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Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Hmmm What Do You Know!

Hmmm in the pursuit of an organic lifestyle, knowing what you practise is essential for overall wellbeing eh as this article illustrates?

July 21, 2008 18:49 PM

Eating Too Much 'Ulam' Bad For The Heart?

Oleh Zulkiple IbrahimKUALA LUMPUR, July 21 (Bernama) -- Former teacher Abdollah Amat was wheeled into the Trauma and Emergency Unit of a public medical centre here in the wee hours of the morning a fortnight ago, after complaining of numbness in his hands and feet.The 62-year-old city dweller also had tingling sensation in his skin along with fatigue and apart from nausea and chest discomfort.An ensuing blood test revealed that Abdollahs blood potassium level read at 7.2 mmol/l. The permissible level for a person is 3.5-5.5 mmol/l."The doctors who attended to me said I could have suffered a heart seizure anytime", Abdollah, who is also a kidney failure patient, told this writer at the medical centre recently.At that particular time, Abdollah was diagnosed as having hyperkalemia, a condition where the blood potassium level surpasses the maximum tolerable point."The doctors had advised me to watch over my diet, especially on consuming less ulam, that is my favourite food", Abdollah said.


According to Kan Chok On, a senior medical science officer at the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), potassium is a mineral found naturally in food.It plays a crucial role in normal muscle and nerve activity, particularly the heart."Potassium is a mineral necessary for normal muscle and heart function. However for some people, high levels of potassium is dangerous," he said.Kan who works at the centres nephrology unit said: "The kidneys remove excess potassium. People with kidney failure have reduced ability to remove excess potassium, causing accumulation of potassium in the blood."It is dangerous when the blood potassium level becomes too high, especially for kidney failure patients".Kan said excessive potassium is flushed out from the body system via the kidneys."Any damage to the kidneys, or when these organs are not working properly, may cause an increase in the potassium level leading to hyperkalemia", said Kan who has more than two decades of experience dealing with haemodialysis patients.


According to Kan, an individual may not have any symptoms, unless the persons blood potassium level is significantly elevated."Among the symptoms are muscle weakness, chest pain or heart palpitations", he said.As for the ulam, they are vegetables, fruits or herbs eaten raw as an accompaniment to rice.It also refers to viands, that are articles or dishes of food, like a side dish of vegetables", said Kan, adding that the Malays, in particular like to eat ulam."Ulam like petai, and the various green pucuk like pucuk paku, pucuk ubi, daun selom, ulam raja and other green leafy vegetables contain high levels of potassium."So are fruits like banana, oranges, kiwi, papaya, durian, and honeydew as well as coconut and prune juices. You have to exercise caution and limit your consumption of vegetables like bayam (spinach), kangkung (water spinach) and sawi (Chinese mustard)", said Kan.


A nutritionist with a private hospital here, S. Y. Fong said, if a person still prefers to eat the green and leafy vegetables, then these vegetables should be soaked in water for some two hours in order to leach the potassium out, before the greens are cooked."You can eat the cooked vegetables but leave out the kuah (gravy) as it may still contain the potassium".Fong advises kidney failure patients to eat white vegetables like bean sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, eggplant, cucumber, long beans, lettuce and onions."Also leave out the ice-cream, canned drinks, yogurt, milk, chocolate and salt substitutes as they have high potassium contents, she said.


According to Fong, if despite the dietary measures, the blood potassium levels still remain high,, then the individual would have to prescribed special resins."A special resin, sodium polystyrene sulphonate, or Kayexalate can be consumed. This goes to the intestines where it absorbs the excessive potassium, forming a complex comprising potassium and resin which is eliminated in the faeces", she said.Usually the resin dosage is 15 gms and taken one to four times daily. With this resin treatment, it generally takes 24 hours for the hyperkalemia to clear up, added Fong.


L(o)ve l(i)fe said...

wow , allah
nice blog

mumuchi said...

Thank you. I am glad you liked my ramblings.