This is probably a long shot but I thought it was just possible one of you might be able to point me in the right direction. I take 100mg of Levothyroxine and usually feel much better than I did before, although still find it really hard to lose weight. :-(

Recently I've been feeling the need to pass urine much more frequently, no pain, not dark and neither the doctor or I think it's cystitis, I've also been feeling particularly tired. My doctor sent me for a urine and blood test on Thursday and then phoned me yesterday morning to ask me to urgently go back to have the blood test repeated because my Potassium was raised. This I did and then she phoned me again a few hours later when she got the result to tell me to go immediately to A&E because it had gone up further, that reading was 6.3.

I spent the day in A&E hooked up to various heart monitors etc. All my results came back normal (liver function, kidney function, blood glucose, blood pressure 108/58) and my Potassium returned to a normal level of about 3.

The hospital doctor couldn't explain why it might happen and said I should have it investigated. One of the reasons your Potassium levels can be raised is if you have Addinsons disease (which I have no other symptoms for, thank goodness) but I have seen people on this forum talk about adrenal fatigue. I spoke to my son about this (he's a FY2 doctor) and although he knew about Addinsons he hadn't heard of adrenal fatigue. Has anyone here had any experience or have any knowledge that might help me understand why this could have happened? It's all a bit scary because apparently if Potassium levels become a little more raised than mine were it can cause potentially fatal heart arrhythmia.

24 Replies

  • I looked for transient hyperkalemia and found a couple of links:



    Maybe a more thorough search of PubMed using that and similar terms would get you further?

    ҉ helvella ɐllǝʌlǝɥ ҉ helvella ɐllǝʌlǝɥ ҉ helvella ɐllǝʌlǝɥ ҉ helvella ɐllǝʌlǝɥ ҉

    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.

  • Thanks Helvella, I get a bit confused with medical speak, I'll let my son have a look at those.

  • Lucky to have someone to help! :-)

  • I do feel very lucky to be blessed with two beautiful 'children'; not that they are anymore. 😊

  • when you said potassium, it made me think of bananas, so I looked the 2 up roger her as a joint search.

    One of the suggested sites to look at was Good Houskeeping.com - they have some excellent on info on not only foods rich in potassium ( I appreciate you want to keep your level down) but also all the vitamins, minerals etc, rich in whatever foods we eat, along with amounts of RDA from portions of those foods.

    A site really well worth looking at I think. Good Housekeeping has for decades, had an excellent reputation amongst us older ladies and hopefully some if not all of the younger ones as well. Their huge cookery books, I have one, it's probably not as up to date as today's website info, are also worth their weight in gold. They cover every aspect of buying, preparing, storing and cooking meat, fish, fruit, veg etc with loads of recipes to boot as well!

    Unfortunately I can't give any help or suggestions on the rest of your post, but it did make for interesting reading and worthy of note.

  • Thanks for responding. I already avoid bananas and will definitely from now continue to do so.

  • my iPad gone up creek, ignore rude comment about roger I didn't put that. Also thought not poss to hack into iPads!

  • If its linked to the adrenals - then perhaps the thyroid treatment and levels may need looking at if not recently done. I have read that the adrenals do suffer when hypothyroidism is not diagnosed early enough or poorly treated. Not saying that is the case with you - just illustrating the links. Isn't there something that balances potassium ? - sorry cannot remember what it is - if I find something I will report back :-)

    Am not a Doc just a Hashi's girl :-)

  • I suspect you are thinking of sodium. :)

  • No, thanks for trying to help. There is balance between Sodium and Potassium but it was definitely my Potassium which was high.

  • I was responding to Marz's comment :

    "Isn't there something that balances potassium ?"

    I wasn't doubting your problem with Potassium. :)

  • Oh, sorry. I just like to reply to everyone who tries to help. Thanks again. 😳

  • Have you tried getting more sodium?

  • Not yet but I'm going to find out what my sodium levels were in case that might help. Thanks.

  • Magnesium works with potassium, they normally work together. If potassium is leached from the body because of dehydration and certain blood pressure meds, then. magnesium and Zinc, are also leached. Sodium works with potassium in relation to Blood pressure, and nerve impulse regulation.

    Veg and fruit contain high levels of Potassium

  • Thanks Marz, I do think after more reading it may well be linked to my adrenals. I'm seeing the doctor next week but unless you have full blown Addinsons It doesn't look like conventional doctors are likely to be very helpful.

  • That's a shame. Hope all goes well for you...

  • This has happened to me, resulting in an overnight hospital stay unnecessarily.

    If, like me, your blood test is done at your GP and then taken by road to a hospital lab, the vibration can alter the Potassium level and I have had several calls from the surgery to repeat the blood test because of 'high' Potassium.

    I think that the process is called haemolising and it can be so bad that the lab may not be able to measure Potassium at all.

    One of the nurses at the surgery came-up with a solution, which is to take an additional whole blood sample and add a note for the lab to check the whole blood sample for Potassium if the normal blood sample shows a high level.

    If you see your blood sample shaken by the nurse, you know to expect a high level.

    The Potassium result can also be affected by the timing of the removal of the tourniquet. One consultant told me that the tourniquet should be removed before drawing the blood sample for Potassium.

    The most reliable Potassium results are when bloods are taken at hospital, as the samples are processed more quickly and do not experience road transportation.


  • High, thanks for the reply. Both samples were taken at the hospital where the lab was adjacent to the phlebotomy unit.

  • Hi Are you taking magnesium ? That can cause raised Potassium which as you have been told is dangerous.


  • No I'm not but that's interesting, I'll take a look at dietary sources to make sure I'm not getting too much that way. Thanks.

  • Hello Karen

    I agree with Marz,

    When I was investigating aldosterone (I have a constant thirst), I found that the adrenals are responsible for the regulation of the mineral metabolism.

    The mineral corticoid instructs the kidneys to retain sodium which is the opposing mineral to potassium. A balance of potassium is extremely important as one draws water into the cell and the other out.

    AF with insufficient cortisol will encourage an excess of potassium and a decrease in sodium. That is why we are encouraged to take extra salt.

    As a side note people with AF with high cortisol levels (me now) will have the opposite so must not take extra salt as this can encourage high BP (also me now! )

    Ordinary doctors do not understand AF.




    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.


  • Thank you, I'm going to ask my GP what my sodium levels are like.

  • sorry to all here about the ' roger'....I did NOT write that..... think I've been hacked, again!

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