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Positive follow-up rheumy appointment - but no more bananas for me

Hi all,

Just thought I'd update on my appointment with rheumy nurse.

I'd had a disappointing visit in August where I was in and out in 5 mins, as the nurse had wanted to increase my MTX, but my liver results that week had been too high. This time I had a much more positive experience. Told the nurse I'd been feeling so much better, both in myself & joint wise. That day, turned up having taken no meds and with no joint pain to speak of. She asked me to squeeze her hands and seemed surprised at the strength in my hands (in fact could almost see her flinch!). Then produced a strange instrument to measure grip strength. It turns out I have normal grip strength. At last... something normal with me!!!

However... she could still feel some puffiness in my hands, so wants me to increase MTX from 10 to 15 a week. So will have to see how that goes.

She then explained all my blood results very thoroughly to me ( a first). Apparently I have high levels of potassium, so bananas are now banned. Anyone else had this? I've been checking on the internet and it seems loads of foods I love are high in potassium. Oh well, yet another enjoyable thing to be taken away from me in this strange RA world.

Wishing everyone a good, pain-free day.


13 Replies

Glad you had a better appointment this time round, Our poor rheumy nurses are so hard pushed its a wonder we see them at all. I saw mine last week and she now has some help with another nurse. I have rang mine up this morning to see about my blood test. It seems that i am still flaring,but apart from that my bloods are ok.

I have never looked at bananas that way before. I like them,but i only have them now and again.



Hi Sylvi,

well I'm going to miss my bananas along with avocados, oranges, peaches, melons etc etc but hopefully the high potasssium might just be a blip.

Hope you're feeling Ok today with the damp weather, just waiting for the predicted torrential rain to arrive here in Suffolk - think I may just stay in with the fire on.

Caroline x


Its pouring with rain here in the midkands. I have the heating on and i won't be going very far today. Been downstairs since 2am. I was asleep until the phone went a few minutes ago. Sylvia.xx


HI, Yes i had heard of this, my husband has Diabetes and he had a high potassium rate on one of his tests, mind you he was eating a banana twice a day after lunch and dinner. He now has the occasional one, and transposed pears for lunch and dinner, with no adverse effects.


Hi Thanks Georje,

good to hear I can still have the occasional banana. What's annoying is that I'd switched to what I thought was going to be a much healthier diet - lots more fruit, veg, wholemeal etc only to find this can also cause problems. Can't win eh?


Interesting about potassium levels - when I had lots of pins and needles everywhere recently someone here suggested my potassium levels might be low so I had a couple of bananas instead of meulli for breakfast and it did seem to tie in with the disappearance of my pins and needles. Is potassium usually tested routinely when a full blood count is taken re MTX testing do you know? I eat potatoes, some orange juice and the odd avacado and banana quite often but not in big quantities so don't think I would be deficient? That's great about your grip strength - mine had improved massively since starting MTX as well! Tilda x


Hi Tilda, just had a look at my blood test copies. The potassium one comes under "Routine chemistry" Urea & electrolytes by the look of the form, not my FBC one. Not sure whether this is routine, as when I saw my GP after being put on MTX I just showed him the little booklet I'd been given from consultant re tests and he just said "we don't normally test for all these, but I'll just put you down for all of them anyway".

Until the nurse explained everything to me this time I was totally unaware that OR on my forms meant outside normal range. Duh!

Good to hear your pins and needles have gone.


Oh well over the year I've had so much blood taken that I guess at least one lot might have covered my potassium levels. My GP and practice nurse do all the blood monitoring for me and they aren't specialists so I guess it's not in their job description to print it off or explain it to me so I just have to trust them to know what needs looking out for really. Thanks for explaining though as I get a print off of latest bloods just before my rheumy apt so can check this out better now at least. TTx


My potassium levels were low once after nasty dose of pneumonia , I had to drink a horrid cocktail of this salty water solution (well that's what it tasted like to me) yuk 3times a day for a week!

The hospital didn't tell to to change my diet but after drinking 3pints of the solution daily I suppose this treatment was sufficant . Lol


That sounds yuk, now I'm glad I can just cut out a few bananas etc!


Just thought you might be interested to know that salt substitutes can cause high potassium. my daughter is diabetic and has high blood pressure and she had been told to reduce salt intake so i suggested getting the low salt to take. They hospital was getting worried as her potassium was so high, the family doctor told her to stop eating tomatoes but i felt that something else must be causing it and on reading online i was shocked to discover that buying low salt instead of ordinary salt could cause it, nobody thought to mention that. After stopping the substitutes her potassium went back to normal.


Thanks for that Mille. Mind you I didn't think I was eating a lot of salt. Will have to have a think about what I might have been eating, as it could be to do with hidden salt in something processed, I suppose.


Hi, it wasn't actually the salt it was the salt substitute that caused it, like the low salts that you buy. hope you get it down ok.


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