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From Joplin, Missouri, USA:

My 79 year old step-dad has type 2 diabetes. He has been on hemodialysis for almost three years, and has been told that he is not allowed to have minerals, especially potassium and magnesium. Although, I understand that certain restrictions are needed in his diet, I don't understand why he is not allowed to take in any minerals. I have been taught are essential for good health and well-being. I would appreciate any information you can offer.


Potassium levels rise in the blood when the kidneys fail. Dialysis removes some of the potassium, to keep the levels near normal, but the levels tend to rise in the days between dialysis treatments. Potassium levels in the blood that are too high can be dangerous, affecting the heart rhythm and making a person feel ill. These are the reasons why he has been told to avoid potassium in the diet, and the reasons are similar for magnesium.

Normal kidneys filter these substances and keep the blood levels normal, but in someone whose kidneys no longer function, the levels are harder to regulate, so dietary restrictions are necessary.


Original posting 7 May 2003
Posted to Complications


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:46
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