Q. What kind of diet should a person adopt if they wish to avoid potassium build-up? During a recent stay in the hospital my husband’s test for potassium revealed a reading of 7. The medications enalapril and Aldactone were eliminated and amiloride was substituted.
A. Potassium levels should normally range from about 3.5 to 5. When potassium climbs above 6, life-threatening heart rhythm abnormalities can occur.
Taking blood pressure pills such as an ACE inhibitor like enalapril (Vasotec) together with the diuretic spironolactone (Aldactone) could have contributed to your husband’s dangerously high potassium levels. His potassium levels should be measured regularly because amiloride also preserves potassium.
We are sending you our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment, which lists high potassium foods you may want to have him avoid. It also describes other ways to control blood pressure.