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PHOENIX1949 SparkPoints: (76,664)
Fitness Minutes: (6,808)
Posts: 887
1/9/13 6:04 P

ANARIE - Appreciate it. Heart arrhythmia, tachycardia, and a few episodes of A-fib have been issues for me for several years (before adding supplement last year). I am going to find ways for natural potassium and put the supplements away for now -- was only taking 1 of 99mg per day until I started tracking at SP in October and it appeared I was way too low and I starting taking additional supplements.

ANARIE Posts: 13,200
1/9/13 5:54 P

Also, talk to your doctors about the difference between potassium from food sources and potassium supplements. They are quite different forms. Most people (unless they have kidney issues) can take in as much potassium from food sources as they like; the body just excretes any extra. But you can't get rid of the potassium from supplements as easily, so it's easy to overdose, which can cause heart arrhythmia and other muscle problems. It sounds as if you get medical care frequently, so your doctors should have a complete picture of your health situation and can advise you about the supplements, BUT be sure to ask about it specifically. If you're seeing more than one doctor, they might each assume that one of the others is monitoring your supplement use and not say, "Uh, I don't think you should take that stuff."

PHOENIX1949 SparkPoints: (76,664)
Fitness Minutes: (6,808)
Posts: 887
1/9/13 5:32 P

Thank you. I already had a shortcut icon on my PC desktop with the link to the USDA food database along with two others that include data above and beyond the basic numbers (Harvard Nutrition Source & HealthAliciousNess).

1/9/13 3:03 P

As you have already discovered, the potassium amount in your report is not always the most accurate. Since a company does not list this nutrient on a food label, entries from members do not usually contain the potassium listing. So the amount on the report may be lower than what you are actually getting.

If you want a complete listing of the potassium in food, go to the USDA food database,
Click nutrient lists on the left column.
Select potassium by amount.

Do check again with your doctor to assure that the potassium amount you are taking is safe and appropriate for your need.

I also encourage you to ask the pharmacist if the gel can by used in a different way. This sometimes depends on the "type" of potassium being used in the supplement. Your pharmacist should be able to read the label and let you know.

Hope this helps
SP Dietitian Becky

PHOENIX1949 SparkPoints: (76,664)
Fitness Minutes: (6,808)
Posts: 887
1/9/13 7:59 A

SUNSHINE6442 - I appreciate the feedback. Too little potassium also ultra dangerous (have been in the ER via ambulance due to this - pretty vile liquid). I work with lists of foods containing potassium & other nutrients and after eliminating ones I can't eat while attempting to balance nutrients as well as calories, protein, fat, and carbs, I still come up way short on potassium sometimes.

I have chronic problems with low D, B-12, magnesium, and potassium (sometimes iron) and have worked with an Endocrinologist as well as GP's on these over the years. I've sometimes wondered if following a hospital-supervised liquid fast program in the 1980's led to many of my ongoing digestive issues - would be interesting to speak with others that were in the same group as me. Almost 5 months with no solids (never cheated), in retrospective hindsight, not a wise idea but at the time seemed okay since it was hospital supervised.

Will have to try acorn squash. I like summer squash. Zucchini not so much, but will eat since my tolerated foods are limited.

Multiple food allergies and sensitivities and chronic conditions [IBS, gastritis, malabsorption, gluten intolerance, mold issues-mushrooms, foods with oxalates-spinach (29 oxalate kidney stones since 2002), acidic foods, melons, citrus, avocado, tomato, etc., etc.] rule out many of the items you listed. Cabbage & beans tolerated on an infrequent basis.

On my visit with my Cardiologist and his PA last week I showed them a printout of one week of my nutrition on SparkPeople's tracker and explained what I was doing with a potassium supplement. They didn't voice a concern. Will revisit with them! After I finish some heart scans and monitoring, they will run blood labs and agreed to include nutrients listed (this will be in 6 to 8 weeks).

Starting in the spring of last year, I worked closely with a wonderful Registered Nutritionist/Dietician to get as much of my nutrients as possible from food sources and was saddened that her company no longer contracted to the employer's free assistance program. Glad to find SparkPeople and see that they promote the same methods for health & weight loss, baby steps, SMART goals, etc. along with the awesome Nutrition Tracker.

My question was to determine if there was any potential harm done to effectiveness of capsule contents by putting them into my smoothie instead of letting the gel capsule dissolve in my stomach. Seems to me there shouldn't be, but I needed some feedback. I've been reading more on SP since posting this question and now realize there may be potassium in some foods that are missed on my Tracker so I need to be extra cautious to not overdo with it. However, due to SOY allergy, along with MSG & sulfites, I stopped eating processed foods years ago. Portion distortion and refined sugar along with inactivity after breaking a leg and food (sic, foot - Freudian slip) led to packing on the pounds. Almost 30 years of arthritis affects mobility also so few calories burned.

Eating is a major challenge for me and I now have more variety than I thought possible since working with the Nutritionist. Now, getting the proper balance of what I can eat is the tricky part.

Love ZICO coconut water.

Need to pull out my "Prescription for Nutritional Healing" book. Had forgotten about that.

Appreciate you reply & didn't intend to write a mini-book.

Edited by: PHOENIX1949 at: 1/9/2013 (08:05)
1/9/13 7:34 A

How much potassium is too much? I'm getting about 6000 mg a day just with my normal diet.

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,314
1/9/13 6:46 A

Acorn Squash is a ball of fire when it comes to potassium

Cabbage High in vitamins K, C, D, and in calicium, magnessium and potssium

Mushrooms have vitamin D, the B vitamins, Iron Calcium and potassium

Beans have vitamins and minerals, such as folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium

Red potatoes.... eat the skin becuase thats where the fiber, minerals, and nutrients vitamin C, vitamin B and potasium

Oatmeal provides vitamin E, B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium, which may help lower blood pressure

Spinach provides us with K, A, B, calcium, folic acid and vitamin C

A tomato is an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium

Too much potassium can be can affect the heart....or even create a seizure...get it from food unless your doctor has prescribed it.

Hope this helps you!

Edited by: SUNSHINE6442 at: 1/9/2013 (06:49)
PHOENIX1949 SparkPoints: (76,664)
Fitness Minutes: (6,808)
Posts: 887
1/9/13 4:25 A

Due to multiple food allergies I am struggling to get my daily potassium. At the end of the day I use the Food Tracker and see how much more potassium I need and take in the form of supplements. The gel capsules bother my stomach. Is there a problem with emptying the capsule contents into my morning blueberry smoothie?

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