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Managing Potassium Deficiency - Share your experience

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

  1. Unim

    Unim

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    I just wondered if resveratrol or grape extract might be doing something unique and provide an alternative to potassium for reducing these symptoms. I struggle with most supplements, including potassium, so had been looking for possible alternatives.

    Even though the necessary dose might not to be particularly high, I'm still reluctant to pay the premium for a top quality, batch tested resveratrol. The reports of joint and tendon pains in people taking resveratrol are also concerning.

    The Longecity forum seem to discuss a lot of these studies. This study sounds similar to the one you mention: http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/64742-new-res-study/
  2. Phred

    Phred

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    caledonia I have been meaning to thank you for weeks. So here is my THANK YOU! I was having low potassium symptoms (leg cramps, tight chest, muscle spasms) and, like a good girl, I drank my coconut water and took my supplements. The supplements were giving me heartburn though and the symptoms didn't seem to be going away well enough.

    I was taking my magnesium at night and thought it seemed to be helping the heartburn. I don't know why I ignored that, but I did and kept trying to make myself feel better with more and more potassium. Finally I saw another post where you mentioned the need for magnesium. I was concerned about taking too much as I have Celiac and didn't want to mess up my digestion. So instead I took half a dose in the morning and half in the evening. Low and behold my heartburn is pretty much gone (was getting it even when I wasn't taking the potassium supplements) and so are my low potassium symptoms. I get a few rumblings of acid reflux here and there, but nothing like the fire that was inside my chest and throat before.

    So again, thank you! Oh and I do find that mag. and potassium really do need to work in concert together.
    Sparrowhawk likes this.
  3. stridor

    stridor Senior Member

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    Phred
    Magnesium is one of my more important supplements. Since I don't have a colon, I am very sensitive to things that have any kind of laxative effect. I use magnesium oil in a spray bottle and it has helped me a lot. I do take some orally but I have to be careful.
  4. stridor

    stridor Senior Member

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    Unim
    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Part way down the page is an entry by James Betz July 22nd that sums things up nicely.
    http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/64742-new-res-study/ For those who don't have the time, it basically says that the study was poorly designed and executed and that we will need to wait for a final answer.

    Also, hinted at is the question of should we care how resveratrol works on people without ME? We need to know how antioxidants work for us.
  5. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Here's an update on me. I was doing high potassium foods for a week, and feeling better, but then I started feeling worse again with low potassium symptoms returning, but also a twitching foot during sleep. I talked to my doc and he said the twitching foot is low magnesium, and if you don't have enough magnesium, you won't be able to hold onto potassium. And furthermore, that I can't get enough magnesium from food. I don't know the reason for that. But anyway he had me add 200mg of magnesium supplementation, and I'm feeling better again.
    rosie26, Sparrowhawk and NilaJones like this.
  6. howirecovered

    howirecovered Senior Member

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    thanks Bluestem, I decided to increase my taurine after reading this and researching further...
    Little Bluestem likes this.
  7. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    Yes. Dissolves best in warm water, can clump at the bottom of glass w/ cold water, but breaks up easily and then dissolves.
    Little Bluestem likes this.
  8. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    Absolutely!!
  9. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    I was also drinking orange juice mixed with pineapple juice just about every day for a while. The orange juice has potassium. I am not sure about the pineapple.

    The first time I did it, I took one swallow then almost compulsively chugged the rest. I decided if it tasted that good to me, maybe I needed more of it.
  10. howirecovered

    howirecovered Senior Member

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    Yesterday I started mixing 1/4 teaspoon of potassium bicarbonate in a tall glass of water and drinking it throughout the day - this adds 500 milligrams of potassium to my protocol, bringing me up to 2700 mg. I also increased taurine by 1 g to 2.3 g.

    Not sure I noticed much difference. It helped alkalinize my urine. I did sleep very well last night and had a mild headache in the evening. Too early to attribute either of those things to the extra potassium though... I have such a hard time resisting multiple changes at once. But so far, everything is going well, which is the reason I'm not careful enough about separating changes.

    Anyone interested in reading more about potassium bicarbonate can check out http://howirecovered.com/understanding-potassium/ where I'm trying to keep all of my research.
    Little Bluestem likes this.
  11. caledonia

    caledonia

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    I forgot to mention, I'm on quite a bit of taurine and have been for several years. It helps with heartbeats during sleep. Either high or low taurine is supposed to be due to methylation problems. So this should straighten out as you progress with methylation.
  12. howirecovered

    howirecovered Senior Member

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    thanks, how much do you take Caledonia? I'm up to 2.8 g today...
  13. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Senior Member

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    What brand Taurine are you guys using? I've yet to find one that doesn't have mag stearate in it, which has become a stomach irritant to me. Thanks...
  14. caledonia

    caledonia

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    howirecovered and Sparrowhawk, I'm taking Thorne Taurine, which is 500mg per capsule. 6 capsules per day, so that's 3000mg or 3g.

    It doesn't have magnesium stearate.
    Sparrowhawk likes this.
  15. veronica_corningstone

    veronica_corningstone

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    I'm up to 6g of supplemented potassium per day - a mixture of citrate, gluconate, and coconut water. And I try to eat potassium-rich food as much as possible.

    I'm on a simplified yasko program. I started B12 in April and added 1g of potassium per day to get my body ready for the methylfolate. I'd read a lot on this forum and Freddd's warning about hypokalemia. Last fall, my blood potassium level was 4.3. Right before I started methylfolate in June, I had a hair test done and potassium was at 24 (range 8-75).

    I started on 200mcg of methylfolate in June. The first week was rough, then I felt better. But over the next few months, I got worse and worse. I did exactly what Freddd said not to do and wrote it off as "detox". My symptoms were insomnia, migraines, back spasms when sleeping, upper back/shoulder/neck tightness and pangs, and a horrible buzzing feeling that seemed to match the descriptions of excess gluatamate. None of this was really anything new for me, just worse. I was taking lots of supplements to help with that, but nothing worked.

    About a month ago, I got foot/lower leg cramps at night and realized I needed more potassium. It took a few days to get up to a dosage high enough to get rid of the cramps. During that time, I was stunned as ALL of my other symptoms were going away as I took more and more potassium. I felt so relaxed I was euphoric.

    I've since cut methylfolate back to 1 drop of Yasko's methylmate b - 67mcg. I've tested cutting back on potassium and it all comes right back, so I feel confident I've ruled out other explanations. The other day, I tried cutting back to 5g and right before bed, I felt a headache coming on. I took 500mg of potassium and it was gone in 30 minutes. I'd never been able to make a headache go away like that!

    I just did another hair test and my potassium this time was a 3 (range 8-75). I'm going to experiment with taking potassium every couple of hours.I've been taking it with food, but assume that I'm not absorbing all of it with such high doses at once. Since I had so much success with taking it for my headache the other night on an empty stomach, perhaps smaller dosages spread out will work better.

    I take a run-of-the-mill dosage of magnesium and that has shown up ok in all testing. In experiments with adding more, I don't notice any benefits. I haven't tested it enough, but have noticed lately that salty foods do seem to cause more hypokalemia symptoms.

    Like some others have stated, I wonder now if I've had low potassium issues for years. My blood tests were fine and even my hair test seemed ok back in May, but perhaps some people need to be in the upper range.

    There is information on the Yasko forums about potassium, although you don't hear parents talking about it as much as people are talking about it here. Excretion of cesium, cadmium, and thallium are all mentioned as a cause for the body dumping potassium. Also mentioned are the ACE gene deletion (which is common) and chronic stress which cause the body to hold onto sodium while dumping potassium.
  16. howirecovered

    howirecovered Senior Member

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    wow, what a story Veronica - never heard of anyone taking that much potassium but I'm so glad you found something that works. thanks for sharing!

    I still have not eliminated my tightness and muscle problems, so I may experiment with increasing further...

    One thing to note, potassium supplementation without vitamin B1 can be dangerous. I'm guessing you're already taking some but if not... see http://howirecovered.com/understanding-potassium for details.
  17. Violeta

    Violeta Senior Member

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    I cut way back on sodium for a couple of weeks while taking extra potassium.
  18. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Another update on me. I tried increasing magnesium again, and managed to OD - again - I ended up with diarrhea and puking my guts out. I'm going to blame the nurse at my doctor's office for this one. She didn't pass on my question to my doc on how to manage increasing magnesium, and I was more or less left to my own devices.

    Anyway, I think I finally have this figured out. I OD'd on somewhat less than the dose I used to tolerate. I think that my adrenals have improved up to 75% percent based on the amount of salt supplementation I've been able to cut back on. I think I need to cut my magnesium back 75% too.

    This is due to doing just a couple months of low level methylation - so people, be aware that this can change, and pretty rapidly.

    I'm having trouble figuring out doses for electrolytes via muscle testing. From what I've heard about how muscle testing works, I believe the reason is that you need your electrolytes to be balanced to get good results. So it's basically back to trial and error.
  19. Journeyman

    Journeyman

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    I think orthomolecular medicine might answer your queries relating to mineral balance. Have you had hair/mineral analysis done ? Have you had it done before commencing a methylation protocol and then later ? As I read through your comments about the overlapping symptoms between K+ and Mg deficiency I'm reminded of some of they key tenets of orthomolecular medicine. That Potassium and Magnesium are closely dependant and work synergistically (particularly with Zinc) to create a more efficient cellular environment. I think many of us would be able to save a lot of money on wasted potassium supplements if we incorporated this knowledge of orthomolecular medicine. IIRC taking potassium on its on results in increased aldosterone which then simply causes potassium excretion. The solution? Ensure you take some salt with the potassium. You might still get the potassium losing effects of the aldosterone increase but the salt will be retained to lower the excessive calcium which is the usual problem for the elderly and almost certainly those with CFS/ME. When sodium and potassium are increased in the future this lowers the calcium and speeds up cellular function which is what most (not all) need. It takes your body from being a slow oxidiser to becoming a fast oxidiser...
  20. Victronix

    Victronix Senior Member

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    A great thread!

    I've been taking the methylfolate very slowly so finally am at a full capsule of Douglas Laboratories B-complex with Metafolin (400 mg mfolate) . . . which took the better part of the past year to accomplish, given that I have an extreme reaction to even, as one person put it, just enough to cover the head of a toothpick. My potassium needs have not diminished at all over time (I have to have potassium gluconate powder 6x during the day and also at least once in the middle of the night). I do take magnesium -- another thing that took a long time to sort out and adjust to -- but probably could be taking more, so I'm glad this thread reminded me to consider that.

    I too have realized that probably a lot of what I suffered with over the past several years has been due to low potassium.

    And yes, one of the most difficult symptoms is the anxiety verging on panic, making me feel insane in the middle of the night. But knowing what it is, I take a 5-HTP and wait it out -- 40 minutes is about how long it takes for K+ to kick in for me, then I totally fall dead asleep and am in a great mood when I wake up (if I've had enough potassium).

    I continue to find it fascinating why only some of us need it to this extent. And we don't even know the mechanism. Is it because we excrete it too fast? Are we not able to make use of what we have? Is there a missing link somehow? Multiple mechanisms faulty?

    It's also scary to be this dependent on an element this way. Now that you mentioned it, Caledonia, I think the medical alert bracelet would be a really good idea. They seem to cost about $30 to get an engraved one.

    What I worry about is traveling -- what if I lost my powder? It's a specialty item I have to order online -- you can't just go out and buy it in a store. I carry a film canister size container of it with me at all times. But if I lost access to it I'd be coming apart in about 4 hours and food potassium is nearly useless for me. I have a trip coming up in November so I'm considering sending some there in advance, in case it were to get lost while I was in transit.

    Anyway, the upside is that now, with mB-12, mfolate, magnesium, potassium, etc., I'm doing better than I have at any time in the last several years. And even after a house move this summer, which was an insane amount of stress. The only thing that continues to totally elude me is my digestive issue with bloating. But at a certain point I sort of gave up on figuring it out when I hit a brick wall with even getting the tests done. My insurance will pay, but the doctor wouldn't order them. Then the move happened . . . maybe I'll have to get back to that too at some point.

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