Potassium

Friday, October 23, 2015

Potassium is a mineral that the body needs to work normally. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about potassium and how to tell if youre getting enough or too much in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Potassium is a mineral that helps the cells in your body work correctly. You can get potassium from eating most fruits, vegetables, meats and fish.

You can lose too much potassium in the urine or stool. This can happen by taking certain medicines, such as diuretics, or if you have diarrhea. Some people dont get enough potassium in their diets, but this is rare.

Certain medicines can cause high potassium. Some examples are angiotensin-converting enzyme, or ACE, inhibitors; angiotensin receptor blockers, which are used to treat high blood pressure; and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Kidney problems may also cause you to have too much potassium.

Your health care provider can measure your potassium with a blood test. If a medicine is causing it, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it or to take a different one. For low potassium, you may need to take potassium supplements. If potassium is too high, your doctor may give you medicine to help the body get rid of extra potassium.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.