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Kidney Diseases

Low Potassium Alternative to Ensure

04/16/2007

Question:

I have kidney cancer--one kidney removed. I need to gain some weight but I also need to watch my potassium intake. I was drinking Ensure to gain weight but was advised not to continue because of its relatively high potassium content. At the time I got this advice, I was unkowingly consuming a high potassium diet--bananas, lots of orange juice, fat free milk, nuts, etc. I have since changed my diet and tests show that my kidney funtion over the last year has stabilized as follows: potassium--3.8-4.4, creatinine--1.5-1.8, BUN--20-25. Can you recommend some weight increase supplements similar to Ensure that are low in potassium which would be suitable for me?

Thanks.

Answer:

Watching the potassium should not be an issue unless there are problems with the filtering system of the kidney. Needing to be on a low potassium diet is very unusual aside for reasons of kidney failure. I would double check with your doctor in this one. In terms of nutrition, eating regular food is always better than ensure or other supplements.

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Response by:

Thomas  Olencki, DO Thomas Olencki, DO
Clinical Professor of Medical Oncology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University