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Questions about kidney disease? Risk factors? Signs and symptoms? Are you concerned about yourself, a friend or family member? Ask Dr. Spry.
New York, NY
September 22, 1997
It's no secret that eating right is one of the major ingredients of a healthy lifestyle. But now studies have shown that increasing your potassium intake can help reduce high blood pressure and in some cases even prevent it.
Dubbed the silent killer, uncontrolled high blood pressure can go undetected for years. If not properly treated, high blood pressure can damage your kidneys and ultimately cause kidney failure. Including foods high in potassium in your diet can actually help to lower your blood pressure. Or if your blood pressure is normal, potassium can help keep it that way.
Potassium is a mineral found in certain fruits and vegetables. It plays a role in keeping your heart beating regularly and your muscles working right. Here's a handy list of foods high in potassium:
"However, if your kidneys have been damaged by high blood pressure, check with your doctor before increasing your intake of potassium-rich foods," says Garabed Eknoyan, MD, president of the National Kidney Foundation. "Damaged kidneys may have trouble balancing potassium in your body, and too high a level of potassium can be dangerous. Also, some drugs used to treat high blood pressure can interfere with the normal handling of potassium and cause a high level of blood potassium. Speak to your doctor about your diet if you are taking these drugs."
To learn more about how potassium can help reduce or prevent high blood pressure, call the National Kidney Foundation at (800) 622-9010.