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I am a 34 year old female who has had diabetes for 27 years. I maintain tight control over my diabetes. In a recent conversation I had with a friend, I was asked how carefully I had to watch my potassium intake. I had no answer in that I don't remember what potassium in my diet has to do with my blood sugar levels. Can you tell me what role potassium plays in the diabetic diet?


People with diabetes do not have to worry about how much potassium they eat as long as they don't have any kidney problems and aren't on any medications that could affect the level of potassium in the blood (for instance: diuretics, captopril, or enalapril).

Also, when the diabetes is severely out of control with ketoacidosis, vomiting, and dehydration, you can lose too much postassium from the body. The level of potassium in the blood itself during DKA can actually be low, normal, or elevated (as opposed to the total amount of potassium in the rest of the body which is lower than normal). In this situation, this problem would be treated intravenouosly by a physician.


Original posting 16 Aug 96


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