Discussions that mention potassium

High & Low Blood Pressure board


Camjunkie,

Thanks for your experiences --- it gives me some Insite and ideas!!

I take a dieuetic (a potassium sparing type) , Norvasc and Atentol. -- and have for almost 10 years. My BP problem is caused primarily by too much aldosterone put out by my adernal glands -- not an easy problem to manage!!


I wish you well---Harry
Harry, :)

how much of your potassium-sparing diuretic do you take? How are your potassium levels on these medications? Does your med combination seem to work well? I have been having some potassium issues. Maintaining the right (or at least an acceptable) potassium levels can be a challenge for some of us. I really cannot make too many changes to my current meds.

Does Diovan provide good control for your wife's hypertension? Is it the only medication she takes for blood pressure control?

Sorry about all the questions.
flowergirl
flowergirl,

I take 20 mg of Amiloride along with 30 mEq of potassium cholride daily. The normal dose of Amiloride is 5mg daily. So, I pass alot of urine but my objective is to keep my potassium level above 4.0 and that has not been a problem. I have been doing this since 4/1999.

My medications do not adequately control my blood pressure. I think the high BP caused me to have an Abdomenal Aorta Aneurysm that progressed during the last 14 years that it doubled in size and was repaired last year on 11/2/07 with a stent graft.

Since then, my PCP and a cardiologist have used Coreg, Lopressor and Diovan. All caused more problems with side-effects.
So-- my potassium is under control but my BP is not. Basically too high a systolic pressure 160 area.

My wife's BP is OK with 160mg of Diovan is all she takes for BP but I think the side-effects are too much-- joint & back pains are the worse. But, she has osteoathritis and does need any extra medication that can cause more pain.
I think a lower dose would work for the BP w/o the side-effects. We will suggest that at her next Doctor's visit.

I got severe joint pain after a week on 160mg of Diovan--- I stayed on 80mg for 3weeks and still had problems like nausea & stomach discomfort with no change in BP ---I know we are all different and the literature says it may take 4 weeks to have an affect. I think this ARB just has too many side-effects for some of us.

Harry
Harry,

thank you for replying. It is always interesting to hear how others manage the same type of problems - what works and what doesn't. I am glad your K levels are good. I am surprised you have been able to take such a high dose of Amiloride AND a potassium supplement without any ill effects for such a long time.

In spite of being on up to three potassium-sparing medications at a time, my K levels remained on the lower end of a scale. For months I lived in fear of becoming hyperkalemic. I take an ACE inhibitor as well as Spironolactone, both of which inhibit potassium excretion. My Spiro dose is not huge because of the reduced kidney function. I don't know where I am at now. The labwork from almost three months ago showed a considerable increase in my potassium level. This shocked me - I feel much more comfortable having it low. It seems that I won't get in to see my new doctor for almost two months. It might mean no labwork until then.
I wonder if there's a way to get your blood pressure to a lower level, which is where it should be, using another drug. I know that medication affects some of us more adversely than others. Would you be willing to try again? I hope so. It's good to hear your wife has been successful in controlling her blood pressure. I admit to being afraid of the mineral deficiency our medications can cause, often leading to the problems your describe. I seem to have more and more aches, muscle and bone(?),most recently in both hips. I wonder what my bone density is. I hope this is due to normal aging.

flowergirl
Flowergirl,

I have a Lab -- Standing Order to test my potassium level that i can do when I feel it necessary and give me the test results within about an hour. It is good for a year and my endocrinologist renews it yearly. So, I have no problem with knowning my serium potassium level almost anytime.

Taking an Ace Inhibitor along with a potassium supplement and/ or a diuretic is not recommended by the Medical literature. It makes me dizzy after just several small doses.

Harry
Harry,

[QUOTE]I have a Lab -- Standing Order to test my potassium level that i can do when I feel it necessary and give me the test results within about an hour. It is good for a year and my endocrinologist renews it yearly. So, I have no problem with knowning my serium potassium level almost anytime.

I am making a note of this - I didn't know there can be a standing order issued for these types of services! :D Maybe some day I'll have to do the same - would be good to know one's K levels for one's piece of mind.

[QUOTE]Taking an Ace Inhibitor along with a potassium supplement and/ or a diuretic is not recommended by the Medical literature. It makes me dizzy after just several small doses.

I am well aware of this. Having to deal with these issues made me research this topic extensively. For someone with a depleted potassium level from the use of diuretics or other causes, dietary potassium is not enough to replete the K levels. This is because there is a different mechanism at work - the dietary potassium is coupled to phosphate and not chloride. That is why potassium supplements are used for this purpose in people with normal kidney function, I must add. I am not sure how the potassium levels are replenished in people with reduced kidney function in severe K deficiency. I would be very interested in learning how, though.

Angiotensin receptor blockers are often a preferred treatment in people with kidney disease if an ACE inhibitor cannot be used. They act in a similar way the ACE inhibitors do in helping to preserve the kidney function and stop the progression of kidney disease. They, just like the ACE inhibitors, are contraindicated in certain circumstances (such as bilateral renal artery stenosis). Many people are not aware of this fact. It is an additional benefit of these drug classes.

flowergirl