General Nutritional Information
We are indebted to Sheryl Wilson MSN,RD
for much of the information in these web pages
and her PES website "Nutritional Info"
Hepatic Porphyria Dietary Needs:
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Porphyria attacks are caused by the overproduction of porphyrins in the
liver. Overproduction of porphyrins occurs when a person has too low a
caloric intake, especially that of carbohydrate containing foods.
A minimum of 300 grams per 24 hours of carbohydrate has been found to be
a dietary control of the precursors of acute attacks.
When a patient has exacerbation of another medical condition, especially
conditions like influenza where vomiting and diarrhea may occur, it is
necessary to have carbohydrate intake of 400-500 grams, which often
includes intravenous infusion of glucose with necessary added
Dieting is permitted during times of remission, but may not go more than
10% below the established BMR for the patient.
POTASSIUM DEFICENCY DIET
*In the acute porphyrias there is often an associated deficit of potassium
when blood serum electrolytes are run in the laboratory.
Therapy to correct the Potassium deficit uses a combination therapy.br>
Close monitoring of your blood serum potassium is necessary. Be sure to
have it check regularly.
Most likely the potassium deficit is twofold.
Potassium deficit is due in large part to (1) the manifestations of acute
porphyria and the loss of potassium due to vomiting during attacks
and (2) the daily use of a diuretic.
The normal blood serum potassium range runs (3.6 - 6.5). For acute
porphyria patients the desired level runs 4.00 - 6.00.
Potassium therapy calls for the daily prescription intake of Potassium
tablets. During times of acute activity added potassium of 20 meq's
per 1,000 ml iv solution every 6.5 hours gives an additional 80 meq's daily
during the times of peak loss of Potassium.
Daily ingestion of potassium is also important. The following is a guideline
of food potassium levels.
High Potassium Levels (201 -350 mg)
Medium Potassium Levels (101 - 200 mg)
Low Potassium Levels (0 - 100 mg)