HealthSheets™


Discharge Instructions for Hyperkalemia

You have been diagnosed with hyperkalemia. This means you have a high level of potassium in your 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 cause serious problems such as abnormal heart rhythms and even heart attack.

Diet changes

Eat less of these potassium-rich foods:

  • Bananas (do not eat bananas)

  • 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 of 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

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare 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

  • Weakness

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