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optimal amount of potassium while increasing methylation, and how much is too much?

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by soundasacrystal, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. soundasacrystal

    soundasacrystal

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    I understand that potassium needs go way up when beginning a methylation protocol. How much potassium are we talking? Hundreds of milligrams? Thousands? And what are the signs you're getting enough? What happens if you get too much?
     
  2. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

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    Every body is different. Some people are fine without supplementing. For me, I use coconut water if I think I may need some potassium. If it tastes good, I drink it. If it doesn't, I figure that's not it. It has as much as about 3 bananas, or about 670 mg. If I am just "off" I may try three servings a day for maybe 2 days. But everyone's body is different, as I said.

    Normal people will be able to excrete the extra. The Recommended Daily Allowance in the US is 4700 mg, or about a teaspoon.

    I can't tell you what will work for you, just what seems to work for me.
     
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  3. soundasacrystal

    soundasacrystal

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    I was thinking I would get some coconut water. It seems like the most natural method of supplementing potassium. I sometimes use potato peel broth, which works very well. It's just not convenient to have on hand all the time. I have potassium pills but they're only 90 mgs each. Food seems to be a better option.
     
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  4. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    Potassium needs don't always go up with starting methylation, but very often do. I think a better question is not what are the signs you're getting enough, but, rather, what are the signs of a deficiency, which can include fatigue, heart issues (palpitations, arrhythmia), muscle spasms, insomnia. If you haven't already, it would be good to check out this thread: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...lation-important-info-re-low-potassium.49540/

    Among other things, it contains a link to a thread by Richvank which explains why people with ME/CFS tend to have low intracellular potassium in general, why blood work may be normal and we still can have hypokalemia, etc.

    If you get your potassium from food sources, then it is almost impossible (I think impossible actually) to get too much potassium. The daily RDA is around 4500 mg. (and that's the minimum) I developed hypokalemia rather rapidly after starting methylfolate, my chief symptom was severe fatigue (and later muscle spasms). The symptoms abated after I titrated up to 1000 mg potassium over a couple of days, taken in divided doses.

    Now I find I need to take around 800 mg a day, plus I drink low-sodium V8 which is high in potassium.

    We're all different. You have to find what works for you. Some people here take 3000 mg a day, some don't need any. Yes, food sources are best, but I found I could not get enough potassium from food sources alone.
     
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  5. soundasacrystal

    soundasacrystal

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    @Mary I unfortunately failed to note how many mgs per pill in my potassium aspartate supplement before I ordered it and found that it's a ridiculously low 90 mgs. Do you have a specific brand or form of potassium that you like?
     
  6. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    You will find that all potassium supplements come in 99 mg. dose. To get a higher dose you need a prescription.

    I like potassium gluconate, and take 8 capsules a day, in divided doses. I've never tried potassium aspartate so can't comment on it.
     
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  7. PatJ

    PatJ far and free I gaze

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    When I was on Freddd's methylation treatment I needed 3500 mg of potassium per day in many small doses, including one at midnight. I used Now brand potassium gluconate powder so that I wouldn't have to take pills with all the fillers etc. Pills are also more expensive than powder. My potassium demand didn't skyrocket until I added L-Carnitine Fumarate.

    If you start showing serious hypokalaemia symptoms then you'll need a good supply of potassium available. It's absorbed and used by the body much faster than potassium from food.

    A problem with supplementing with potassium is that some symptoms arise when you need more potassium or when you've had too much. I would get nausea as a sign that I needed potassium, but a couple of times I took too much I experienced nausea from taking too much. It some time to really get to know the symptoms and learn the amounts required to overcome them without overdoing it. Most people get diarrhea if they get too much.

    Potassium demand during methylation treatment can change, so a good balance at a certain dose on one day may be too low the next day.
     
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  8. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    I didn't realize that a potassium supplement is absorbed and used much more quickly than, say, that found in various juices - good to know! :thumbsup: I totally agree about having a good supply of potassium available. I would have not been able to continue with the methylfolate, which I badly needed, without it.
     
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  9. PatJ

    PatJ far and free I gaze

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    This is especially important for a person with very high potassium demand. Once I stopped taking l-carnitine and methylfolate after a severe crash, it took two weeks before I could stop taking extra potassium. Maybe niacin would have helped to slow down the methylation more quickly but part of my crash involved extremely low BP so niacin wasn't an option.
     
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  10. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    I still have to take extra potassium - 7 years after starting the methylfolate. But I don't mind, I'm much worse off without it. I also discovered 7 years ago that I had had symptoms of low potassium even before starting the methylfolate, only I never knew what it was, and just thought that particular horrid fatigue was another unsolvable ME/CFS mystery. And my potassium on blood work is always on the low side of the normal range, even with supplementation.
     
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  11. PatJ

    PatJ far and free I gaze

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    I take extra potassium too, although nothing like the 3.5 grams I needed previously. I get 250mg with my electrolyte mix (Ultima Replenisher.) PWME are known to be low in potassium.
     
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  12. caledonia

    caledonia

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    I needed 3000mg in divided doses, which I got from Now potassium gluconate. I was unable to get it from food sources.

    After 3-4 years, my need dropped and now I do 50mg.

    When titrating up, I found there is a sweet spot where the deficiency symptoms clear up and you feel best. When I went over, from what I remember, the main symptom was feeling nauseous.

    Check out my document Roadblocks to Successful Methylation Treatment in my signature link for more info.
     
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  13. soundasacrystal

    soundasacrystal

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    Thank you all so much, this is really clearing up alot of confusion.

    What is the symptom you most associate with potassium deficiency? And did you also supplement salt?
     
  14. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    For me it's severe fatigue (different than PEM) and muscle spasms, usually in my feet or calves. I generally don't take extra salt, I don't seem to need it, though I do tend to salt my food quite a bit.

    If you're going to take a potassium supplement, the important thing is to increase it gradually and not take a huge amount all at once. I worked up to 1000 mg over a couple of days and that relieved my symptoms. Once I had reached that dose, then I divided it into 3 doses throughout the day - not 1000 mg all at once. If I had ended up needing 3000 mg, again I'd work up gradually and divide it into probably 4 doses. Right now I take 200 with each meal and 200 before bed. I used to fairly often get muscle cramps in the middle of the night and that has stopped since I started the potassium before bed. And I do drink low-sodium V8 as well.
     
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  15. PatJ

    PatJ far and free I gaze

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    My low potassium symptoms would vary. Sometimes (and most often at the beginning of treatment) nausea, sometimes muscle tightness in legs or neck, and sometimes, even when taking 3.5grams per day, I would get a paralyzed transverse colon (ileus). This is incredibly painful and sometimes lead to lower body convulsions with PEM afterward. It would take 15-40 minutes before it would resolve after taking an extra dose of potassium.

    I printed Freddd's low potassium symptom list for easy reference. It was very useful at times when I started having a low potassium symptom that I hadn't encountered before. Make sure you understand what every symptom means. I didn't understand what ileus was. After the first agonizing ileus experience I did some research and found out that it was right there on the symptom list.

    Freddd commented that potassium can taste sweet if the body needs it. It worked that way for me.

    I didn't supplement extra salt but I get a decent amount of salt already in my diet.
     
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  16. soundasacrystal

    soundasacrystal

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    Have any of you experienced insomnia from potassium? I was horribly fatigued last night after a trip to town and a couple potassium pills seemed to make a huge difference. I just felt more myself after. But then I didn't sleep. I'm not sure if it was the potassium or maybe I just have to be horribly fatigued to sleep at this point. I did take a small amount of methyl B12 early in the morning too. It's so hard to interpret what's going on.
     
  17. soundasacrystal

    soundasacrystal

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    @PatJ Where can I find Fredds low potassium symptoms list?
     
  18. caledonia

    caledonia

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    These were my symptoms -
    heart palpitations, an increased heart rate, pounding heartbeat, anxiety, nausea, itching, waking up in the middle of the night, with a “panic attack” (fast pounding heartbeat, sweating, anxiety, ringing in the ears and/or twitching feet).

    Yes, I do salt with my magnesium and potassium. The amount I add on food isn't enough.

    If you're craving salt or salty foods like potato chips, you're likely deficient in salt (sodium).
     
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  19. PatJ

    PatJ far and free I gaze

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    Here is Freddd's low potassium symptom list. Keep in mind that these symptoms can also occur for other reasons.

    And here are a couple of Freddd's other lists. Paradoxical folate deficiency (if I remember rightly) is when the body starts getting and using more folate but starts showing symptoms of not having enough. This seems paradoxical because you are already giving the body more folate so why is it starting to show deficiency symptoms? It's the body's way of letting you know it wants more because it has started to utilize what you've been giving it, but there isn't enough to go around. The body starts a sort of triage operation where it uses folate in the most needed areas but denies it to other areas. It sends out a call for more folate by showing deficiency symptoms.

    I went through some of these symptoms. Taking more folate resolved them (as expected from the reasoning behind the extra folate demand). During Freddd's treatment I went up to 25mg/day of methylfolate but after a few months settled at around 8-10mg/day. These are very high levels of methylfolate but are a key part of Freddd's method.

    As with the low potassium symptoms, there can be other causes for many of these symptoms. If taking extra folate resolved the symptoms I was experiencing then I assumed it was due to paradoxical deficiency.

     
  20. soundasacrystal

    soundasacrystal

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