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Electrolyte balance?

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by Pea, May 18, 2012.

  1. Pea

    Pea Senior Member

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    Hi, my friend who has been on methylation supplements since January with many many positive improvements, had worsening of some symptoms about a month ago - swallowing problems and slurring of speech. In the past swallowing has been cleared up with enough magnesium. I increased his magnesium this week again, and swallowing function is getting better.

    I've read many different places that as the supplements finally get to work, some symptoms worsen. I'm hoping that is the case.

    However lately he has been fatigued (not a usual symptom) with some numbness (a new symptom). I believed it may be either detox and/or the low potassium & magnesium issue as the supplements are finally working, so I had him take extra pot. & magn. yesterday & eat a potato & banana and V8 juice etc.

    Thought he may be getting dehydrated so I called his GP to see if they would want him to come in but nurse said to call his neurologist.. We don't currently have a neurologist because his naturopath said to wait on finding a new one. Oy.

    In the meantime I need your help - if I give him even more potassium & magnesium, am I going to be imbalancing something else? In reading about the electrolytes, there are issues with sodium & chloride also. In past lab tests, his potassium was always normal but sodium & chloride was always low.

    It would be nice to know what these levels are for sure but until then can somebody reassure me that giving more potassium & magnesium would not be harmful?
     
  2. nanonug

    nanonug Senior Member

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    In theory, unbalanced mineral intake may cause problems. At the very least, I think it would be prudent to look at serum levels of calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium. There is also a more advanced electrolyte test called Exatest that should give a more complete picture of electrolyte balance in the body.
     
  3. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

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    Yes, excessive potassium can be dangerous. Try the Wikipedia page on hyperkalaemia for starters. This is why nutritional supplements containing potassium have such low amounts. A nurse friend of mine reports that it's quite common for people who are switching from ordinary salt to low-sodium salt (which is half sodium chloride and half potassium chloride) to continue to take large amounts of the new type of salt, and to end up with dangerously high potassium levels as a result.

    Am I right in thinking that in the past his potassium levels were fine, but now that he's on the methylation protocol, you are concerned that they may have dropped below the healthy range? Do you have any idea how long it will take to get his potassium tested? I would guess that there is likely to be a safe amount of potassium he could take in the meantime, but I have no idea how to assess that. Have you calculated how much potassium he is ingesting per day, including from food sources? There is plenty of free dieting software that will analyse your meals if he's not sure about the food source side of things. It's surprising how much potassium is in potatoes!
     
  4. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Hi Pea;

    I can feel poorly when sodium and chloride feel low. I get fatigued, OI, weak, listless, and nauseous, sometimes. It usually happens around 5 pm., sometimes earlier. It helps to have a savory snack with extra sea salt on it. Individual needs vary, but I often need to add alot of salt. I usually lick the remaining crystals from the plate.

    Now I have cravings for it, but in the past, it was difficult to recognize them because my appetite was low. Sometimes it's hard to think straight when sodium chloride is low.
     
  5. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

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    Something a few people have reported here, which I experience myself, is finding that you keep adding salt throughout the meal. For me, it tends to be a sign that I need to rest. It's presumably a sign that I need more salt, anyway. Isn't there a big thread on salt stickied in one of the forums?
     
  6. Pea

    Pea Senior Member

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    Thanks everybody!

    Yes, this is what I mean. It does sound from the many threads I've read on potassium that his has gotten low. I just didn't want to adjust it TOO much, and I wanted somebody to reassure me I'm doing the right thing! It doesn't look like I'm going to get anything tested soon. that should be something his PCP should look into, but PCP said to see neurologist who probably won't be interested. I told him if he still feels badly tomorrow we'll go to Walk-In care though.

    I saw him after I posted this morning, and his voice sounded better and he said he felt a tad better. I had him take some more potassium & magnesium & have a V8 and told him to eat a banana. In the past, several times, swallowing improved with enough magnesium. That seemed to be better this morning too. Magensium is needed for potassium.

    This is a circular problem where when one starts feeling badly, doesn't eat as healthy, then with his swallowing problems, he isn't drinking enough water etc etc.

    I had just run across this article this morning: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_pontine_myelinolysis
    which indicates if somebody is low on sodium, then it is brought up too quickly medically, it can cause symptoms similar to his (speech, swallowing), so then I got worried about imbalancing sodium. But, are sodium & potassium opposite? So he could be now experiencing low potassium and high sodium, causing fluid imbalance in the brain cells? I'm probably getting too technical and worrying needlessly, but...
     
  7. Lou

    Lou Senior Member

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    Hi Calathea,

    I see you're from Scotland, your basic diet must be much healthier there than here in the States. In the U. S. adding more salt is usually a case of 'gimme what I want', not depleted sodium.
     
  8. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

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    Actually, the traditional Scottish diet is ghastly! Heart-attack-on-a-plate stuff, pretty much, though it may not be as bad as the American diet. I'm originally English, though, and being from a middle-class Jewish family, I didn't grow up on the traditional English diet. I was raised on a good wholefoods diet and stuck with it. So I almost never eat processed food, and if I add quite a bit of salt to my food, well there wasn't much in there to begin with. I think doctors are used to two things when it comes to salt: most people are eating too much of it (especially from processed food), and people are far more likely to have high blood pressure than low bood pressure. So they are used to advising everyone to eat less salt, and never quite know what to do with a patient with low blood pressure.
     
  9. rachel

    rachel

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    Very intresting test but do you have information about the consistensy of this test and possible solutions except of nutrition? Is it safe to take artificial electrolytes?
     
  10. triffid113

    triffid113 Day of the Square Peg

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    I think this is a very tricky subject and I would not want to be treating anyone else with electrolyte issues as you can kill them. Correct me if I am wrong (double check with everyone) but I thought there was PAIN associated with potassium deficiency and FOG associated with salt deficiency?? This is what *I* feel in these cases. Muscle pain, vs. brain fog. And since I have 3 genes causing high blood pressure, I can certainly check my blood pressure and if it is low the brain fog confirms adrenal exhaustion and a need for salt (happens during allergy season). Low blood sugar causes potassium loss as do many foods (licorice) not just methylation raising the need for potassium.
     

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