Potassium and Gout

Gout and Potassium

Potassium is a must in your gout diet

Potassium is an electrolyte that is found in water and many different foods in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, milk and beans. Fruits that are high in potassium, 200 milligrams or more are avocados, bananas, apricots, cantaloupes, dates, figs, kiwis, mangos and oranges. Veggies that are high in potassium are artichokes, squash, beets, carrots, beans, peas, potatoes and tomatoes. Other foods that are high in potassium are cocoa, granola, bran, milk, nuts, seeds and yogurt.

The potassium in fruits and vegetables contains organic salts, such as citrate and malate; salts that neutralize the uric acid in the urine that could cause you kidney stones. The daily recommended intake for potassium is anywhere between 3500 mg to 4700 mg depending who you talk to. Fish especially halibut and tuna contain more than 400 mg, a cup of lima beans carries 1000 mg and baked potatoes about 900 mg, so you see how easy it is to get your potassium just with your diet alone.

This mineral is also found in potassium citrate, which is used sometimes to treat gout by facilitating the excretion of uric acid through the urine thereby removing it from the body more efficiently. It also helps prevent crystals from forming and making your kidneys work better by getting rid of the excess uric acid by helping the crystals to dissolve once they have already formed.

Potassium plays different roles with your carbohydrate metabolism and bodily functions; it regulates the acid-base balance throughout your body and is required for your heart to undergo normal electrical activity, helps build muscle and grow your body normally while maintaining normal blood pressure. In addition, it helps the body to convert glucose into glycogen for energy. It also aids your digestion, as it helps eliminate waste products and balance the levels of fluid in your body. Finally, it helps protect your kidney system, as well as your bones and cardiovascular system.

NutriGout Dietary Supplement for Gout

 

What a potassium imbalance can do to you

In our North American/Western diet, we eat too much sodium which is salt for those who don’t know, fast food restaurants are full of sodium, as well as processed foods causing a high sodium, low potassium imbalance in your body since sodium reduces the level of potassium in your body. This can cause you a number of health issues and one of them is gout. A good sodium/potassium balance is very important for your overall health. Low potassium levels are related to gout.

Many gout sufferers claim to have cured or regulated their gout with potassium supplements, as well as potassium bicarbonate ( a colorless, odorless and salty substance) dissolved in juice or sprinkled in food is also a safe and effective way to help with your gout. Potassium citrate can also be used and may be advised in kidney stone patients. Many of these patients have high and uncontrollable levels of potassium in their body and nephrologists will recommend low potassium diets under that circumstance. Anyone with kidney problems should not follow a high-potassium diet without first checking with their doctor.

Talk to your doctor before taking any potassium supplements and since most people get an adequate amount of potassium in their diets already. Taking supplements in that situation can lead to hyperkalemia, a condition where too much potassium is in your blood. Periodic blood monitoring should be undertaken to assess overall potassium levels.

For those who want to dive in deeper on the subject of potassium and gout, you can read chapter 3 from Arthritis as a Potassium Deficiency from Charles Weber.

Posted by Spiro Koulouris

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15 Comments

  • badr

    Reply Reply December 25, 2016

    Hi!
    I have heard from a nutritionist that he uses a syrup to reduce potassium level in CKD patients.
    I was searching for it with no success.

  • Charles Weber

    Reply Reply June 20, 2014

    Dear Spiro,

    I do not keep a diary but I believe it has been about ten years now, but definitely mor tha 5. I am embarrassed to admit that I had not remembered that I had published an article. It is terrible to become senile. If you think I am bad now, wait until you see me 20 years from now when I become 110. Anyway, the article is available on the public domain in this URL https://www.webmedcentral.com/article_view/4217 . The main reason why I eventually came down with gout other than probably being poisoned by toluene from acrylic paint is that my kidneys were badly damaged by bromine gas in a college chemistry lab. These days they say I have only 30% left, so I have to supplement with large amounts of water soluble vitamin and minerals. It seems to be working because, to put in the colorful words of one of my relatives, “I am lingering on interminably”. Supplementing with potassium chloride did not cut it though for gout. This is probably because using the chloride is equivalent to adding hydrochloric acid to a normal diet.

    Please do not ask me any more about time lines. There is a good chance you will only get gobeldy gook.

  • Spiro Koulouris

    Reply Reply June 20, 2014

    How long have you been gout free by the way with this method? and when were you diagnosed with gout (year and age)? Interesting insights!

  • Charles Weber

    Reply Reply June 19, 2014

    I am a single individual and have access to no patients. So at present it is all based on one experiment, on myself. It should be explored further because it is safe and inexpensive.

    I say it is safe, but there is an interaction with vitamin B-1 which is potentaly dangerous. If both are deficient, heart disease can not materialize. So if only one is supplemented, heart disease can materialize (see http://charles_w.tripod.com/kandthiamin.html ).

    There is a pervasive potassium deficiency in our society (serum potassium lower than 4.8 meq per liter). It is responsible for most of the heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis in our society in my opinion. So if you succeed in getting the medical profession believing that potassium is an essential nutrient, you will be doing an enormous service. At present hospitals serve food that has no potassium at all in it, such as white sugar for instance.

    In any case you are almost certain to find valuable information for your family’s health in articles about potassium nutrition as pertaining to heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout, or copper nutrition as pertaining to hemorrhoids, herniated discs, high cholesterol, and aneurisms, and anacardic compounds in cashew nuts to cure tooth and gram positive bacterial infections in articles listed in http://charles_w.tripod.com/index.html

  • Spiro Koulouris

    Reply Reply June 19, 2014

    I have your work posted on my potassium post and I link to one of your pages. Did you try this on yourself? Or have you done some type of experiment/study? I plan on trying it out but one person is not a wide sample since gout sufferers with other blood conditions can have serious issues by dropping their meds for alternative therapies that can cause gout attacks. I will post your comment on the potassium post since the purpose of the blog is to get comments, personal experiences, info debated. Thanks for the comment and keep it coming.

  • Charles Weber

    Reply Reply June 19, 2014

    Potassium deficiency is deeply involved in gout and high uric acid as an accentuating factor because uric acid is less soluble in acidic urine. Potassium bicarbonate supplements will reverse this. In view of the fact that this is not considered by current rheumatologists, it would be very valuable for you to bring it into your future writing. It is not only that potassium is not considered by physicians in regard to gout, many of them do not even believe that a potassium deficiency is likely. This even though many of them prescribe what are actually supplements, but prescribed under euphemistic terms such as salt substitutes, sodium free baking powder, ORT salts (oral rehydration therapy for diarrhea), polarizing solutions, GIK (glucose, insulin, potassium) salts, vegetables, or glucosamine. A deficiency is further defined out of existence by defining the blood serum content normal as 4.2 when the actual figure is 4.8. For gout, though, the chloride is not acceptable. But potassium bicarbonate powder dissolved in fruit juice or half teaspoon sprinkled on cereal will work very well. It may be obtained from businesses which add it to wine. You may see an article on this concept in http://www.webmedcentral.com/article_view/4217 . If you supplement potassium, be very certain that vitamin B-1 is adequate, because otherwise heart disease can be triggered (see http://charles_w.tripod.com/kandthiamin.html

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