What is causing potassium loss with some rheumatoid arthritis patients? It doesn’t seem to be the diet.
By Dawn Flemming
Potassium is a crucial ingredient in the health of humans and seniors in particular. It is important as it
helps flush waste and other toxins out of your body’s cells and it also helps flush out blood sugar out of your body; all of which are contributing culprits to CIDP and other inflammatory autoimmune diseases.
Studies also show that low amounts of potassium can increase joint pain and inflammation in the body with those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
But studies have shown that people who have rheumatoid arthritis have low levels of potassium. It doesn’t seem to be the diet and more research is needed to show that inflammation flushes out potassium out of the body.
At this point, it seems that one of the main culprits is the RA medication people take.
Healthline writes that
The most common reason for low potassium levels in people with RA seems to be due to medication. Patients requiring corticosteroids for management of their disease can experience low potassium levels. In addition, some nonsteroidal medications may interfere with the body’s ability to process potassium and also cause diarrhea, which flushes the nutrient out of the body. Another important factor as a cause of low potassium is nutrition. People with RA tend to have diminished appetites.
Studies have shown that potassium supplementation can help counter some of the effects of potassium loss where it:
showed a strong “anti-pain effect” of high-level potassium supplementation. In fact, nearly half of those who took 6,000 milligrams of potassium daily for 28 days reported a 33 percent reduction in their arthritis pain. Another one-third of the participants reported a moderate decrease in pain.
There are other ways to supplement with potassium. CIDP Neuropathy Support Group recommends the following foods:
1) One whole avocado 1067 mg (30% of daily value)
2) One cup of Acorn Squash: 896 mg (26% of daily value)
3) One cup cooked spinach 839 mg (24% of daily value)
4) Large Sweet Potato: 855 mg (24% of daily value)
5) Wild-Caught Salmon: half a filet: 772 mg (22% of daily value)
If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, consult with your doctor and see if potassium supplementation may be right for you.
Dawn Flemming is Director of Business Services at Geriatric In-Home Care in Fresno, California.