Potassium has been implicated in the treatment of heart disease since the 1930s, but some heart disease that is due to malnutrition does not respond to potassium. Indeed, because of the impaired ability of the body to take up potassium, it can be dangerous. Most heart disease patients of the Western world, however, can benefit from an increase in potassium levels.
Potassium and arthritis
For many, when they begin to eat a well balanced selection of fresh vegetables and fruits, and eliminate a large proportion of processed, denatured foods, they begin to feel amazingly well very quickly, as the potassium/sodium balance in the body is restored. Tiredness and other symptoms, such as arthritis, are soon replaced with renewed energy and vigor, and the body is able to replenish itself and finds new strength. However, potassium is only partially successful at treating osteoarthritis.
Those who are taking potassium-sparing diuretics, such as spironolactone, triamterene, or amiloride should not take potassium supplements. Anyone allergic to potassium supplements or those who have kidney disease should not take them either. Those suffering from Addison's disease, heart disease, intestinal blockage, stomach ulcers, those using medication for heart disease, or taking diuretics, or who are above the age of 55, should consult a doctor before taking potassium supplements. There are no contradictions for pregnant or breast feeding women, although they should not take mega-doses.
ECG and kidney function tests can be affected by potassium supplementation, the doctor should be informed if potassium supplements are being taken. However, supplementation will not affect blood tests, unless they are to measure serum-potassium levels.
Patricia Skinner, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,