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Greetings and newbie question about potassium balancing

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by auri, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. auri


    Hello all!

    I recently got my genetic tests back, and was hoping to be able to start methylation. However, when I attempted to begin methyl b12 supplementation, I learned a very valuable lesson: I'm apparently scary low on potassium. You see, I'd been having symptoms like muscle weakness, headaches, muscle pain and the like for a very long time now (I've been pretty much bed-bound since last November), but I could never be sure if they were from low sodium, low potassium, histamine (I'm working on a mast cell diagnosis), or something else. However, with what I've read on this board, having those symptoms in response to starting methyl b12 is invariably low potassium, so at least I now have that answer.

    My problem is that I tolerate very, very few foods (5 right now), and when I try to eat any high-potassium foods, like butternut squash, I have one or more of three reactions:

    1. I have what I call a "heart rollercoaster" effect. This is really weird, and hard to describe, but it's a very distinct feeling that I get only from high potassium. I can link it definitively to potassium because it first started after I was given potassium as a result of an ER visit. It is very scary, almost like my heart tries to stop, but then is re-started by a jolt of adrenaline, and it goes on for days, or until the offending food is eliminated from my digestive tract.

    2. My body rejects it, via diarrhea.

    3. I have a histamine reaction, for example with high potassium foods that are also high histamine like tomatoes or avocados.

    So I actually have two questions:

    1. Has anyone ever had the same sort of "heart rollercoaster" reaction to high potassium foods? I'm talking about eating as little as one-two ounces to produce these effects.

    2. Has anyone successfully overcome such a severe potassium deficiency to the point that they could begin methylation, and if so, how'd you do it?

    All suggestions as to what to study next are appreciated! I'm a voracious reader, and while information no longer sticks the way it used to, I usually eventually absorb what I need to.

    Thanks to everyone for being here. This forum has an incredible amount of information!
    EMilo likes this.
  2. auri


    Sorry to reply to myself, but also wanted to let y'all know that I'm not just sitting and waiting for someone to do hand-holding; I'm finding answers already, albeit slowly. Specifically, this post: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...low-potassium-is-dangerous.14410/#post-237726 and my extremely limited diet, make me think that I may be dealing with a vitamin C deficiency that may be a big contributing factor. I have had these weak-kneed, low potassium type reactions to Vitamin D (both oral AND from the sun) and I also had a negative reaction to a teeny bit of methylfolate, so maybe supping potassium and vitamin c would be a good place to start...
  3. Nana86


    At the beginning of my therapy I almost had exactely the same problems as you are experiencing now (and I am a lot better now!) :)

    I will try to answer your questions from what I know and experienced:

    I don´t really think you´re reacting on the potassium in the food, but you might have a histamine or IGG4-induced reaction. Since you are so sick, your gut could be damaged and is "leaky". This condition is called Leaky Gut Syndrome - it means that some food molecules are, because of their structure, able to pass the gut wall and cause an immune reaction: Your immune system has to fight that molecules that don´t belong in your blood stream. If you google IGG4 you will find that many of your reactions fit to that condition.

    Btw, what foods are you eating now? Which supplements are you taking? And have you done any testing about intracellular values of minerals and trace elements?!

    RichvanK said that strong reactions to Methylfolate could be due to a deficiency of NADH - this is a cofactor needed by the body for various reactions and it is also important for folate metabolism. The body should be able to synthesize it by itself, but for that it needs various substances (like vitamins and minderals).

    So in my opinion, you should:

    1. Do some testing about mineral/ trace element levels (magnesium, calcium, potassium, selenium, copper, zinc, vitamin D, iron (->ferritin) etc.)

    2. Get a good Vitamin B-Complex with all the necesarry B-vitams & take Vit. B12

    3. already start supplementing trace elements you´re probably low in (most people, especially in such a condition are low in/ need a lot of magnesium, zinc, selenium and vitamin c - vitamin c also might help you to controll your histamine reactions to a certain extend)

    4. Get amino acids: you could try to get a good supplement or try denatured whey protein (if your gut is able to handle it)

    5. Take omega-3 fatty acids (DHA&EPA) - the body needs it to build up and regenerate cell membranes. In most sicknesses the mitochondrial walls are damaged due to oxidative stress etc. A good source is fish oil extract (available in capsules)

    6. After a short while you could add fat-soluble vitamins: Vitamin A, Vitamin D3 (should be tested before), Vitamin K2 (MK-7; it has to be taken together with vitamins A&D) and Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols)

    I think that as important as taking supplements is the right diet. At the very beginning I was able to eat 8 foods and I also was having strong symptoms. Until now I´ve managed to be able to eat almost everything again (except for histamine-foods...but I think this is also going to improve by time :)). What helped me (besides the above regimen) was figuring out what I could eat and strongly avoiding foods that were provocing reactions. Although I am not gluten intolerant a gluten-free diet helped me a lot, too. Also I tried to find out foods with a high nutritional value that my gut was able to digest (like Amaranth or Quinoa pops etc.).
    By the time I was trying to add more and more foods to my diet and really had a hard time to get my body used to many things again (like meat, fish etc.).

    I think it´s a hard way and you have to do a lot of reading and trying and probably failing, but in the end it is so much worth it! :)

    Wish you all the best!

  4. auri


    Hi Nana! Thanks so much for your welcoming and super-complete response! I'll try to address things in order here, except I'll save the ones I have questions about for the end:

    I'm very familiar with leaky gut, and have long suspected that it may be among my problems. Especially now that my food selection has gotten so limited! However, I wonder if perhaps some of that was not overzealousness (don't know if you've ever been histamine intolerant, but all it takes is a single food to make you utterly miserable, such that you can't tell if anything else is bothering you) in paring down my diet to safe foods. I'm actually working on broadening my diet right now, though several of my experiments (like butternut) have been failures. I've also tried to determine if there's any single unifying factor (salicylates, oxalates, sulfur, etc.) to the foods that cause reactions, but I'm not having any luck with it.

    I'm currently eating peeled green bartlett pears, peeled golden delicious apples, steak from a specific grocery store, unsalted butter and a wee bit of cauliflower (too much and I have trouble). My supps are biotin and P5P.

    My serum Vitamin D was 49 when I had it tested in December - well within range, yet I'm having the same symptoms I had when it was 18-20 (a couple years ago).

    I will look into NADH. A little afraid of the Bs right now, especially en masse, but I'll think about the B complex. :) I've been supping teeeny crumbs of magnesium to keep my bowels moving at a stately pace, but anything more than that and everything starts going right through me. Haven't touched the other minerals you mention in a while, though I did try a tad of potassium chloride today. It took away my muscle weakness (yay!) but then also introduced muscle tightness. Guessing that might be the chloride component, but won't know until I can find a different type to try.

    I stopped my fish oil back when I was reacting to "everything." It's another thing I should probably re-test, because while I doubt I could eat fish thanks to histamines, sometimes really good fish oil (and I do buy the good stuff) doesn't cause those problems. I have been supping flax oil here and there, mostly for angina, but not on anything like a regular basis because the stuff tastes horrid!

    I actually do think I can tolerate denatured whey - I had some in the pantry when this all went down, and drank a tad with no obvious reaction. However, it tastes like crap, and given that I can't tolerate any flavorings or sweeteners right now (at least I don't think I can...everything for retesting eventually!), I've been ignoring it. But you're right, I should probably try to include at least a bit of it, as it's really heavy on the aminos.

    I need to get some good A & E & test them out. I think what I have on hand is crap (and probably old & oxidized to boot). As for the D, well...that'll have to wait until I stop reacting.

    I really hope I'm able to add more foods soon. I'm bummed out, because not only do I seem to be gluten intolerant (pain, anxiety), but my body seems to reject EVERY grain, nut or seed I put into it. Flax seed, pumpkin seeds, millet, rice, you name it! Makes it very hard to get any low glycemic carbs into me. I haven't tried quinoa lately, but I don't really hold much hope.

    I have not had any intracellular testing done, and was not aware that it was even available to the general public. I found the Acu-Cell nutrition site ages ago, but when I tried to email them to find out where to get testing done, it always bounced back because their email box was full. Is there another way/place to get this type of testing done?

    Thank you so much for sharing your story & your protocol! How long did it take you to go from only being able to tolerate 8 foods to where you are now?
  5. sleigh73


    Auri, did you ever figure out how to get your potassium up, and why you were getting muscle tightness after taking it at first? I'm having that issue just now .... Hope you are well!

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