I was having a flare, not too bad, and my rheumy did the usual blood work up she usually does. I went on vacation with my plaquenil (well, the generic hydro)and prednisone to treat my flare and while on vacation she leaves a message for me saying that my potassium was too high and my sodium too low and to not eat potatos or bananas and to go to the emergency room if I had chest pain. Truth be told, I had and have still been having chest pain, but figured it was my lungs, since that's where I usually feel it when I'm having a flare. My rheumy did say that the test could be wrong so when I got back I did a retest and am awaiting the results. I've finished my short course of prednisone and at the time of my initial test I was treating a UTI so I'm hoping that caused the weird result. My rheumy left a message with my mother saying I was too young (I'm 32) to have that high of a potassium, but didn't say how high it was. She also asked if I had been taking anything to boost it. Prior to vacation I was eating a low calorie, high fiber, low cholesterol diet so I don't see how I could have caused the result by what I was eating. Anyway, she stressed me and my husband out on our vacation, now I'm wondering if we all overreacted with me searching on the internet about this result and seeing scary things like heart problems, kidney problems or adrenal gland issues. I guess I'm asking if anyone else tested like this and what was it? I find out next week, but I'm feeling a bit impatient since it's starting to stress me out which I know is bad for me. I have two little girls ages 2 and 4 and am praying that the lupus has not started to attack my organs. We were planning on having another baby but that has been postponed until I "stabilize". I flare pretty regularly but mild to medium flares, nothing too bad where I have to go to the hospital or anything. I have Hashimoto's which means my over active immune system has already affected my thyroid. Anyone have any ideas? I really would appreciate it.
Been there, done that. My GP actually called me at work and made me go straight to the emergency room. It did level back out and we never did find out what caused it to jump like it did. I cant remember what it was, just that it was too high. I was also having chest pains and had been..still do for that matter, but the combo of having them and the high potassium is considered an emergency and requires immediate re-evaluation. I haven't had it happen again since that time - about 7 months ago. As long as it went back down I wouldnt concern about it too much.
Hi. I've had mulitple episodes of potassium levels that were too low. Because of the role in it plays regulating all sorts of things, including heartbeat, doctors intervene immediately, which makes sense.
I think one time my potassium was high. I used to develop urinary grit (really tiny stones), leading to partial or total urinary blockages.
Anyway, until the reason(s) for your high potassium are identified, in your shoes, I'd take my doctor's advice seriously & go straight to ER if the chest pain returns. Here's hoping it doesn't & that you have an enjoyable weekend! Best wishes, Vee
Thanks for your reply. I've had the chest pain on and off since and will see my rheumy this Wednesday. I've been following the dietary restrictions. I know your right. I try to have this positive attitude that upsets my rheumy because even when I am flaring I tend to look on the positive and say well at least its not a real bad flare. I don't know if you guys do this, but I just try to be very reassuring to my husband and other family. I don't want them to overly stress out or worry. I don't want my kids to know I'm sick because I think they're too young right now. I thought I was taking care of myself, but your right, I've never seriously considered going to the ER when the pain has been bad. I keep want to think it's nothing. Maybe I'm in denial. I don't know. But thanks for your advice, I don't want to mess myself up more by my inaction.
hanging in there,
I am just so curious about the chest pain you guys experience with the high potassium levels. I have chest "discomfort", rather than chest "pain" that feels like someone is hugging me too tight. it wakes me up in the middle of the night, comes over me when I am sitting, standing, walking from one room to another and any other time. I have had all kinds of stress tests, chemical and regular, went to the hospital by ambulance one time from the fabric shop, and NOTHING hasd ever been found. I feel like such a jerk and it is because of things like this that make me keep quiet about so many other odd things that I feel. i figure it is just the Lupus mimicking something else. I swear, with this disease I never know when it is important or not. Would love to hear from anyone else having the type of chest discomfort I have mentioned. By the way, when I get it, i immediately take a couple of aspirin ....just in case......and every time it goes away within 20 minutes to 1/2 hour. Go figure!
Don't feel like a jerk, I know exactly what you mean. I didn't and still don't think the chest pain was related to the high potassium level because like you I get it on and off fairly regularly and just assumed it was my lungs or just a "lupus thing". But who knows. I'm not good at describing it like you are but when I ******d lupus and chest pain some interesting sites came up that talk about different types of chest pain, tightness vs. feeling like someone is sitting on your chest. Pain starts in middle of chest then goes out to an arm etc. And for each kind of pain they provided a name of what it could be and the warning signs. Sorry I can't remember the actual site for you, I think it was a guide for nurses or something. You should try it, hope this helps.
I can only describe my own chest pain. Mine is definately pressure... it sometimes ALOT. Sometimes it goes up my neck and others to my underarm. Sometimes it is dull and others quite sharp.
Sometimes when it goes up my neck it feels like throat is going to close up.
I have had an echo stress test just a few weeks ago. I have mitral valve regurgitation and mild dystolic disfuction. The cardio also said I may have GERD. But that would require MORE tests and frankly I am tested out right now. You know how it is... we have all of these weird things and we know something isnt right. We test and test and then you get to a point where you get tired of being poked, prodded and passed around and usually with little results from your money and time.
I had a GP that blamed everything on asthma. While I know I have asthma, it does NOT cause pain. It causes tightness and wheezing. I have dealt with it most of my life so I know how it feels. This is not the same at all.
Sometimes it is like I have this giant bubble in there that just hurts...not like indigestion though. I don't think any of it is related to the potassium though. I think the potassium jump was just one of those weird things. It went back down and the pain is still there.
I also have a very rapid heart rate. My resting rate was 124 and that was wearing me out alot too.... I am just doctored out right now. I figure I have had the echo done...ct, sono, so on and so forth...while there have been issues found, nothing that really explains my complaining problem. But no major problems right now so, for now I am just going to try and give it time and see if it gets better. I figure I see my rheumi so much and give so much blood he will watch for something to go awry and I will leave it to him.