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What are some reasons for a low-potassium renal diet?

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Quick Answer

When patients have chronic kidney disease, a low-potassium renal diet is important because their kidneys may not be working properly. A function of the kidneys is to regulate the amount of potassium in the body. If kidney function is impaired, it can cause high potassium levels in the body, which can lead to heart problems or body weakness, states the National Kidney Foundation.

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Full Answer

A high level of potassium in the blood is called hyperkalemia. Some health problems associated with hyperkalemia are an irregular heartbeat, weak pulse and muscle problems, notes MedicineNet. An excessively high potassium level can lead to a heart attack and death. A dangerous potassium blood level is above 6.0 milliequivalent per liter, notes the National Kidney Foundation.

To avoid these health issues, patients with chronic kidney disease must keep their potassium levels within the normal range, which is 3.5 to 5.0 milliequivalent per liter. To keep potassium levels in this range, doctors can recommend a low-potassium diet in which a patient does not get more than 2000 milligrams of potassium from food, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Some foods, which are low in potassium, are rice, asparagus, cherries, carrots, noodles, bread and celery. Patients should avoid foods that contain more than 200 milligrams of potassium per portion, which may include bananas, artichokes, bran, beans, cantaloupes and peanut butter.

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