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The Chronic Kidney Disease Myth

Myth: The risk for chronic kidney disease is not linked to low potassium levels.

Truth: This is false.

The kidneys regulate levels of potassium to help control blood pressure. Those with chronic kidney disease have unregulated potassium levels in the blood. This results in either hypokalemia, when potassium levels are too low, or hyperkalemia when potassium levels are too high.

Until recently, evidence for the association between hypokalemia and the risk of developing chronic kidney disease has not been established. However, a recent study published in the journal PLoS One examined the association between potassium blood levels and the risk of developing chronic kidney disease. The researchers found that hypokalemia is associated with a higher risk of chronic kidney disease, regardless of the use of diuretics. However, due to the lack of diversity in the study’s participants, the researchers note that the current study could not be generalized to a broader population.

To read more on the association between chronic kidney disease and low potassium levels, click here.

Reference

  1. Kieneker LM, Eisenga MF, Joosten MM, et al. Plasma potassium, diuretic use and risk of developing chronic kidney disease in a predominantly white population. PLOS ONE. 2017;12(3). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0174686
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