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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1018-1022
The effect of use of dates on serum potassium in nondiabetic hemodialysis patients

1 Consultant Nephrology, Department of Medicine, King Fahd Armed Forces Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 Registrar Nephrology, Department of Medicine, King Fahd Armed Forces Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Nauman Siddiqi
Consultant Nephrology, King Fahd Armed Forces Hospital, P.O. Box 9862, Jeddah 21159
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19861864

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Hyperkalemia is common in patients with ESRD and may contribute to mortality. Dates have been reported to be high in potassium content. One of the concerns on hemodialysis (HD) is convincing patients to give up ingestion of dates as a part of their diet. To determine the effect of dates on serum potassium on patients, we studied 9 (M: F, 6:3, mean age 47.6) non diabetic patients on chronic hemodialysis, without evidence of hyperkalemia on monthly labs. Nearly all the patients had been on dialysis for an average of four years. The average monthly potassium was 4.6 mmol/L. The patients ingested 100 gm of dates (Rothana and Sukari) on two separate dialysis sessions. Serum potassium was measured at two and four hours post ingestion along with ECG monitoring. The patients underwent their regular dialysis as scheduled. The patients acted as their own controls and underwent the same protocol with 20meq of KCl on a separate session. The potassium levels did not change significantly over the four hours with either variety of dates or with potassium solution. Combining the two types of dates resulted in a trend towards higher potassium levels than with KCl, but it did not reach statistical significance. We conclude that in selected HD patients without hyperkalemia, ingestion of a few dates does not cause significant hyperkalemia and could be allowed on days of dialysis prior to their dialysis sessions.

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