As scheduled, I visited my doctor for a follow up today, and nearly everything was in good shape. Most numbers were unchanged from my initial consultation prior to the start of my fast, but that’s not to say that everything was picture perfect. My liver enzymes were elevated, as any of us would have expected. Interestingly, my potassium was a little on the high side, and that’s the issue that caused my doctor to ask me back to monitor again next week.
It only took two weeks to reach hyperkalemia, a word I didn’t know yesterday.
Beer is high in potassium, which is good, but at high levels it can cause cardiac arrhythmia due to changes in electrical impulses in the heart muscles. There are other heart-symptoms, but left untreated, the ticker could stop. That’s probably not a good issue to press, given my storied family history with heart attacks and good looks.
There can also be gastrointestinal symptoms, but who would have thought my stools would be normal at this point? Other concerns include the nervous system, muscle system and kidneys. Some of these provide easy fodder for beer-related jest, but my health and family are too important to me to screw around.
I’ll head back for a check-up in a week’s time and decide what alterations are necessary.
Peeking around to find potassium’s role in a beer, I found that “regular beer” boasts 96 mg. I’m sure my beer has more–because it’s not “regular.” Apparently, drinking 4.23 of these delicious elixirs on an empty stomach for two weeks straight will boost one’s levels.
With luck or intervention from God, the numbers won’t continue to rise to a level of concern in this next week. If so, I hope I can simply dilute my intake with juice, broth and doughnut kvass. It’d be nice (and possible) to complete the 46 days in some liquid fashion, and since I’m already abstaining from more than our Paulaner brothers of yore would have done, I won’t feel bad about simply adding to my menu. My bored taste buds certainly won’t object. Over the phone this afternoon, my doctor indicated that even diluting the beer would help relieve the stress on Mr. Liver, so there are certainly options.
Like I said from the start: I love my family, so I won’t be stupid until the last couple of days, if I can get away with it.