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Blood test... hypo-whatever/low potassium... how does it work? Watch

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    Say you had a blood test in 3 hrs time. Would eating a banana or drinking more/less or... well, taking potassium sups NOW make a difference to the result? Is it possible to manipulate it so your eloctrolytes look better or worse? Thanks.
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    Why would you want to?
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    (Original post by dances_with_lamposts)
    Why would you want to?
    Does it matter?
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    Yeah kinda. I was just wondering why you'd want to change the result? Potassium levels are kept within a pretty tight range in your body, too much or too little can be a very very bad thing.
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    (Original post by dances_with_lamposts)
    Yeah kinda. I was just wondering why you'd want to change the result? Potassium levels are kept within a pretty tight range in your body, too much or too little can be a very very bad thing.
    Fair enough. Sorry to quote you (again) which is in a way expecting you to come back to my thread when you have no need to and I've not given anyone much to go on. THANK YOU, to anyone who can explain how it works... just cos I can see I'm not being lil Miss Perfect Patient here. Basically, I've had probs with hypo-whatever (which I just Googled - and is in fact hypokalaemia)... ususally NOT that bad, like currently 2.7. It's less that I'd want to change the result and more I don't understand how these things work. This gives me anxiety probs. Is it like your potassium's on the floor, you eat a banana and take the pills they give you, then next test all is fine n dandy? I'm honestly not asking for help in how to screw health professionals around... just... sometimes I'd like to make my bloods look better than they are (less tests, my mum and GP pleased with me) and others worse (my own selfish, self-obsessed, attention-seking IDIOTic reasons). Just... hard to explain what I want without coming across even more of a stupid ***** than I am! BUT... this (my original post) is a SCIENCE/MEDIC/NURSE-Y question and that's what I'd like to know. Yes, not presenting myself well here, just taken a certain commonly prescribed sleeper which really won't have helped the clarity Did anyone make it this far?

    I'm sorry.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Fair enough. Sorry to quote you (again) which is in a way expecting you to come back to my thread when you have no need to and I've not given anyone much to go on. THANK YOU, to anyone who can explain how it works... just cos I can see I'm not being lil Miss Perfect Patient here. Basically, I've had probs with hypo-whatever (which I just Googled - and is in fact hypokalaemia)... ususally NOT that bad, like currently 2.7. It's less that I'd want to change the result and more I don't understand how these things work. This gives me anxiety probs. Is it like your potassium's on the floor, you eat a banana and take the pills they give you, then next test all is fine n dandy? I'm honestly not asking for help in how to screw health professionals around... just... sometimes I'd like to make my bloods look better than they are (less tests, my mum and GP pleased with me) and others worse (my own selfish, self-obsessed, attention-seking IDIOTic reasons). Just... hard to explain what I want without coming across even more of a stupid ***** than I am! BUT... this (my original post) is a SCIENCE/MEDIC/NURSE-Y question and that's what I'd like to know. Yes, not presenting myself well here, just taken a certain commonly prescribed sleeper which really won't have helped the clarity Did anyone make it this far?

    I'm sorry.
    Hi there,

    Blood levels of potassium are usually about 3.5-5.0 mmol/L, so hypokalaemia tends to be thought of as a serum potassium of less than 3.5 mmol/L. Hypokalaemia is usually without symptoms, but if it's symptomatic you'll usually notice muscle weakness. Has your doctor told you why you're hypokalaemic? I won't speculate as there are lots of causes.
    If you've been given medication for your hypokalaemia, you should definitely keep taking it as normal, the point of this repeat blood test is to see that the treatment is working and making your potassium levels normal again. Don't ever exceed the stated dose of your potassium supplements, as too much potassium is a problem as well.
    Try not to be too anxious, your doctor is monitoring your potassium and if he or she has given you any medicine, stick to it as prescribed.
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    As above, only just to add that you shouldn't try to manipulate your results through dietary means on the short term basis. Having said that, keeping your potassium levels up by eating foods rich in potassium such as bananas and nuts generally can only be a good thing, so long as you don't OD on bananas, haha! Also remember to take in some magnesium along the way as low levels of magnesium can cause you to lose some extra potassium in your wee.

    This might sound a bit strange, but if I were you I'd be glad for the constant monitoring. When you get those blood tests, they monitor your overall electrolyte balance, which basically checks the majority of your organs' function. Having that checked on a regular basis can only be a good thing!

    Are you asthmatic? The blue inhaler people take for asthma can cause your potassium levels to drop a bit. And are you diabetic? Insulin can cause similar effects (and is often given in people who have excess potassium in their bloodstream!) Otherwise aye, diet and regular checks I'm afraid.
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    I just came on this webby for something else and my post was in the 'recent discussions'. Most exciting thing to ever happen to me online!!

    (Original post by Leonidas)
    Hi there,

    Blood levels of potassium are usually about 3.5-5.0 mmol/L, so hypokalaemia tends to be thought of as a serum potassium of less than 3.5 mmol/L. Hypokalaemia is usually without symptoms, but if it's symptomatic you'll usually notice muscle weakness. Has your doctor told you why you're hypokalaemic? I won't speculate as there are lots of causes.
    If you've been given medication for your hypokalaemia, you should definitely keep taking it as normal, the point of this repeat blood test is to see that the treatment is working and making your potassium levels normal again. Don't ever exceed the stated dose of your potassium supplements, as too much potassium is a problem as well.
    Try not to be too anxious, your doctor is monitoring your potassium and if he or she has given you any medicine, stick to it as prescribed.
    I do have smyptoms. RE: muscle weakness - is that why my doctor's been asking me to do strange things like get up form the floor and chair without leaning on anything too? The cause is 'bulimia'... which might explain why I'd want to manipulate it as well lol. I will stress though that's really NOT what I'm asking here... I don't think anyone would wanna give their knowledge out for that purpose on this kinda site anyway!

    (Original post by graemematt)
    As above, only just to add that you shouldn't try to manipulate your results through dietary means on the short term basis. Having said that, keeping your potassium levels up by eating foods rich in potassium such as bananas and nuts generally can only be a good thing, so long as you don't OD on bananas, haha! Also remember to take in some magnesium along the way as low levels of magnesium can cause you to lose some extra potassium in your wee.

    This might sound a bit strange, but if I were you I'd be glad for the constant monitoring. When you get those blood tests, they monitor your overall electrolyte balance, which basically checks the majority of your organs' function. Having that checked on a regular basis can only be a good thing!

    Are you asthmatic? The blue inhaler people take for asthma can cause your potassium levels to drop a bit. And are you diabetic? Insulin can cause similar effects (and is often given in people who have excess potassium in their bloodstream!) Otherwise aye, diet and regular checks I'm afraid.
    Thanks, that's helpful. Again, NOT asking for 'help' in deceiving people. I'm not asthmatic or diabetic.

    Maybe I should have phrased this whole thread better - are the results (concerned mainly with potassium here) of a (non-fast) blood test to do with what you've been doing like the week, the day or the hr before? And would doing things you know lower or increase it immediately before change the result? Does anyone get me?? It just worries me...

    Thanks soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much.
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    ... Please help?
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    Trying to hide an eating disorder by any chance?
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    (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
    Trying to hide an eating disorder by any chance?
    "I do have smyptoms. RE: muscle weakness - is that why my doctor's been asking me to do strange things like get up form the floor and chair without leaning on anything too? The cause is 'bulimia'... which might explain why I'd want to manipulate it as well lol. I will stress though that's really NOT what I'm asking here... I don't think anyone would wanna give their knowledge out for that purpose on this kinda site anyway!"

    ^ Indeed they are.
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    (Original post by fire2burn)
    "I do have smyptoms. RE: muscle weakness - is that why my doctor's been asking me to do strange things like get up form the floor and chair without leaning on anything too? The cause is 'bulimia'... which might explain why I'd want to manipulate it as well lol. I will stress though that's really NOT what I'm asking here... I don't think anyone would wanna give their knowledge out for that purpose on this kinda site anyway!"

    ^ Indeed they are.
    Ah. I only read the OP. That makes my prediction less cool.
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      (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
      Trying to hide an eating disorder by any chance?
      Exactly my thought as I read the OP.
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      (Original post by Anonymous)
      Say you had a blood test in 3 hrs time. Would eating a banana or drinking more/less or... well, taking potassium sups NOW make a difference to the result? Is it possible to manipulate it so your eloctrolytes look better or worse? Thanks.
      Let me guess... ED?
      The simple answer is no, not really, but if you don't want to make the electrolytes look stupidly low then don't dilute your bloodstream with excess fluid or anything like that, apart from making the results look dodgy this could also give you migraines and make you feel really sick. In the end though its not in your best interest to manipulate the results as random testing would overcome this and any major attempt to upset the balance eg. with supplements would just make the elcetrolyte balance look worse.

      But in short no, eating a banana won't do much. Do take care OP though whatever you do I wouldn't advise trying to mess about with your blood test.
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      (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
      Ah. I only read the OP. That makes my prediction less cool.
      Same!!
      As you've admitted it OP though, with bulimia seriously try and take care, I've heard horrible stories of bulimia being more drastic even than other ED's for electrolyte imbalances.
      This is from wikipedia admittedly, but the description for low potassium seems to fit a lot of what i've heard from docs about it: "Deficiency symptoms include muscle weakness, paralytic ileus, ECG abnormalities, decreased reflex response and in severe cases respiratory paralysis, alkalosis and cardiac arrhythmia."
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassi...mical_function

      So even more so please take care OP, if you do have serious problems with your potassium levels then its all the more important for your doctor to know as they could but you at a greater risk in the long run.
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      youre not gonna fool a doc by eating a banana, however for future reference, I used to be severely ill with an eating disorder (bulimic-anorexia) and I used to drink dioralyte after purging which was supposed to help electrolytes, it did make me feel somewhat better ( after youve had very low potassium you can usually feel the symptoms quite well ) it's not cheap but you can buy boxes of sachets from most pharmacies and it's better than a heart attack - although obviously your best option would be to recover (sorry to be preachy, but hey, coming from someone who's done it I gotta be honest)
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      (Original post by doodle_333)
      youre not gonna fool a doc by eating a banana, however for future reference, I used to be severely ill with an eating disorder (bulimic-anorexia) and I used to drink dioralyte after purging which was supposed to help electrolytes, it did make me feel somewhat better ( after youve had very low potassium you can usually feel the symptoms quite well ) it's not cheap but you can buy boxes of sachets from most pharmacies and it's better than a heart attack - although obviously your best option would be to recover (sorry to be preachy, but hey, coming from someone who's done it I gotta be honest)
      Yeah, Dioralyte does indeed help, though it tastes horrible(!) - used to make it go down easier mixing with strong squash/robinsons
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      ECGs are always fine BTW. Thanks for the help, I think I've got as close to an answer as I'm gonna get! I did used to take those blackcurrant rehydration drinks sometimes years ago - but I figure they're not much different to what I get on script anyway?
     
     
     
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