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PattyLatty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2570
   Posted 6/14/2009 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   
My rheumy's nurse called the other day and quickly told me that my labs had come back saying that my potassium is low and I'm to discontinue my diuretic (triamterene) which I've been taking for 22 years. She also prescribed a med to increase my potassium. My BUN was elevated as well. I was busy with grandkids, and nurse was in a hurry so I didn't ask just how high the potassium level was but I will this week.

I know that diuretics can cause problems with potassium levels and that the high bun is related. Has anyone here had this experience?

I was put on triamterene because of severe pms and water retention. My gyn at the time told me that water retention means that you also have excess water in your brain which can cause mood swings. It did help, and my swelling decreased. I've always retained a lot of water, even with the diuretic. Now that I've been off of it for a few days I've gained several pounds and feel so much worse, especially in the mornings. My poor hands have a tough enough time without all this extra swelling. It's not the end of the world but I want to feel better, not worse.

My stepson is a pharmacist and is going to do some research for me because there are some diuretics that don't have this side effect. RNs out there, do any of you have any advice?

Appreciate any advice.

Pat
SLE, fibro, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines, costocondritis.

prednisone, plaquenil, leflunomide, neurontin, synthroid, triamterene, actonel, niaspan, tri-est, cymbalta, tricor, acifex


nolatoco
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 6/14/2009 10:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Pat-
There are a number of potassium sparing diuretics out there and I'm wondering if maybe your doc would want to put you on one of those rather than discontinue the diuretic altogether.
There is one called spironolactone that my friend is taking for other reasons that is working really well for her. The only thing you have to watch with potassium sparing diuretics is your potassium level. It can get too high if you're not watching the amount of your potassium intake in your diet. And overly high potassium can equal heart problems.

Hope this helps!

-NOLAtoCO

PattyLatty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2570
   Posted 6/14/2009 5:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Nola. I'll mention that one to my doc & see what she says. I don't have an appointment till mid July but I don't want to wait a month to talk to her about this.
SLE, fibro, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines, costocondritis.

prednisone, plaquenil, leflunomide, neurontin, synthroid, triamterene, actonel, niaspan, tri-est, cymbalta, tricor, acifex


jhmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2244
   Posted 6/15/2009 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Pat,

My grandmother was on diuretic for water retention and was put on an RX potassium instead of OTC. It worked well for her. I hope you are able to talk to your doctor about it soon! Take care
Stacie
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding ~ Proverbs 3:5 ~

DX: Lupus, Sjogrens, Raynaud's, Hashimoto's and Celiac Disease
RX: Imuran, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Flexeril, Piroxicam, Levoxyl, Folic Acid, Folgard OS (B12), Vitamin D-50,000 IU, Tramadol (as needed) and magic mouthwash (for mouth sores)


Melissa D.
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 342
   Posted 6/15/2009 10:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Pat,

It's been awhile since we've spoke, I hope you have been feeling well. Labs can be so deceiving as well all know, I for one hate it when the nurse calls and gives me the result of "x" test or labwork and while it all seems to make sense while I'm talking to her, when I get off the phone I seem to draw a total blank or get confused in the official terminology. I truly have no idea what a low potasium level and high BUN lab would mean, but would call to inquire further. I am baffled because from issues with my Mom and husband the two tests seem to conflict. My mother suffered from heart and lung issues, as a result her body would not hold potasium, apparently from what docs said as her heart condition worsened, her potasium levels plumited. My husband on the other only has one kidney, he has to watch that his potasium levels do not go too high, because of the one kidney his body does not flush properly, thus holding on to potaisum. Where my mom had to take a potasium supplement because of her heart issues, my husband has to ensure he does not eat potasium inriched foods and must take a diuretic to assist his body with removal of extra fluids and potasium since the one kidney can only do so much on its own.

I urge you to call and request the nurse (or another nurse if she is out) call you back because of the mixed messages the labs are showing. I'm sure everything is just fine, but I would certainly rather err on the side of caution than take a chance when you are dealing with major organs like the heart and kidneys.

Please keep us posted, I am really curious what this means. I'm sure the medical professionals know exactly what it means and have your best interest in mind!

Hugs,
Melissa
Lupus - 1997   Fibro - 2001    Sjorens  -  2007   Raynauds  -  2008
Plaquenil, Imuran, Prednisone, Synthroid, Topomax, Effexor, Norco, Prilsec, Xanex, Elidel, Restasis


okie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 2818
   Posted 6/17/2009 7:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Patty, I was on triam for about a year I guess. it has somthing for your CHF too doesn''t it? anyway they took me off. My pottassium was to low. I was in the hospital at the time they just doubled up the pot. to get my levels right. Now I am on pot twice a day and spironol that NOLA mentioned. I am also on lasix. They keep pretty good track of my levels now.
huge hugs sweetie
carol
 CAROL
 scleroderma.  stage 4 COPD, sleep apnea, Osteoporosis,osteoarthritis
Prednisone,plaquanil400mg,azythromyacin,vicodin 4x5mg,Evista60mg, Effexor 150mg,Xanax 1.0 x3,Singular,nitro spray, provigil 200mg spirivia,aciphex,lasix ,pot.chlor.,B12 ,iNDEROL
 
Bear ye one another's burdens
Galatians 6:2 KJV

 
 


hdgott
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 7/7/2009 3:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Pat -- I was on a potassium sparing diuretic until I found out I was pregnant. I was taking 5 potassium pills a day to try to stay in the normal range. It did help!

I haven't posted in a while, so I don't know that you'll remember me, but we go to the same doctor! I wonder if we've ever been there at the same time?! I go back in two weeks again as we are close to the end of my pregnancy!

Good luck and I hope you can get a new prescription!

PattyLatty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2570
   Posted 7/7/2009 4:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, hdgott, I remember you! I don't believe I've ever seen a pregnant woman in her office so till now, but hopefully we will in the future.

Since you brought this up, I'm curious as to whether or not you have trouble communicating with our rheumy? I wish I could clone my PCP.

Hope you're doing ok. When is your due date?

Pat
SLE, fibro, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines, costocondritis.

prednisone, plaquenil, leflunomide, neurontin, synthroid, triamterene, actonel, niaspan, tri-est, cymbalta, tricor, acifex


Ginny
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 7/7/2009 6:37 PM (GMT -7)   
HI Pat, I wish I had some information that would help you.  All I know is that the potassium thing is part in parcel with our electrolytes. Gotta keep them in check for your heart.  Please keep us posted on how you're doing
 
Ginny
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in to be content.Phillipians4:11-13
35 years old. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, Anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke, 2002), Sjogren's, Raynaud's, Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck), anxiety, Chinook migraines. Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, Didrocal, Cozaar, Zoloft, Neurontin, calcium, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus
 Co-Moderator for the Lupus and Fibromyalgia forums


cured4real?
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1944
   Posted 7/7/2009 6:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Patty--
In some cases they leave you on the diuretic, just lower it, and add a potassium sparing diuretic mentioned above. I have been going through the same thing. I have liver disease but my fluid retention only responds to a loop diuretic, HCTZ in my case, suggesting that my edema is from kidneys not liver. I did try lasix and pottassium supplementation and that was really awful for me due to my sensitivity. Spironactulone is used with liver stuff alot.

Nothing beats supplementing your potassium through diet, I drink a lot of orange juice despite my diabetes. Most of the over the counter supplements are too strong for me. Potassium only has to be a little out of whack to make you have bad problems, my chloride also now is messing up too.

Sometimes my thyroid has been the culprit, not the diuretic, but actually I need a change in my synthroid or whatever. Steroids probably messes stuff up too. I hope you get a good solution. I rushed back to my old diuretic despite the low potassium because of how bad the potassium sparing diuretics made me feel. It felt better for me to be a little low than too high, which was what happened.

One tip my endo gave me was to drink gatorade once in a while, esp if I get excessive thirst. It did help me boost my electrolytes, it has a form of potassium in it. It works for me in a pinch.
Love, Marji
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus cond., AI polygland. dysfunction 2, hyper/hypopigment, scoliosis,kyphosis,stenosis, deg.,O.A.,spine surgeries, salivary/lymphectomies, NASH, COPD, RLS, UT/GI bleeds, hystero, brain/nerve damage,TB
Meds--INH,Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, HRT and Lidocaine patchs, Voltaren gel, Klonopin, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol, steroids


MJLD
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1048
   Posted 7/7/2009 7:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm no doctor but a low potassium and elevated bun sounds like you were a tad dehydrated from your diuretic. I would highly advice you not to suddenly increase you potassium intake via your diet when your doc has prescribed potassium based on your 'normal' diet. You make get too much. AS others have said 'balance' is so important with potassium. I hope you get some answers and resolution. Judy

hdgott
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 7/7/2009 9:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I am having a c-section the last week of August... so we have 7 weeks left! It has gone so fast!

I find her to be very hot and cold if that makes sense. And sometimes I feel like I am walking on eggshells when I try to explain things. So, now that I write that out - I guess yes, sometimes I do. I do like her and think she is very intelligent and knows her stuff, but the personality/ability to communicate is lacking at times.

Did that make sense? My brain half-functions now... I like to blame it on the baby ;)

Heather

PattyLatty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2570
   Posted 7/8/2009 7:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Heather,

How exciting! Would you believe that last night I dreamed that I was pregnant, at 60! Shopping for baby clothes, and everyone looked at me like I was crazy, but I felt wonderful. I'm so happy for you.

Yes, you're describing her exactly as I sense her to be. My PCP is so amazing and sits down and goes through my entire file everytime I go in. We go over my meds, symptoms, new symptoms, questions, etc. etc. She explains everything thoroughly and never blows me off. I never feel intimidated with her, and feel that she's there to help me. Really help me. She's compassionate and concerned. The problem is, she has spoiled me.

I told my rheumy that the top of my left foot was bothering me quite a bit. She felt around on it and said, yes it's your tendons, and then changed the subject. She often punts my questions to my PCP. I'd really lke to find another rheumy, but change is hard. She is very knowldgeable and intelligent, but I think I'll discuss all of this with my PCP. I also find her hard to understand. She's just not a good communicator.

We should meet sometime. Do you live in the City?

Pat
SLE, fibro, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines, costocondritis.

prednisone, plaquenil, leflunomide, neurontin, synthroid, triamterene, actonel, niaspan, tri-est, cymbalta, tricor, acifex

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