RAMIPRIL: Hi ... I’m a 70 year old... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Brown_Rabbit profile image

Hi ... I’m a 70 year old, otherwise reasonably fit, 70yr old female. On Saturday afternoon I experienced a heart attack, was treated and came home on Wednesday. I apparently have mild furring of the arteries but no clot was visualised; I had no stents or other invasive treatment and am going to be managed medically.

One of my many new drugs is Ramipril (2.5mg), which I know is an ACE inhibitor. The drug instructions suggest that I avoid ‘too many’ foods containing potassium. However, how many is ‘too many’; one helping of spinach with a cooked chicken breast and one helping of sweet potato? Is that ‘too much’. Is eating a banana OK? I’d really appreciate some guidance on this please... my BP is currently very low (93/63). Thanks...

18 Replies

A tricky one this. When I was started on Ramipril one nurse told me to cut down on potassium, another had not heard of this. All the foods I have thought of as healthy claim to be high in potassium. You pays your money and takes your choice. I restrict myself to two bananas a week.

Thanks... glad it’s not just me that’s confused... nobody in hospital mentioned it to me; the pharmacist said “don’t eat a bunch of bananas”... as if they were the only food high in potassium. I’ll just eat a healthy diet and not worry further 😀

I find things like this really confusing. I'm on 10mg a day of ramipril but have been told by my GP I have low potassium (which she said can lead to heart attacks). She's told me to eat 2 bananas a day at least.. So it's contradictory to the drug advice. Best thing I can suggest is speak to your GP or consultant. They can advise and will be better than any second hand advice you can get. Good luck 👍😊

Hi... thanks... I bet we’re not the only ones that are confused... pretty much every healthy food item contains varying levels of potassium as far as I can see... one comfort is that NHS website doesn’t mention it all, so I guess moderation in all things is the the best 🙂

Hello Brown _Rabbit, my twin had recently been told to cut down upon potassium, and she lives in France, where her levels are monitored by taking regular blood samples for testing.Perhaps you could ask your GP, whether this should be done in your case, and ask for a referral to a dietician for specific advice upon a limited potassium diet?

I had a similar issue when I had been put on warfarin for a few years, and found out by accident that I should have limited my vitamin K intake, and I think I hadvto cut out grapefruit juice. I think that the lesson here is not to just go by what your GP says, but research any medicine, as well as the condition itself, then ask him for advice, and a referral, where necessary.

Hi Brown _Rabbit, I am also on an Ace inhibitor Perindiprol. My potassium level became dangerously high and was told to just take half tablet ( I’m on the lowest dose ) Doctor was concerned as too high affects the heart also.

I stopped eating Bananas, Nuts, Avocados ( all my favourite things )

I researched all foods high in potassium and tried to cut them out as much as possible.

My potassium level went right down.

Hope this helps.

Hi... that’s not too reassuring... I looked at the list of ‘food high in potassium’ and it covers just about everything I eat so how it’s possible to maintain a healthy diet I’m not certain right now.... it doesn’t even mention potassium on the NHS website, hence the confusion.

I took 5mg Ramipril for 18 years. Nobody mentioned avoiding any foods. My staple breakfast was a banana so I had 7 a week also love avocados and nuts so loads of them.

Brown_Rabbit profile image
Brown_Rabbit in reply to Jay777

Thanks... maybe it’s just a matter of “don’t overdo potassium rich foods”, rather than avoiding them altogether.... the body needs a certain amount of all electrolytes. The only food item which I know must be avoided, for sure, is Lo-Salt because it has huge levels of potassium as a substitute for sodium! A very small amount of ordinary salt maybe the way forward for me now.

This question came up during the Cardio Rehab course that I attended, it was discussed in detail and one of the cardiac nurses researched it further and then reported back the following week. She said bananas, nuts, etc are all fine in moderation. That inevitably led to a discussion on what constitutes "moderation", the answer seemed to be anything this side of absolutely gorging yourself!

The bigger conflict between foods and common heart medications is grapefruit with some brands of statin. That apparently is a more serious no-no.

Hi Chappychap... thank you... this seems eminently sensible. I have FH which means I’ve been on statins for years and they have kept my levels very well controlled... and you’re right... NO grapefruit!

It’s great that your re-hab course answered your (and my) question... I will have one at some point I hope... it’s only been a week since my heart attack, so I have lots to learn 🙂

Interesting thread as had same query...

The main thing I found out was that LoSalt is dangerous for HA patients because they replace the sodium with potassium. Had been using it just to be healthy for years but now use a much smaller amount of normal salt.

Brown_Rabbit profile image
Brown_Rabbit in reply to KJS61

Mad isn’t it?! I too have been using Lo Salt for a long time... trying to do the ‘right’ thing 😊

I know, but thank goodness the rehab nurse told me and I’ve passed on the info to others too. It’s a bit like saying something is low fat then you find out it has stacks of calories in it because of the sugar content. Gotta be one step ahead lol

Brown_Rabbit profile image
Brown_Rabbit in reply to KJS61

I think I’m going to aim for two! 😂


Never heard that been on familial for two years

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