Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Low Potassium Home Test?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 11 Replies
  • Posted By: xmissxdanax
  • March 12, 2008
  • 05:05 PM

My mom has low potassium levels due to her various medications, so she has to take a supplement to keep them normal. She was recently diagnosed with B Cell Lymphoma, and the chemo makes her potassium levels drop even further. We didn't understand, at first, that the muslce spasms and pain were because of low potassium, but now that we do, we are trying to be proactive. We know the levels will drop, so she takes extra supplement starting the day after chemo.

Before the cancer, she was taking 50meq's daily. Now she takes 80meq's, and for two weeks after chemo, she is taking 11meq's.

Is there some kind of home test that we can do to make sure her levels stay normal? I want to make sure she doesn't take too much or too little potassium because I know both are very dangerous. Is there a cap on how much she should take at once time? Also, I don't want her to wind up in the ER a week after chemo on a regular basis if we KNOW she has this problem. I plan to discuss all this with her doctor, but we don't see her doctor for another 2 weeks, and I would really appreciate some input in the mean time. I have gotten some really great information and support from this site in the past, so I'm hoping you guys come through for me one more time.

Thanks ahead of time.

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11 Replies:

  • The correct amount of necessary potassium per day is 4700 mg. The best way to get this is through diet. Beans of all kinds have loads of potassium, bananas, oranges, orange juice, blackstrap molasses, peanut butter, kiwis, dried apricots, dates, plums, prunes, yogurt, milk, etc.Do some research on the web for a high potassium diet and you'll find some good resources for potassium.Your mother should be tested once a week for her potassium levels.80meqs isn't very much at all.One thing I used to do for my potassium level was make a protein shake in the morning. 1 cup of yogurt, 1 medium banana, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1 to 2 scoops of protein powder such as Wellement Vanilla or Chocolate flavors. Total potassium count for the shake was 1375 mg! That's an easy way to get almost 1/3 of your daily necessary potassium.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Another natural source of potassium and also minerals is apple cider vinegar, take a teaspoon in a glass of water at meals. Used for Crohn's disease, diarrhoea, colitis and helps destroy harmful bacteria in the digestive tract.Worth considering.
    Rose Garden 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • Another natural source of potassium and also minerals is apple cider vinegar, take a teaspoon in a glass of water at meals. Used for Crohn's disease, diarrhoea, colitis and helps destroy harmful bacteria in the digestive tract.Worth considering. The only problem is her stomach. She had a stomach stapling surgery about 14 years ago, before it was the surgery it is today. Basically, it was botched, and she has almost no stomach, gets bleeding ulcers very easily, and has a very limited range of foods she can eat and keep down. All that, and she only lost maybe 40lbs as opposed to the 100 she was supposed to. Even at that, she is on a high potassium diet along with the supplements, and even if it didn't bother her stomach, it wasn't enough. Her oncologist has prescribed the potassium orange drink to supplement her supplement, since it doesn't bother her stomach. They have also finally prescribed weekly potassium blood tests, so we will have a weekly test, paid for by the insurance company, to monitor her levels. The problem we were having before was that the doctors weren't listening, so they wouldn't order the tests. Now that they see the pattern (if only it hadn't taken them so long...) they are monitoring it.
    xmissxdanax 12 Replies Flag this Response
  • My mom has low potassium levels due to her various medications, so she has to take a supplement to keep them normal. She was recently diagnosed with B Cell Lymphoma, and the chemo makes her potassium levels drop even further. We didn't understand, at first, that the muslce spasms and pain were because of low potassium, but now that we do, we are trying to be proactive. We know the levels will drop, so she takes extra supplement starting the day after chemo. Before the cancer, she was taking 50meq's daily. Now she takes 80meq's, and for two weeks after chemo, she is taking 11meq's. Is there some kind of home test that we can do to make sure her levels stay normal? I want to make sure she doesn't take too much or too little potassium because I know both are very dangerous. Is there a cap on how much she should take at once time? Also, I don't want her to wind up in the ER a week after chemo on a regular basis if we KNOW she has this problem. I plan to discuss all this with her doctor, but we don't see her doctor for another 2 weeks, and I would really appreciate some input in the mean time. I have gotten some really great information and support from this site in the past, so I'm hoping you guys come through for me one more time. Thanks ahead of time.----------------------------------Have you found any home test kit, i have a low Potassium problem.ThanksSonny
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Wrong. As a practical matter, you cannot take enough potassium "naturally" without KCL (or similar) substitute for many kidney/blood diseases. This is the kind of dangerous "advice" that can cause death or undue pain by quacks on some of these holistic sites. Be responsible.Dr D.The correct amount of necessary potassium per day is 4700 mg. The best way to get this is through diet. Beans of all kinds have loads of potassium, bananas, oranges, orange juice, blackstrap molasses, peanut butter, kiwis, dried apricots, dates, plums, prunes, yogurt, milk, etc.Do some research on the web for a high potassium diet and you'll find some good resources for potassium.Your mother should be tested once a week for her potassium levels.80meqs isn't very much at all.One thing I used to do for my potassium level was make a protein shake in the morning. 1 cup of yogurt, 1 medium banana, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1 to 2 scoops of protein powder such as Wellement Vanilla or Chocolate flavors. Total potassium count for the shake was 1375 mg! That's an easy way to get almost 1/3 of your daily necessary potassium.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 19, 2010
    • 10:33 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • So..no one has answered if there's an at home test to monitor potassium in your urine or something??
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • So..no one has answered if there's an at home test to monitor potassium in your urine or something??No, there is not a test for home monitoring. This is because potassium is very dangerous to try and manage without the expertise of a doctor; there is a reason it is the final ingredient to the lethal injection cocktail. Please ignore the above comments about how much potassium one should take a day; these numbers are bogus. Doses are adjusted relative to the patient's needs. And like one person said above, potassium in your diet does not have a dramatic effect on your levels. You can never eat too many bananas =)If you want to be proactive, please just educate yourselves on the symptoms of high potassium (hyperkalemia) and low potassium (hypokalemia).Muscle fatigueWeaknessParalysisAbnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) -->you may feel your heart flutter or raceNausea(from mayoclinic.com)
    justwanttohelp 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • No, there is not a test for home monitoring. This is because potassium is very dangerous to try and manage without the expertise of a doctor;That is a ridiculous notion. Home testing and managing levels are two totally separate situations.Let's look at DM as an example. Most patients are taught and told to monitor blood sugar results, in the home. They are not to decide for themselves how much insuling to take or anything of that nature. The doctor manages the amount of medication and tells the patient the blood sugar goal that they are to have.People can even purchase pulse oximeters for the home also, but that doesn't mean that they don't need a doctor to order the oxygen level!There is no reason at all that this same regimen cannot be applied to potassium levels, as well.
    magnoliasouth 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I posted the website that has Potassium Self Kits for $50 but it was not approved by a Mod therefore others that don't google for it won't know about it.
    StudentMedical 2 Replies
    • August 13, 2013
    • 08:55 AM
    • 0
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  • Here's an excellent article written on this topic from Periodic Paralysis International website (Channelopathies are diseases caused by disturbed function of ion channel subunits or the proteins that regulate them)http://hkpp.org/test-K-cardy-meter
    StudentMedical 2 Replies
    • August 13, 2013
    • 11:11 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Here is an ideal: Some of us have issues with our posassium, sugar, and other things in our system that doesn't get picked up by regular blood testing so we would like to show our PCPs a record so we can be proactive about our health care. This is an example of people that are taking medication that deplete our systems of vitally need things (sugar, potassium). Like I am on Anti Psych meds and i know how i feel but i can write things down daily but without logs from machines my PCP and Psych doc won't give me supplements to make up for the depletion of the minerals that the meds are taking from my system. That maybe the reason some of us LOOK FOR MACHINES so that we might could get a RECORD for our PROVIDERS to PROVE that things are going WACKY in our SYSTEMS.
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • October 8, 2015
    • 11:26 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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