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Potassium questions

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by NilaJones, May 30, 2013.

  1. NilaJones

    NilaJones Senior Member

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    Hello, folks :)

    I have been reading through old potassium threads, but am not finding the answers i seek. Will you help me out?

    Here's what's on my mind:

    1. Are there non-oral routes for taking potassium? Would it have to be IV, or are subQ injections practical?

    I have a history of severe gut issues (I almost died, and took 20+ years to heal) and am doing well now so I don't want to push it. I am needing 3 bananas + 500mg in tablets right now, with no B!2, and do not feel I can take more than that safely. So, I don't think I can try methylation unless i can find a safe way to take the massive amounts of potassium that some people need.

    2. Do some people not absorb potassium well from bananas? I added them in, thinking I would then be able to reduce the number of pills, but that has not been the case.

    3. Is slow-release potassium safer or less safe for the gut than regular? I see conflicting statements on the web. And how about powder vs solid, or citrate vs gluconate vs chloride?

    4. After 2 weeks of no B12, I find myself still unable to reduce potassium without muscle cramps. This surprises me. Any theories on what could be going on? I am still taking Folapro.

    Thanks a bunch, everyone :). I am working hard to get caught up, here, and appreciate all your new and old posts!
  2. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Lotus97 likes this.
  3. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    You can dissolve potassium chloride in water and put it in a spray bottle and spray it on your skin to absorb it transdermally. It might irritate your skin so you might want to avoid putting it on sensitive areas.
    From what I've read, those are more dangerous. The best thing would be to dissolve potassium gluconate into water and drink the water with your food. Potassium chloride is harsher on the GI tract, but people with low stomach acid might absorb it better than gluconate.
    I agree with Sushi. I would recommend taking only B12 first and then very slowly adding methylfolate (once you're able to tolerate the B12) as methylfolate is much more likely to cause problems compared to B12. Taking methylfolate or any kind of folate without B12 might also cause methyl trapping (but this might be somewhat theoretical).
    NilaJones
    Low magnesium could also potentially make it harder to raise potassium levels. Or the symptoms could just be from not enough magnesium. Caledonia said she didn't need extra potassium from methylation, but she did say she needed more magnesium.
    Valentijn likes this.
  4. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    I think slow release potassium is a better choice than immediate release potassium tablets. Mostly because I don't think that the immediate release tablets work very well. I think that the potassium taken is just dumped because the body tries to keep potassium tightly regulated. Slow release forms are necessary to bypass this mechanism and actually give the potassium a chance to get into the cells where it belongs.

    I've taken slow release potassium for years with no problems (knock wood of course!).

    Ema
    Valentijn likes this.
  5. NilaJones

    NilaJones Senior Member

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    @ Lotus97 Sushi

    Thanks for your help!

    I have tried magnesium, 150-500mg, without noticing a difference. Iron helps a little, but doesn't do the whole thing.

    I am not having the symptoms on the 'too much folate' list. Rather, I am feeling much better. My inflammation problems have decreased, I am much less brain-fogged, and have significantly more energy (but not a 'speedy' feeling). I am definitely in the 'where have you been all my life' group :).

    I used to eat ginormous amounts of leafy greens every day, because that helped me. I have not been eating nearly so much since I started the folate. Not craving them like I was.

    I am reluctant to go off the folate because I did so last week for blood tests and it sucked to be so much sicker. I tried just reducing the dose by 1/4, this week, but that too made me sicker (not as bad as none).

    I have the same symptoms from B!2 with and without folate. Of course, there is some B!2 and some folate in my diet and my multivitamins.

    Yesterday I tried 1/36 of a Perque and that seemed to be ok. I think I have found my 'small enough' dose. Hence these questions about potassium -- I want to have a plan before proceeding with more B!2.

    --

    So, when taken orally, potassium dissolved in water is better than a tablet? That is counterintuitive, if the goal is to have the Potassium released gradually rather than all at once. Can you clarify?

    When using the water spray, what amounts are practical? I'm not familiar with how easily it dissolves -- will I be able to get grams worth onto my skin?

    Thank you again, so much :).
  6. NilaJones

    NilaJones Senior Member

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    Ema :

    Your post came in while I was typing the above:)

    I'm currently taking non-time release, one pill with each meal or snack. Or each banana. I am definitely absorbing some, because my symptoms change with how much I take. Whether i could be absorbing more effectively, I don't know.
  7. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    My understanding is that if the slow-release tablets don't dissolve quick enough they can damage the digestive tract.
  8. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    That is strange that you experience the symptoms from B12 with or without folate. If the folate is helping you then I guess you could just do things in reverse which is what you seem to be doing. Hopefully you can tolerate more B12 at some point because that is also necessary. As I said before, folate is more likely to cause problems and there's also the issue of methyl trapping, but you need to find what works for you and it sounds like this is it. Someone else recently reported an acute reaction to only B12 (with no methylfolate). I wonder what's going on:thumbdown:

    Since methylfolate doesn't seem to make a difference in your symptoms there is the possibility that potassium won't help. Even if your symptoms are from overmethylation or overdriving the methylation cycle, there's no guarantee potassium will help your symptoms, but it's worth a try. If the symptoms are from overmethylation then niacin could help as it uses up SAMe/methyl groups, but again I'm not sure if your symptoms are indeed from overmethylation. It's also possible that if you increase B12 gradually you won't run into as many problems.
    Why do you need the potassium released gradually? Why can't you just take small amounts throughout the day? Also, some people need several thousand milligrams of potassium so you'd have to take a lot of timed release tablets. And as I said to Ema a moment ago, there's the risk of the timed-release tablets damaging the digestive tract. Rich seemed to think that any type of capsule or tablet carried that risk although Freddd commented that he thought only the timed-release tablets carried that risk.

    This is from Rich:
    (at the end he mentions the thing about the potassium pills
  9. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    I think slow release potassium is designed to prevent damage to the digestive tract by minimizing high localized potassium concentrations such as found in the typical OTC 99 mg potassium gluconate.

    Either way, it is a moot point if the only way to actually get the levels up is to use a slow release mechanism. Why bother taking potassium at all if it isn't going to raise your level significantly? For those not on potassium wasting drugs, OTC may be fine, but it's not enough for many others.
  10. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I just posted what Rich said about the potassium pills right above your post. This is what Freddd said in response:
  11. Victronix

    Victronix Senior Member

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    I was also surprised at the amount of potassium needed and it was scary -- how long will this go on??

    But within a few weeks, I needed a little less, and that was a big relief. I think 2 weeks is the initial minimum amount of time you will need the most amount of potassium, and probably that could be longer depending on the individual. After that, things like exercise, hormonal changes like pms, stress, etc. can cause transient increased needs, but in the long run you will probably level out to a slightly decreased need, but not totally gone, if reports on here are correct. At least one person on here reported stopping needing it at all, but most continue to need it.

    Looking back, I realize that I've probably needed more potassium all along, for the past several years, but was unaware that those symptoms were actually potassium deficiency. I'm resigned to the idea that it is a beneficial nutrient, not unlike Vit C or mfolate or mB-12, and I need to get it externally.

    But to get to that point, you need to get comfortable with the method in which you take it.

    I take it as a powder, NOW foods potassium gluconate. I carry around a container of powder and a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon along with my many other supplements, so that if necessary I can quickly dump that into a cup full of water and get relief within about a 1/2 hr. I had a potassium crisis happen suddenly when I went out on a (misguided) hike, thinking I didn't need to do more . . . having that container of powder was a lifesaver.

    For me, a powder feels more comfortable because I can control it, the amount, when, etc., moreso than a tablet. Others may want to not have to think about taking it all the time.
    Red04 likes this.
  12. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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  13. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    It's just not been my experience nor that of the many others I know that take slow release potassium.


    http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=D22A9867-B638-4150-9DE4-CBC7D9398827
  14. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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  15. Victronix

    Victronix Senior Member

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    Yes, I wouldn't be surprised if some part of my potassium issues are to do with thyroid, given how hypothyroid will screw up digestion, metabolism, everything . . . . The StoptheThyroidMadness site can be over the top, but there is also often some useful info on there.

    I note that Life Extension (where I do most of my labs myself) offers RBC Folate and RBC Magnesium, but not RBC Potassium, which is what that article recommends. I'd be interested in getting that tested somewhere if you know of a place. These articles that say "ask your doctor to test" . . . my immediate response is, "yeah, sure, right .. . that will never happen!"
  16. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    Another thing. Make sure not to take potassium at the same time as methylfolate because it can block absorption of methylfolate in the gut. Vitamin C and iron can also block absorption too. I'm not sure if different types of vitamin C and/or potassium and/or nutrients from food all have the same effect. Freddd and dbkita have both talked about it so they will know more than me. I guess if you take methylfolate sublingually this isn't as much of a problem, but some if it's probably still absorbed intrinsically (in the gut) so I'm not sure. There was a discussion about this in another thread, but I don't remember the details.
  17. NilaJones

    NilaJones Senior Member

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    Oh, I see. I was imagining that the need for potassium would be tied to the dosage of B12 and folate, and/or the level of methylation, and would just keep increasing.
  18. NilaJones

    NilaJones Senior Member

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    Oh, dear, how many times a day am i supposed to eat?!

    I am taking folate 4x a day (small doses, because more at once makes me nauseous). With potassium currently 5x a day, and if I need to take each one with food, that's looking like 9 meals a day now and more in the future. I am only out of bed for 8 hours.
  19. NilaJones

    NilaJones Senior Member

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    New info!

    I just now (as in, 10 minutes ago) got my MTHFR test results. I am neg for C677F and homozygous for A1298C. Is this why I heart Folapro?

    My serum folate is listed as >22.3, B12 as 1500, vit D3-25 as 85.

    At the time of testing I had been off folate 3 days, off B12 for a week or 10 days (I can look this up if needed, but an hurting too much right now), and was supplementing D3.

    I would be so happy to have anyone's thoughts on interpreting these test results :).
  20. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    You can take folate 20 minutes before a meal and potassium after a meal. Another option, if you take Solgar's Methyfolate (both Solgar and Folapro have Metafolin methylfolate) you can take it sublingually. It might still not be a good idea to take it right after your potassium since some of it will still be absorbed intrinsically.

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