Dialysis Patient’s Phosphorous and Potassium Drops to Normal Range

In other serum news, Nicole’s last blood test showed some promising signs in the renal department. My type-1 diabetic wife has been on hemodialysis since her kidneys failed in March 2009.

Failed kidneys means excess minerals in the bloodstream cannot be urinated out of the body. This typically results in potassium and phosphorous reaching abnormally high levels. High phosphates weaken the bones. High potassium causes itchy skin. It also causes heart attacks (which gets your mind off the itchy skin).

On her most recent blood test, however, both levels of potassium (4.8 mmol/L) and phosphorous (1.17 mmol/L) have fallen into normal range. This is a first they are both normal at the exact same time  since Nicole joined the renal failure club.

Have we changed her diet? Yes, actually we increased her consumption of lamb, which is high in both phosphorous and potassium. So we were expecting both to be higher, not lower. So it’s not because she is eating less phosphorous- or potassium-rich foods.

So where is the phosphorous and potassium going? Or, more so, how is it getting out of her body? A few possibilities:

  • This could be a sign her kidneys function is improving.
  • She may be getting rid of excess nutrients through her skin while sweating it out in the sauna. Saunas have a reputation for purging potassium.
  • Nicole does 2-4 coffee enemas a day.  This procedure is supposed to cause the liver to remove wastes and excess nutrients from the bloodstream via the bile duct and out the colon.
  • She could be absorbing potassium and phosphates better. In other words, instead of them floating around in her bloodstream causing heart problems and weak bones, her improved biochemistry (thanks to the customized mineral supplement program she is on) may be putting them to use building a stronger body.

Whichever it is (or a bit of all of the above) it’s a positive sign. We’ll let you know what the next lab test says.

–John C. A. Manley

P.S. Many dialysis patients take potassium- and/or phosphate-binding medication. Nicole takes neither of these. For more on why we avoid potassium-binders like a maple tree avoids scuba diving you can read: 12 Reasons To Avoid Potassium-Binders.

P.P.S. The sauna Nicole has been using for 40-60 minutes a day is a small, portable near-infrared unit. It costs only 12 cents an hour in electricity. It can be used in a closet or bathtub. You can find out more at Go Healthy Next’s website.

About the Author: John C. A. Manley researches and writes about alternative treatments for type-1 diabetes and its many complications. His wife, Nicole, of 15 years has had type-1 diabetes for four decades. Together they have lowered her HgbA1c below 5.5%, regained thyroid function, increased kidney function and reversed gastroparesis. Read more about their journey out of the T1D matrix or subscribe to their Diabetic Dharma blog..