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Potassium Amount Ingested

Adverse Effect


Ad lib use of salt substitute

Serum potassium = 7.4 mmol/L

Spironolactone, a potassium-sparing diuretic

Ad lib use of a “lite” salt substitute

Edema, shortness of breath, right-sided and left-sided congestive heart failure

None reported

Estimate of 2.7 g (70 mmol)/d of potassium as “LoSalt” for previous week; diet high in fruits and vegetables

Serum potassium = 7.6 mmol/L; loss of consciousness, dizziness, intermittent vomiting

Atenolol, furosemide, aspirin, and lisinopril (an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor)

Estimate of 5.2 g (133 mmol)/d of potassium as “Lo Salt” previously; diet estimated to also provide 2.7 g (70 mmol)/d

Serum potassium = 7 mmol/L

Enalapril (an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor)

tation. Therefore, a UL is not set for healthy women during this period.

Special Considerations

Problem Pregnancy. It is suggested that high potassium levels be consumed with care in women with problem pregnancies, such as preeclampsia. High concentrations of the antikaliuretic hormone progesterone (which circulate during gestation) may make women with undetected renal dysfunction or with a sudden decrease in glomerular filtration rate (as occurs with preeclampsia) more likely to develop hyperkalemia when potassium intake is high.

Other Situations. Clinical settings in which high intakes of potassium could pose a serious risk include type 1 diabetes, chronic renal insufficiency (e.g., GFR < 40 mL/minute), end-stage renal disease, severe heart failure, and adrenal insufficiency (see Box 5-1). In these

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