30 Bananas a Day!

Potassium overload and pancreatic strain leading to diabetes

Hi Guys,

Wondering if anyone has experience with the following:  

My mum has Lupus and gout (and used to be hypo-glycaemic), is on cortisone and also ant-acids for reflux.  She has been eating a SAD diet up until about 3 weeks when I convinced her she had to go 80/10/10 high raw vegan, which she has been doing (fairly strictly).  She has been feeling a whole lot better, but went to the doctor and had a whole lot of blood tests yesterday.  Her doctor is now very worried about her kidneys currently, and has taken her off all sorts of meds.  She tells me he totally freaked out at her blood potassium levels, asked her what she was doing.  She told him about the high fruit and told her she should make some changes because it was really stressing her pancreas and she would end up with diabetes.  She told him she was eating about 4 bananas a day plus a few mangos.  He told her that was way too much, that she should steer away from the tropical fruit (too high in potassium) but that other fruit was fine.  She's feeling a bit sad because the bananas and mangos were getting her through to lunch easily and staving off hunger.  

He also told her not to blend the fruits because they were hitting her bloodstream too quickly (which I think is erroneous since blending keeps the fruit fibres thus slowing down the sugars in the blood...

I asked her about her fat intake and she says she is keeping this very low - usually no more than 1/2 an avo a day.

Anyone have any experience or suggestions here?  

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Hi, I would ask your mom what the actual potassium levels were. "High" doesn't mean a whole lot. Have her find out. Get the test results and take charge of her herself. With the results we can give better feedback.

That's very interesting... particularly about the tomatoes which she's eating quite a few of.  What would I search on you tube to find it?  if you have a link that would be great.

thanks beachvegan.

Blessings Dandelion,

As some general tips from personal experience, eating an abundance (1-2 heads per day) of leafy greens (specifically lettuce, and romaine in particular) really helps with digestion and absorption of fruits ... this may be largely due to the high chromium and vitamin K content of the greens.

You also mentioned about blending fruits, and I've found that although this still keeps all the fibre, digestion is not always optimal as often the food is not really chewed and the digestive enzymes/saliva produced as they would be with non-blended food.

Could also try going overt fat free (i.e. leaving out the avocados for a while) to see if this helps ease digestion further.

Wishing your mum much peace,

Love DJ

THanks for your replies everyone.  Mum showed me her results.  Her potassium levels were 5.4 mmol/L  (the range is 3.5 -5.0)

some others were:

--- sodium 130mmol/L  (range 137-147)

- chloride 94 mmol/L (range 96-109

+ urea 7.6 mmol/L (2.5-7.6)

+Creatinine  142 umol/L  (50-120

+++Uric Acid 0.48 mmol/L (0.14-0.35)     *** This one looks like more of the issue)

cholestrol is normal

Triglycerides are good 

- calcium 2.20mmol/L   (2.25-2.65)

These might help make sense of the issue a bit more..

i feel that lupus is definely connected to dairy so this is key that she removes it. 

Why do you say this solar living?  Is there some research or resource that you can point to?  She has cut out dairy completely thankfully.

So your Mum is eating around 800calorie a day?

-4  bananas

- couple of mangoes

- half an avo.

Cortisone therapy & antacids combined with a weakened immune system aka lupus & gout is the reason she has kidney issues. NOT organic fruits and vegetables. The doctor has to blame the fruit otherwise they would want to commit suicide over all the people they kill each year via iatrogenic incidences.

Your Mum sounds like my Mum. Beyond help. Just let em eat what they really want to eat. Give em the websites and book names and leave em alone. Less stress for everyone. You Mum wants out. She doesnt want to get better. Face it. You are the passionate person about health. You want it more for your Mum than she wants it herself. Don't waste your energy. It will age you rapidly.

When my Dad chose the medical route for cancer, I hugged him and said goodbye and said 'they will kill you Dad, just so you know.'. He looked at my like I was crazy and was dead 6 weeks later. I didnt even go to the funeral. Whats the point? Its like giving your mate booze and a fast car on a wet night and then crying that they crashed and died.

99.9% of people would rather die early and or stay sick than change their diet and lifestyle. Besides, where will they get their protein and what will their friends think when they go to a resturant?

Mum is eating about 1500-1800 cals a day, Harley.  But can do very little exercise and has been very sick in the last few weeks with a virus, so has had no appetite.  

The doctor is quite aware of the meds affecting her and is reducing the dosages.  

Unlike your parents, Mum is really looking and trying this as a healing option, and I'm trying to help where I can.  I believe she is really giving this a go, but obviously its confusing when doctors tell you other things...

If she was to lower the potassium foods a bit and increase other raw vegan foods then I'm sure it can't hurt, right.  

I don't agree that she doesn't want health.  At the moment she will try anything.  Has read 80/10/10, watched Forks over knives.  She gets it. 

High potassium levels are especially dangerous in people with weak kidneys. Kidneys are supposed to remove excess potassium from the blood, so a high potassium level could indicate the initial stages of kidney failure. 5.4 mmol/L isn't dangerously high, but because your mum's been on medication and has immune problems, her doctor is probably right to be worried. Reducing medication that might be interfering with kidney function is the obvious first step, but it might be sensible to substitute lower potassium foods if possible.

Bananas aren't as high it potassium as people think, and mangos are average compared to most fruits. Tomatoes seem pretty average too. I think apples, pears, berries, watermelon, maybe citrus are all relatively low in potassium. Might be an idea to focus on those for now. If your mum's not feeling any adverse effects then why not stick with it for a while longer and schedule another blood test to see if the potassium level rises or falls. If this is the first blood test she's had for a while then who knows what her blood potassium was before 80/10/10? It might have been even higher than 5.4...

The high uric acid is what's causing her gout. I think uric acid, urea, and creatinine all tend to be on the low side in long-term vegans, especially raw vegans. So eating 80/10/10 is probably a great way to normalise those.

Celery and carrots are good for sodium if she wants to fix that and stay raw.

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead is another good film to get her too watch if you can find it. It promotes green juices which might be beneficial for someone with really compromised health.

PK says he has scars and a cyst. This isn't the same as having kidney failure. Although severe cases can result in impaired kidney function. As far as I can tell, people with polycystic kidney disease, which is multiple cysts,  aren't recommended any kind of special diet.

Bananas might not be the highest source of potassium, but they are still very high. 30 bananas a day gives you almost 3 times the RDA. On a diet for kidney disease you want to be getting about half the RDA.

Looking at your mums blood work, I can see why her doctor is concerned. High creatinine and potassium are indicators.

Unfortunately most fruits and vegetables are pretty high in potassium. This is fine, good even, when you're in good health, but when your kidneys aren't able to filter potassium properly, you can get high levels of potassium in your blood which can lead to increased risk of heart problems.

The good thing about this diet is that it's low in protein. Kidney disease patients are often put on low protein diets. Grains are very low in potassium so you can eat pretty much as much as you want. Be careful with legumes though.

You don't want to develop kidney disease. It's not very easy to treat. For this reason I wouldn't take the risk, and ignore your doctors advice. Your mum, for a while at least, should do a low potassium diet (2000 - 3000mg a day).

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