
For more help controlling your blood pressure, work with your MDVIP-affiliated doctor. As part of the MDVIP Wellness Program, your doctor can customize a wellness plan for you and your needs. Dont have an MDVIP-affiliated doctor? Find one near you by .
This page links to PDF files. Use this link to if needed.
Avoiding Herbal Remedies Or Supplements
While many people take herbal remedies or supplements to boost overall health, its best to avoid them if you have hyperkalemia. They may contain certain ingredients that are thought to increase potassium levels in the body, such as:
- calcineurin inhibitors for immunosuppressive therapy
- potassium-sparing diuretics, like spironolactone and eplerenone
- a commonly-prescribed antibiotic, trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole
Its important to talk with your healthcare provider about any and all medications you take to help determine the cause of your hyperkalemia.
If your hyperkalemia is caused by a medication you currently take, your healthcare provider may recommend changing or stopping that medication.
Your treatment plan may vary based on whether youre dealing with an acute episode of hyperkalemia or managing chronic hyperkalemia.
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What Is The Evidence Linking Potassium Intake And Bp
Multiple observational and interventional studies have investigated the impact of potassium on BP and the risk of developing hypertension and the ability of potassium supplementation to reduce BP in hypertensive patients. In recent years, several large surveys have been published adding further evidence supporting greater potassium intake to lower BP. Yet, many questions remain unanswered, limiting our ability to propose firm recommendations with a high level of confidence. These studies have been compiled and analysed in several meta-analyses that will be discussed below.
Number 6 Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of magnesium, arginine, and potassium all of which may help keep your heart healthy. 100 grams of unsalted pumpkin seeds contain 919 milligrams of potassium. The high magnesium content in pumpkin seeds helps lower and regulate blood pressure. While arginine helps with the production of nitric oxide, which helps relax blood vessels and reduce blood pressure. Thats why many studies have shown that pumpkin seeds can help reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels two important risk factors for heart disease.
If you want to improve blood flow, watch our previous video on the top foods high in nitric oxide.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
If you have hyperkalemia , you may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Why did I get hyperkalemia?
- How often should I get blood tests to check for hyperkalemia?
- How much potassium should I get in my daily diet?
- What foods or supplements should I avoid?
- What, if any, salt substitutes can I use?
- What are the treatment risks and side effects?
- Am I at risk for kidney failure or other problems due to hyperkalemia?
- What follow-up care do I need after treatment?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Because hyperkalemia rarely causes symptoms, you may be surprised when a blood test shows that your potassium levels are high. A low-potassium diet can protect your health. Your healthcare provider can determine how much potassium you need or connect you with a dietitian, if needed. A dietitian can help you create meal plans that ensure you get just the right amount of potassium in your diet. Your provider may also change your medications. Potassium levels that reach a dangerously high level can be life-threatening. If youre at risk for hyperkalemia, your provider will closely monitor your potassium levels.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/05/2020.
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Does Potassium Lower Blood Pressure
Potassium has several functions in the body, aiding with the proper workings of the heart, kidneys, nerves, muscles and the digestive system. A lack of potassium can manifest itself in many ways, including high blood pressure.
Researchers have looked at the connection between high blood pressure and potassium for decades, determining that simply increasing your potassium intake while lowering your sodium intake is enough to get your blood pressure back under control.
Our friends over at NaturalNews have compiled some pretty telling statements from experts in the medical and nutritional community on the power of potassium in helping control blood pressure.
One study conducted from St. Georges Medical School in London and published in the April 2005 issue of Hypertension, found that potassium citrate can lower blood pressure just as well as potassium chloride which has been shown to lower blood pressure. Potassium chloride must be taken in supplement form, while potassium citrate can be attained through foods.
After comparing the blood-pressure-lowering effects of potassium chloride against the effects of potassium citrate, researchers found that each one has similarly positive effects. Adults starting at 151/93 on average found their blood pressure reduced to 140/88 while using potassium chloride, and 138/88 when taking potassium citrate.
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Risk Of Too Much Potassium
If you have kidney issues then too much potassium may be harmful. Also, there are diuretics that are “potassium sparing”, which means you may need to be cautious about your potassium intake. Then on the other side there are diuretics that increase potassium losses. Speak with your physician. If you take any medication, even over-the-counter, discuss with your physician prior to starting a high-potassium diet.
What Is High Potassium Or Hyperkalemia
Everyone needs potassium to survive. Potassium is a mineral and an electrolyte. It helps your muscles work, including the muscles that control your heartbeat and breathing. Potassium comes from the food you eat.
Your body uses the potassium it needs. The extra potassium that your body does not need is removed from your blood by your kidneys. When you have kidney disease, your kidneys cannot remove extra potassium in the right way, and too much potassium can stay in your blood.
When you have too much potassium in your blood, it is called high potassium, or hyperkalemia. Having too much potassium in your blood can be dangerous. High potassium can even cause a heart attack or death! Unfortunately, many people do not feel symptoms of high potassium until its too late and their heart health worsens.
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Get The Facts On Alcohol And Blood Pressure
Many of us like to have a drink when we go out with friends or family. The right concoction can make a delicious dish even better or help set the mood for a fun evening. But alcohol and blood pressure dont always mix well.
Drinking a lot can raise your blood pressure, which puts you at greater risk for a wide variety of further cardiovascular issues. So when you decide to drink, its important not to have too much.
How much is too much? If youre a woman, try not to have more than one drink per day. For men, no more than two drinks per day. A standard drink is a 12 oz. beer, a 5 oz. glass of wine or 1.5 oz. of spirits.
However, if youve already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor may advise you on a different daily limit, or suggest you cut out alcohol completely.
And just to clear something up: Red wine isnt necessarily good for your heart the research is still unclear and we still suggest moderation.
How Does Potassium Lower Bp
The opposite effect is supposed to be determined by high potassium intake. Figure illustrates how changes in potassium intake may affect BP through an adrenorenal pathway involving NCC. Yet, still other renal tubular mechanisms may contribute to explain the effect of potassium intake on BP, and some of them are being studied, such as tissue kallikrein and kinase pathways . Of note, there is also a gastrointestinal regulation of potassium excretion that increases urinary potassium excretion after meals independent of changes in serum potassium .
Several non-renal mechanisms for the hypotensive effects of potassium have also been proposed, including reduced renal renin release, decreased vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation, reduced vascular smooth muscle cell migration, decreased free radical formation, reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol oxidation, decreased platelet aggregation, improvement of endothelium-dependent vasodilatation and reduction of oxidative stress . Experimentally, we have demonstrated that an increase in potassium in DOCA-salt uninephrectomized mice reverses cardiac and renal hypertrophy and restores vasorelaxation of resistance arterioles independent of BP . All these observations support the role of potassium in lowering BP, but also in preventing the cardiac and cerebral complications of hypertension.
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Can You Have Too Much Potassium
It is possible to have too much potassium. This is a particular concern in people with chronic kidney disease . An excess can lead to a condition called hyperkalemia, and its a serious concern. Dr. Beavers notes that it can cause electrical malfunctions in your heart, and it can eventually begin to stiffen and calcify your arteries. It can also lead to kidney damage when your urinary system is unable to eliminate the excess.
If youre worried youre taking too much potassium, watch out for these warning signs:
- Heart palpitations
Too high potassium levels can be a sign of underlying kidney disease or even renal failure. If you experience any of these symptoms and arent taking a potassium supplement or eating a lot of potassium, your potassium excretion may be impaired. If this is the case, talk to your healthcare provider.
The Importance Of Potassium
Potassium, an electrolyte, is necessary for nerves to transport messages and for muscles to contract. It keeps the heart beating and helps to ship nutrients into cells and remove cellular waste. Potassium also assists in the maintenance of healthy bones and reduces the risk of kidney stones.
The author of the current review, Alicia McDonough, Ph.D., professor of cell and neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, sums up her findings: Decreasing sodium intake is a well-established way to lower blood pressure, but evidence suggests that increasing dietary potassium may have an equally important effect on hypertension.
Her review explores the links between potassium, sodium, and the sodium-potassium ratio, delving into a range of studies in the field and drawing conclusions about potassiums benefits.
The investigation included interventional and population studies, as well as research into the molecular mechanisms involved.
McDonough found a number of population studies demonstrating that higher dietary potassium, as rated by urinary excretion or dietary recall, was generally associated with lower blood pressure, regardless of the level of sodium intake.
Other studies looking specifically at potassium supplements gave similar findings.
When dietary potassium is high, kidneys excrete more salt and water, which increases potassium excretion. Eating a high potassium diet is like taking a diuretic.
Alicia McDonough, Ph.D.
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Problems With Food Frequency Questionnaires
The researchers felt because they used food frequency questionnaires that a more accurate study could be obtained. They plan to use a prospective trial using a more objective measurement of sodium and potassium .
The problems with using a food frequency questionnaire to estimate potassium and sodium intake are that the memory of the participants may be inaccurate, and the estimates of how much sodium is in the food may be considerably inaccurate. Sodium content of kimchi can be off considerably because each individual uses different methods to prepare kimchi. The researchers used a standard estimate to determine the amount of sodium in the participants’ diet.
Enalapril And A Potassium Interaction:
Q. My pharmacist said I could have killed myself if I kept taking potassium with my blood pressure medicine. My new doctor switched me to enalapril and didnt mention any precautions.
Before this I was on hydrochlorothiazide and potassium supplements. Its lucky my pharmacist noticed I had changed blood pressure prescriptions when I went to have the potassium refilled.
I have also used Lite Salt or NoSalt for years to reduce my sodium intake. Do I need to stop using the salt substitute as well?
A. Potassium-based salt substitutes like the ones you have been using can be a good way of cutting back on sodium and getting extra potassium. But in combination with medicines such as Vasotec , Capoten , Lotensin , Aceon , Accupril , Altace , Mavic , or Zestril , salt substitutes and potassium supplements could be disastrous. Too much potassium can cause fatal heart rhythms.
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