Pharmacy/prunes

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Question
have impaired kidney function.not kidney desease,but at age 80 I assume my kidneys are working around 50%of normal.i hear different opions on prune juice and effect on kidneys.i usually take 2 8oz glasses of prune juice for constipation a weekor 7 days.they seem to be concerned about high potassium in kidney desease.is 2  glasses of prune juice a week safe for my kidneys or are there safer options?

Answer
Howard

Prune juice is relatively high in potassium (about 50% more than an equivalent volume of orange juice), or put another way, two glasses is about the same as 3-4 medium bananas.

As you have impaired kidney function, you do need to be careful with potassium as you are less able to excrete it and high blood levels can have serious effects on your heart.

Given your age, and if your blood tests do not show an accumulation of potassium, then perhaps it is OK to continue. However, perhaps exploring an alternative way to ease constipation may be helpful. Fibre in any form is always good - so brown bread, bran, lower potassium / higher fibre fruits etc. can all help. For drugs, simple laxatives such as Senna or Lactulose may allow you to cut down on the prune juice. Gentle physical exercise such as walking is also helpful.

I hope this helps.

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Nigel Simmons

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