Thread: What's a potassium test like?
09-11-2003, 08:29 AM #1
What's a potassium test like?
I'm going to a new uro for a second opinion, and he wants to do a cysto, urodynamics & a potassium test. Now I've had multiple cystos & urodynamics before, but never a potassium test. What's it like to have the test? I know what it's for, I'm just curious about going through the test (i.e., how much is it going to hurt, or does it just depend on how bad my IC is?).IC & fibromyalgia since ~'77. Osteoarthritis since ~'88. Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (autoimmune blood disease) since '96. IBS for who knows how long. Interstim implant 2/04, revised 6/06, replaced 11/12. Antibodies to thyroid since at least '92 (finally diagnosed & treated 1/06). Asthma & vocal chord dysfunction 12/06. Hypoglycemia '07. Perimenopausal at 37, menopause at 45. Pituitary & adrenal failure. Osteopenia. Grade 3 sacral fracture by S3-S4 at age 12, healed 14mm out of place.
09-11-2003, 08:57 AM #2
- Join Date
- Jul 2003
The test consists of instilling a solution of potassium chloride, known chemically as KCl, into the bladder via urinary catheter. while this KCI inside your bladder you need to tell your Uro how do you feel with that. For me my Uro put this KCI he did not even finished, i just told him to take it out becouse i was in so much pain. Oh god!!!! still remeber the pain i had that time.
09-11-2003, 04:30 PM #3
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
I had the potassium test about 6 months ago and I only felt some urethral burning. My new uro said I do not have IC after doing a hydro and another potassium test. They basically just put in water and then drain it and then instill potassium and you tell them if you feel any different and if you do feel something then it's considered positive. It's not that bad and only lasts a few minutes. Good Luck
09-11-2003, 11:49 PM #4
Oh yes how i remember that test it was awful for me i could hold the first one with no problem but the second one omg. the rn ask on a scale one to five how bad did it hurt i was in tears its a ten i said get it out! Its not nothing i would want to go back threw that is for sure. but my bladder was already really really bad before my new uro found IC.Medicine taken daily or as needed:
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09-12-2003, 09:19 AM #5
- Join Date
- Jul 2003
- Exeter, Me
I too had a potassium test done it was back in July. It was very painful for me. It sent me into most pain I have been. I was diagnosed with IC that day and was put on Elmiron, atarax, and Elivil. Due to the cost of the meds it took me about two weeks to start them and they sent me into a flare. I continued to take them and am now feeling better than I have in a while.
Good luck with your potassium test.
Let us know how you make out.
Kirsten grouphug grouphug grouphug hi hi hi hi
09-13-2003, 12:29 AM #6
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
- North Carolina
Good luck with the Potassium test. i had the test when my uro diagnosed me. i had some symptoms before the test, and i was uncomfortable w/ the pain before the test. but during and after the test, my life was a living hell. that was the worst flare-up i have had so far, as a result of the test. i have never felt pain like that in my life. BUT---maybe yours won't be that bad. and it definitely is a good indicator of IC. and, my uro put in an anesthetic after the test to try to relieve some of the pain for a few hours after, and that did seem to help a little. it took me 10 days just to recover from the test, and i haven't been that bad since. GOOD LUCK! i'll be thinking about you!
bunny bunny bunny bunnyDon't Dream it....Be it!
09-15-2003, 08:07 AM #7
I had the potassium test too, and found that while, yes, it did evoke a reaction in symptoms during the test, it was not unbearable for me. In fact, I found my post hydrodistention symptoms much, much worse than the whole potassium test experience (done in different months, not at the same time). So, I did have a positive result to the potassium test. My uro rinsed me out good afterwards and instilled a lidocaine-like med afterwards...I was blissfully painfree for several hours that day...the first time in many months. The potassium test did not cause me to have a major flare up in symptoms. My bladder handled it pretty well.
Sending healing wishes,
Melanie J."The sun shines not on us, but in us." John Muir
Living a happy life in spite of IC! http://www.ic-network.com/patientstories/melanie.html
09-20-2003, 11:51 AM #8
Had the potassium test. It stung like the dickens at first, but then wasn't bad. No after effects that I can tell. Not sure how much it contributed to the doctor's opinion.IC & fibromyalgia since ~'77. Osteoarthritis since ~'88. Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (autoimmune blood disease) since '96. IBS for who knows how long. Interstim implant 2/04, revised 6/06, replaced 11/12. Antibodies to thyroid since at least '92 (finally diagnosed & treated 1/06). Asthma & vocal chord dysfunction 12/06. Hypoglycemia '07. Perimenopausal at 37, menopause at 45. Pituitary & adrenal failure. Osteopenia. Grade 3 sacral fracture by S3-S4 at age 12, healed 14mm out of place.
02-03-2004, 07:13 AM #9
I saw the new urologist today and he wants to do this test next week. A nurse will be doing it, not the urologist. I'm absolutely scared to death of the pain. Some of you remember reading about my awful experience with just placing the catheter in. Now with the throught of putting in this chemical, I'm so upset and afraid. I told the doctor I need an anesthetic, and they will probably use some kind of numbing gel, but I'm more worried about how I will be after. It's about a half hour drive to the office. Should I have my husband go with me?
Another thing is once again I didn't get any pain medication for this awful burning. He told me to take Advil, that's it! If I go to the hospital emergency room for this pain, do you think they will give me anything? I'm having an awful lot of pain the last couple of days and it's really getting to me badly. I feel like I am red as a beet "down there". Urologist didn't care to look. The last one didn't look either.Connie
02-03-2004, 02:57 PM #10
When a potassium test is done, the thing that says it's IC is that it is painful when it hits the bladder. I have never had one, but have read reports from lots of people who did. Most say that the potassium solution was drained out and then lidocaine or a similar substance was instilled, which stopped the pain.
If you have concerns about pain after the test, my suggestion would be to ask your uro, before having it done, to order some pain meds for you. If he chooses not to order anything, you can always say no to the procedure.
And if your uro is totally against pain control for IC patients, it might be time to see another one for a second opinion.
Sending an encouraging hug,
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02-03-2004, 04:02 PM #11
It definatly depends on how bad your IC is. The nurse that gave me the test told the doc my reaction was the worse she had seen in years. I was in constant pain already at that time and screemed get that out of me, your hurting me your hurting me. I was much better after peeing though and like I said I was already in severe constant pain. It is a painful test that you have to be awake for....but the good side is I wasn't in a lot of pain later because of it.
odd that the doc wants that when the cysto hydro done.
I hope it is a lot less painful for you than for me.Faith, Hope, and Love,
I believe God is using me. He uses me for God. Things I gain from all my suffering are meant to help others. I hope I can help you too. Email me or start a chat if you like my help or anything. I CARE!Illnesses: IC,IBS, IBD, GERD, PFD, Epilepsy, Endo, Allergies, RLM,Rapid heart beat, low blood pressure,Gastritis,Gall stones,Tendonitis,migraines, Shingles, Prolapsed pouch,ext. fatigue (current problem) I have seen periods of remission and I have seen them end and return. At this time remission is over and working on getting it back! My hope story http://www.ic-network.com/patientstories/katrina.html
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02-04-2004, 03:15 AM #12
As the ladies have told you , you probably know what you are in for.
Here is the statistics that were shared in Dr. Muldwins Guide To Surviving Interstitial Cystitis.
A study of a group of 32 patients who HAD IC, diagnosed by Hydrodistention, Cystopscopy and the evidence of Glomerulations(pin point bleeeding on the bladder wall surface), were given the Potassium Test to help "diagnose" on another level weather or not their IC was "for real". 15 of those patients did NOT react to the potassium instilled into the bladder, they experienced no pain, which was what they Doctors hoped would be THE diagnostic test for IC.
The Potassium test is not a valuable or very gauranteeable test to determine if IC is present in it's sufferers. The answer is in the numbers 15 out of 32 IC sufferers did NOT respond!! This test is NOT a good indicator if IC is present.
My Uro has tried and tried over again to get me to do this horrific and unnessisary test, I have had the Hydro with Distention, Cystoscopy, have Glomerulations, Chronic pain, burning upon urination, & retention. I walk like a duck, I talk like a duck, I am a duck as he say's he beleives I Do have IC by all these tests yet still want's to subject me to the "Salt rub in the bleeding wound!" test as I call it. I live with such horrific pain nearly every minute of my life and if my bladder responds to the Potassium test and causes me more pain what is it that I have to gain? More depression, suicidal thoughts, thoughts of worthlesssness,and deny yet again my self of the pleasures of life because of the seclusion these fascits would have on my life.
The proof is in the numbers and the numbers are not good, they need to get rid of this awful and barbaric test that leaves its' already suffering IC survivors (who responded positively) worse off than would have been not having the test.
The desicion is up to you so pray on it and do not let anyone sway you from what you think may be of benifit to your health and recovery. You are of what is most important and you desearve the best care possible.
Good luck in your desicion!!
I will pray for you.
02-04-2004, 08:00 AM #13
It seems there isn't anything really positive about having this test. This is my 2nd urologist, by the way. The first one did everything but the cystoscopy and he was going to do it with G.A. after I asked about it.. But this one wants to do it differently. He won't tell me why. Maybe it's just more convenient for him, because a nurse will do it.
Any suggestions on how I can be assertive when I call to ask him again?Connie
02-06-2004, 07:26 AM #14
Praise God! I didn't have to be overly assertive. I just told him I had done some research and found that the cysto/hydro was a more reliable procedure. He said "ok", call my office and schedule it." I thanked him and told him that it really eases my mind. I know the cysto won't be a picnic either, but at least we can get an accurate picture of what's going on.
I just wonder why some doctors try to do procedures to patients that are not advocates for their own health care. How can we educate woman to take more responsiblity for their own health care? I hope that more woman read forums such as this one to get informed so they can protect themselves from unnecessary procedures. I'm so thankful for this and other forums that I have discovered.Connie
02-06-2004, 07:54 AM #15
I had the potassium test and I flared brutally for 3 weeks after. The next year I had a new doc and he did a hydro to confirm the dx, and I was sore for a couple of weeks, however, I did get something out of it, my bladder capacity was much better for quite a while. Good for you sticking up for yourself!
Cath hiOne day at a time
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