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Managing Potassium Deficiency - Share your experience

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by caledonia, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Even though I've been going very low and slow, I've run into the dreaded "potassium deficiency with methylation startup" problem, and would like to hear about your experiences with this, and how you got through it.

    The symptoms are very similar to magnesium deficiency, and my potassium showed good on my Nutreval test, so I got mislead into thinking I needed more magnesium supplementation. This was the wrong thing to do. After having problems, I consulted with my doc and he got me straightened out. I shut down methylation with niacin, and I'm currently doing high potassium foods and avoiding magnesium supplements, and I'm feeling much better.

    My symptoms were heart palps, a stressed feeling, progressing into more and more anxiety, until I started having panic attacks waking me up during sleep, twitching feet waking me up during sleep, and a rash between my baby and ring finger.

    What I call magnesium deficiency symptoms are heart palps and twitchy feet waking me up during sleep. Who knows, maybe those have been potassium symptoms the whole time, or maybe a combination of magnesium and potassium deficiency.

    Anyway, once I get straightened out, I'm going to resume methylation. So that means going through another period of a high need for potassium. I'm interested in hearing how people got through this. Were you able to go low and slow enough to manage it via foods and/or low level balanced supplementation, as through a multivitamin or an electrolyte supplement?

    I'm leery of taking potassium-only supplements as there could be a danger of skewing your electrolytes the other way, as I did with magnesium supplementation.

    If you were successful, how long did it take you to get through this step?

    I've done a little research, and the potassium thing seems to be unique to ME/CFS patients. Yasko doesn't mention it, and Rich Vank wasn't aware of it until Freddd posted about it. A lot of people on here trying Freddd's protocol have posted about needing potassium supplementation, but I haven't seen this on Yasko's forum.
    EMilo, Gondwanaland and howirecovered like this.
  2. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    I'm not doing methylation any more, but I took potassium the whole time I was taking b12 etc. I took tablets, 400mg at a time, between 3 and 5 times a day in response to symptoms. My tell-tale was an unusual and specific stiffness in my upper back.
  3. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    Hi Caledonia. I get similar symptoms to yours for both mg and K+. The low K+ also gives me heartburn-like feelings. Initially I treated this heartburn w/ small doses of bicarb, which worked. Then I made the K+ connection, which is much better. It was in rereading Freddd's post re hypokalemia that I finally understood, only a couple months ago, that many of my worst acute symptoms over these years of ME/CFS were low K+: feeling faint, fear of having to walk a block in town, as I was so weak and shaky, lightheadedness. I've been on the same levels of the methyl protocol (Deadlock Quartet) since March, so that's stable.

    I've been using K+gluconate form for several years, powder. (NOW, from iherb). My baseline dose is about 1g, AM & PM. When stressed I need more. Last week I was in a major metal detox, with constant diarrhea, and needed massive amounts, as well as huge amounts of mg. Over the past year I've been using mg oil, which I make from mg chloride flakes. I found I still needed to add oral mg. During this crisis last week, I was taking handfuls of mg malate, needing to get up in the night for not only K+ and mg, but also extra GABA and glycine.

    The huge number of supps made me reconsider my method. Over the past year I've been using footbaths. This evolved into 2 baths. The first has clay, charcoal, and lysine for my sulfur issues. The second has vit C, grapefruit seed extract, and mg oil. I decided to try to K+ in the 2nd water, which worked. No more flushing discomfort after taking it orally. Then I ramped up my mg to 500 ml and more of mg oil in the footbath. No more oral mg needed! After this succes, I considered all the other powders I take twice a day. I've now added all my aminos as well as TMG, biotin, inositiol...anything that I have in powder form, into the footbath. What a revolution! I've only been doing this 2-3 days, so I'm still v excited about this new practice. My body's absorbing everything it needs this way, which I'm sure eases the internal systems.

    I manage my supp doses by symptoms and self-testing. I would be lost w/o self-testing. I'm attaching a link for a lecture I've not yet heard, re muscle testing. I don't know anything about the presenter, who has a DVD teaching how to self-test, and will be listening to him soon. I now accept that I have high K+ needs, and have even considered getting a mediAlert medallion warning I have hypokalemia. So far, I've just improvised by writing this on a key tag. But I now understand that this might be the most critical thing for me in a crisis. I only got to this understanding by tuning into my body. No professional ever checked this or mentioned it. Best to you, ahmo

    https://app.box.com/shared/ya56c4btgr/1/33266866/10617519755/1
    SeaShell and SickOfSickness like this.
  4. Violeta

    Violeta Senior Member

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    Here's an interesting link about potassium.
    www.gilbertling.org
    Well, actually, here's a summary of what Ling is talking about. http://gerson-research.org/docs/CopeFW-1978-1/
    I'm not doing anything out of the ordinary with respect to potassium, just the NOW powdered potassium gluconate, coconut water, red beets pickled with apple cider vinegar, LESS NaCl.
    I just got out my Gerson Therapy book to make a grocery list.
    I'm wondering how much of my problems is actually bad sodium potassium ratio over the years. Maybe once that gets rebalanced there isn't so much of a need for the vitamin supps.
    Potassium:sodium balance might have a lot to do with how well the mitochondria work. I did read that when sodium enters the cell, production of ATP is greatly reduced.
    It has a lot to do with the lymphatics, and I was just reading that if your lymphatics are congested, that's not good.
    I realize this is a very disconnected message, but I'm really tired.
    brenda and helen1 like this.
  5. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

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    I think that when I'm low on potassium, I get tachycardia (pulse 100-120). I haven't had a timely test to be sure that's it. It usually result after a lot of work outside in the heat and a lot of sweating. I will come in, calm down, cool down, and still have rapid heart beats. I don't stop methylation. I add coconut water. Have a container (single serving, 400-650 mg of K), wait a half hour or so, and take my pulse. If it's still high, I have some more. When my pulse gets below 80, I stop for the day. I test again the next day when I wake up. I only use K supplements if I run out of coconut water.

    I also notice how I respond to the coconut water: If it tastes good, it's probably a good thing for me to use it. If I don't feel like drinking it, it's probably not the right thing to do, and I need to look for other causes. But so far, my taste buds seem to know what I need. If I have 3 servings for 2 days in a row, I don't usually think I need any more. But once, on the third day, when my pulse was OK (around 58-60) I had a doctor's appointment and my blood pressure was 98/58, so that's still kind of low for me. I though I overdid the coconut water, but maybe I didn't have enough of it.
    Gondwanaland and Sparrowhawk like this.
  6. vortex

    vortex

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    Ok, this is really weird and i am confused, please help.
    I get muscle cramps as the most noticeable symptom and I take k gluconate. Ok, now this is what is really puzzling, if I take one pill which is 99mg, I am better. This is not only confusing because everyone else talks about much larger doses, but 99mg is really low dose and shouldn't do really much of anything because a normal diet would have much more than that. For example a potato has 600mg. In it and I eat potatoes all the time and it doesn't help relieve my cramping symptoms. Heck with all the potassium in a regular diet, they say you easily get several grams a day, so why would 99mg help me at all ??
  7. Violeta

    Violeta Senior Member

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    Potassium, glucose(coconut water being sweet because of glucose), and insulin work together. I wanted to link to a site that said this in the google search, "Insulin also increases the permiability of many cells to potassium, ..." but the link didn't wotk for me. Potassium has to get inside the cells to do any good. You can google those three together, what an eye opener! It might have something to do with sodium saturated tissue, too.

    I'm so glad you brought this up; I was thinking of gettting back into juicing, but coconut water is probably the best way to get potassium.

    With respect to low blood pressure, in that case celery might be an alternative source. It contains natural sodium. When my blood pressure used to be very low it's the only food I could find that's supposed to help raise BP.

    I don't know how I got switched to bold type; I'll try to fix it later.
  8. Violeta

    Violeta Senior Member

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    Do you put salt on your potatoes? The thing about potassium is that you are trying to change your potassium to sodium ratio. Also, Bernard Jnsen says the potassium is in the skin and not the white part. Red skin has more potassium than brown, which is why it's so bitter. I would think blue potatoes have a lot even on the inside, but they are hard to find and don't taste good.

    Also, when the potassium is in food, you have to digest it and extract it; in a tablet it dissolves and can be absorbed very easily.
    helen1 and Star-Anise like this.
  9. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    Some people have commented elsewhere that I need very large doses. They also take a single tablet at a time.
  10. Unim

    Unim

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    I am interested if anyone has found any relief from these symptoms by taking resveratrol, as Alex3619 mentioned on his blog: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?entries/is-the-fatigue-in-me-an-eicosanoid-phenomena.1320/

    I read a post from Freddd saying it hadn't helped him, but couldn't find any other reference to it.

    The Biotivia resveratrol I bought turned out to be 50%, not 98% as I presumed. It gave me painful diarrhoea, probably from the emodin content. However, when I have exmptied the Biotivia capsule and taken it sublingually I seemed to notice an improvement in my constipation. It could have just been the tiny amount of emodin again though, as I'm not sure if my gut felt irritated. It tastes pretty bad as well.

    I'm on a break from most supplements for a couple of weeks now, so can't test it or compare with potassium powder currently.
  11. Star-Anise

    Star-Anise Senior Member

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    Hi all! These posts are so timely because I have been ramping up some of my methyl supports & consequently having an increase in my potassium needs!
    caledonia

    I find this so fascinating! I have no clue why this is, but it is interesting that it seems to be this CFS/ME phenomena!

    What I'm doing & it seems to be helping but not solving the problem is taking a mix of elemental potassium (natural factors 99mg Postassium Citrate), and food sources of potassium. The potassium citrate (pill form) seems to reach a max with me, and I get revved up too much if I take too much. I'm wondering if it is because it pushes the methylation cycle forward more for me, or if it feeds into the Kreb's Cycle, as I feel super-energized. Either way, I have to watch it.
    I'm wondering if potassium chloride would do the same? Hmmm need to do some more experimenting.

    My symptoms are that I have HUGE cravings for potassium rich foods. I could eat a whole bag of potatoes for example! Ha, ha... and I do get sluggish/fatigued too if I don't add extra potassium in.

    Interestingly caledonia, there does seem to be some relationship to magnesium too for me. I get super body aches & muscle tension, especially in upper shoulders that seems to be alleviated with magnesium supplementation & this all happens around time that I need potassium as well ?!

    And the symptoms do seem to come/go. I seem to reach a plateau with methylation supports (methyl B12/methylfolate) where I do not seem to be making progress, & if anything getting a bit worse, then I increase dosages slightly, & I feel way better but have these HUGE cravings for potassium rich foods, and my muscle tension returns....

    I found this link that speaks to relationship between magnesium/potassium, but I'm not sure how these translates to me:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3732091

    Magnesium and potassium. Inter-relationships in cardiac disorders.

    As an aside, I found this awesome thread, where the different forms & their effects of potassium are debated for those that are interested:
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/potassium-citrate-vs-potassium-gluconate.21208/

    Very interesting subject, and very very timely for me, thanks everyone for your input!
  12. Violeta

    Violeta Senior Member

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    The connection between potassium and fibromyalgia?CFS/ME might be that they are all caused by congestion of the lymphatics. Potassium is good for that. I haven't looked at it from the magnesium angle yet, but maybe that's why magnesium deficiency shows up along with potassium shortage. I know that potassium and magnesium, along with glucose, are needed inside the cell to create energy. And I saw a good article yesterday about cells being surrounded by the lymphatics, so the condition of the lymphatic fluid has a direct relationship to each and every cell.
    Star-Anise likes this.
  13. NilaJones

    NilaJones Senior Member

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    Hello everyone!! LTNS!

    Carrot juice has twice the potassium of coconut water, if you can get it. And is delicious :).

    My main mineral symptom is restless legs -- or, when it's bad, my whole body -- at night. Drives me crazy. The problem is, it can be caused by multiple things. So far I have had episodes that were caused by being low in potassium, or iron, or zinc. I'm currently taking all of those, and magnesium (oral + topical), and not finding that I need to supplement any potassium.

    I do sometimes get salt cravings, and put extra salt on my food. Once when I was taking a lot of potassium (before I found that the other minerals helped better) I ate about a teaspoonful at one sitting, just licking it out of the palm of my hand. Would have been more, but I forced myself to take a break.
    SickOfSickness and Star-Anise like this.
  14. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    Does the K+gluconate powder dissolve in water?
  15. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Critterina My doc mentioned my pulse was elevated when I was low in potassium. This might be a good way to keep tabs on things.
  16. caledonia

    caledonia

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    ahmo I also do a lot of muscle testing. I will download the lecture and listen to on my iPod later to see if he has any helpful tips. I've heard that if you're not well hydrated or your electrolytes are messed up, the testing may not be accurate. Kind of a Catch 22, if you need to test for electrolytes while they're messed up.
  17. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Unim - I'm familiar with eicosanoid theory and have been doing high dose fish oil for many years. I haven't tried resveratrol. It's supposed to help with inflammation, and I've had a large reduction in pain (headaches) from the fish oil.
    Valentijn likes this.
  18. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Same for me, regarding the fish oil. Makes the Headache stay away :thumbsup: I tried resveratrol for two days, and it gave me a crippling headache which felt very different. More of a head-inna-vise feeling than swelling-head.
  19. stridor

    stridor Senior Member

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    It was just published in the Journal of Physiology that Scandinavian researchers concluded that after 8 weeks of exercising, those taking resveratrol had worse oxygen capacity than the placebo group. And that only the placebo group had improved BP, cholesterol and triglycerides plus they did better on the Up and Go test which measures the ability to get out of a chair quickly.

    Not sure if resveratrol is a big gun in terms of neutralizing ROS or not but it seems to block the benefits of exercise. Not what some of us need at this point (?) Easier to accept if it was cheaper perhaps.
  20. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    I had low potassium on hair mineral tests, although minimal low potassium symptoms. It finally came up after I began taking taurine. Taurine is supposed to help get both potassium and magnesium into the cells.

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