How to not have high potassium?

My surgery date is the 12th of July. I did my blood work yesterday and it came back high in potassium. My doctor said he will not perform on me till that goes down. I eat only vegetables and fruits, very clean diet. Over all I am super healthy. And this is annoying that my high potassium is getting in the way of my dream. Is there any tips I can do to make my potassium go down?

Doctor Answers 4

Potassium Level


I would recommend that you have your blood re-rested because a false reading is possible. If persistently high, talk with your family Doctor about potential causes.

All the best

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

How to not have high potassium?

Thank you for your question and I am sorry to hear of your lab results. In most instances a slightly elevated potassium is due to some of the blood cells in your sample being broken which can artificially elevate it.  If you have a kidney issue this too may cause an elevation in your potassium and should be evaluated by your medical doctor.  Lastly some medications can also cause an elevated potassium which also needs to be evaluated by your doctor.  The easiest first step is to have your blood redrawn and if elevated again, see your medical doctor. Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

High Potassium

I would definitely you have the blood redrawn. The most common cause of a high potassium in a young healthy person is a hemolyzed blood sample and this is not unusual. A persistant high potassium can be a sign of kidney disease which is what makes your surgeon hesitant. It is very unlikely that it is related to your diet. If your kidneys are healthy, they should be able to handle all the dietary potassium that you can possibly eat. If the potassium is still high after a redraw, then talk with your primary care physician.

Good luck!

Jennifer Boll, MD
Tempe Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Elective Surgery and. High Potassium

Thank you for your question. 
A one time high potassium does NOT necessarily mean you have a high potassium. One can have a false high potassium if blood cells which are high in potassium are injured during blood draw (as in using a tiny butterfly needle to date it) or by vigorously shaking the tube the blood was collected in. A simple redraw with an appropriate size needle will decide it.

if it is real, then a medical work up needs to be done to see why the potassium is elevated. Factors such as kidney disease, adrenal disease, diabetes or certain blood pressure medications can cause an elevated postassium. What we do not want to do is subject someone with a real hyperkalemia to general anesthesia. Under such conditions the anesthesia agents and high potassium can result in heart irritability which can result in abnormal heart rythms which could be deadly. 

Please have your Chem7 panel repeated. The odds are it was a false result. 

Peter A. Aldea. MD
Memphis, TN

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.