Q:

How can you lower potassium levels?

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Quick Answer

Treatments to lower potassium levels in the blood include a low potassium diet, medication changes, diuretics, insulin, cation-exchange resins and dialysis, as stated by MedicineNet. Doctors use dialysis if other treatment methods fail, or if the patient has kidney failure.

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How can you lower potassium levels?
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Full Answer

For mild cases of high potassium, doctors often advise patients to follow a diet that is low in potassium, according to MedicineNet. Doctors may also recommend that patients stop taking medications that are increasing their potassium levels. Low potassium diets typically feature bread, butter, cheese, cucumbers, mushrooms, rice and tomatoes, as reported by WebMD.

Diuretics can reduce the amount of potassium in the blood by increasing the amount of potassium the body excretes in the urine, as stated by MedicineNet. Drugs known as cation-exchange resins increase the amount of potassium excreted via the digestive system. One example of a drug that works in this way is sodium polystyrene sulfonate, as noted by WebMD.

Some drugs can also remove potassium from the blood by forcing it into cells. Two examples of medications that work in this way are epinephrine and albuterol, as reported by MedicineNet. Doctors can also inject glucose and insulin into the veins to remove potassium from the blood.

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