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A Little Poisoning Along the Road to ME/CFS
Looking at my symptoms, many of which are far less these days and some are gone, it would be easy to figure that I'd just been dealing with some heavy-duty menopausal issues.
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POTASSIUM SUPPLEMENTS made me ill

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by Dreambirdie, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    This morning I became very ill from too much K. I had taken 3 tablets of K Citrate (99 mg/each) before bed, and had taken about 500 mg total during the day yesterday, prior to that last dose. I woke up this a.m. with profuse sweating, severe nausea, diarrhea and heart palpitations.

    I have been drinking coconut water (690 mg K) 2 times a day for about a year and sometimes taking 4 packs of Emergen-C (which has 200 mg K/per pack) in addition, and never had any problems with that. When I switched to the supps for convenience sake, it ended up making me sick.

    I just wanted to post this, so others are made aware that sometimes THE SOURCE of the K is an important thing to consider.
     
    Adlyfrost and Star-Anise like this.
  2. chilove

    chilove Senior Member

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    Definitely! I tolerate citrate the worst of all forms. Gluconate is the by far the best for me and it seems to agree with others here.
     
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  3. Adster

    Adster Senior Member

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    You also have to be careful with potassium if you have impaired kidney function.
     
  4. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    I am definitely sticking to coconut water. K pills are not something I will consider again--unless it's just ONE PILL.

    PS I posted this on the Folate Issues and Methylation thread as well.
     
  5. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    Do be careful with potassium.
     
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  6. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    I hear you. It's not so benign as some around here think.
     
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  7. Adster

    Adster Senior Member

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    There is a risk that people on the methylation protocol will mistake the symptoms of high potassium for low potassium and take even more, making the situation worse. The symptoms appear to be quite similar.
     
  8. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Hi Dreambirdie, that sounds a horrible experience - are you feeling better now?

    There is a reason why people are advised not to take potassium supplements unless under a doctors orders - i wouldnt be happy taking it at all, and all this focus on potassium and hypokalemia has jsut made me afraid of the methylation protocol. I am taking 300mcg a day of injectable MB12 as prescribed by my M.E doctor, quite happily and with some progress for about 4 months ( had to start on 250mcg every other day and work up) All this talk is even making me afraid of my beloved b12 supplement.
     
  9. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Hi Adster--

    Yes, I agree the issue of TOO MUCH VS NOT ENOUGH K is definitely confusing to read from symptoms alone.

    AND ALSO there is the question of WHAT KIND of K, from WHAT SOURCE. I was plodding along just fine with my electrolyte drinks, (the coconut water and Emergen-C) getting btwn 1200 mg -- 1600 mg of K/day. Because these were more balanced sources of K, one being a food source, the other being a mixed electrolyte drink, with Vitamin C, my body tolerated it much better. I did not EVER get sick from either, like I did from the JARROW POTASSIUM CITRATE TABLETS.


    Hi Justy-- I am not back to where I was before I took the tablets on Thursday. I had a lot of anxiety and restlessness all last night, and I barely slept as a result. When I am toxic from something my body is struggling to eliminate, it always affects my nervous system in a negative way. All I can do is ride it out and rest as much as possible. I imagine it will be a few days before I return to square one.

    The big emphasis on K and hypokalemia among certain forum members is a concern for me too. Not everyone is going to have good results by pumping up on K. The dose I took was not even half that of what some people are taking and/or recommending to others. I hope my experience is a wake up call for those who think lots of K is safe to ingest while doing the methylation protocols.

    I would love for Rich to chirp in on this as well. It would be good to hear his thoughts about it.
     
    Adlyfrost likes this.
  10. therron

    therron

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    Hi Dreambirdie,
    I am also cautious with potassium since I tend to overreact to all supplements. I wasn't taking any potassium at all until recently. The reason I started was due to two electric seizures in my brain, and discovering low potassium in a blood test. My potassium has been low for a long time without any clear symptoms. I prefer to stick to potassium based foods, but since I have been deficient for so long, I have added potassium gluconate in small amounts. I take half of a 99 mg tablet about 4 times a day. Larger doses give me palpitations even in a state of deficiency. I am continuing with this low and slow dose on the advice of my doctor. I don't think that all of us can or should take larger amounts.
     
  11. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Hello therron--

    Thanks for posting about your experiences. Interesting to read that you had palpitations even in a state of deficiency. This confirms for me how tricky and potentially dangerous it can be to mess around with supplemental K.

    You are only taking 200 mg worth of K supplements... which is quite a difference from the very large doses some people are taking--1500 mg, 2000 mg and higher.

    I agree low and slow is the way to go.
     
  12. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Justy--I just found the following comments (my bolds) in a post of Rich's from this thread: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/show...OTASSIUM-IS-DANGEROUS&highlight=Low potassium


    Always good to find a piece of Rich's sensible advice regarding the bigger of the methylation process.

    I hope that alleviates some of your fears about the the B12s.
     
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  13. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Thanks Dreambirdie for digging out that info from Rich. I would quite happily take hydroxy but my doctor only prescribes Mb12, i only take it in lower amounts, otherwise i feel very agitated.

    So sorry about your bad night, i do hope it settles down soon. I try and eat a banana every day so hope that helps any Potassium issues i might have, like you im very sensitive and i think a food source could be best for most things - but then of course we dont always absorb - oh well.
    Happy resting (im on enforced bed rest at the moment due to crash!)
    Justy.
     
  14. lolasana

    lolasana

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    Thanks for finding this! I'm thinking about trying the hydroxo and shelving the active b12s for awhile. I definitely know I get start-up with the active b12s, so I feel like I'll know whether or not the hydroxo works for me. I just can't get on top of the low potassium.

    I have a theory about those of us who are having a really hard time with low potassium. Personally, I have been anemic (low red blood cell count) for years. I have enough iron, but my body just doesn't seem to be able to make RBCs. The low potassium occurs when the body quickly begins to create new cells, especially red and white blood cells. My theory is that those of us with low WBCs and/or RBCs might be especially prone to developing potassium deficiencies.

    I also agree that the potassium business is both tricky and a little scary because low and high potassium have identical symptoms. I actually went to urgen care when I was having what I thought was low potassium (though it wasn't responding to several coconut waters and 600mg of potassium gluconate). They took some blood to test my potassium levels. I should get the results back soon. I'll report back here on whether my potassium was too low or too high. (Or maybe it was fine and something else is going on?)

    I've reduced my dosages of active b12s down to 500mcg of mb12 and 2.5mg of adb12 and I am still getting low potassium symptoms within 3-4 days. I've entered a cycle of taking the b12s, feeling horrible with what seems to be low potassium, quitting the b12s, then starting again on a lower dose. Unfortunately, every time I start again, within about 3 or 4 days I start feeling dizzy and light-headed, a little nauseous or losing my appetite, and I feel panicky like I'm on the verge of a panic attack. I had started mb12 on my doctor's recommendation, but I'm afraid it's too much for me to handle right now. Maybe if I weren't anemic it would be okay... Anyway, I just bought some Pro-Health hydroxocobalamin and I'm going to give it a try (I'll continue the metafolin since I'm only taking 600mcg/day). Hopefully I'll still heal, but just more slowly.
     
  15. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Hi Lolasana-- Interesting theory, though in my case I have always had a very high normal RBC and have never been anemic. My father, who was a doctor, used to kid me how had I "the hematocrit of a man." I think it was my love of collard greens that must have been party responsible for that. The WBC on the other hand has been all over the place, depending on which infection I was dealing with.


    I will be eager to hear your results. I wish there was an in home test kit for monitoring K. I sure wish I had one during the past few days.


    (regarding my bold) How do you KNOW if this is or is not symptomatic of low K? When I asked Rich about these kind of symptoms, I think he said it could be excito-toxicity. In my case I can feel like that when I trigger a heavy metal detox. In fact I was able to do a lab test for fecal heavy metals during one such episode, and it turned out that I was eliminating quite a few heavy metals at that time, which gave me some severe symptoms: nausea, shortness of breath, palpitations, a constricted feeling in my chest, and definitely anxiety. I was not taking high doses of K at that time, just my usual emergen-c, so I know that K wasn't the cause.

    This is a very complicated illness, and methylation is not an easy ride for most of us. When I take low doses of the SMP just 2-3 times a week I can handle it much better than if I try to take these sups regularly. For now that is what works best for me.
     
  16. anne_likes_red

    anne_likes_red Senior Member

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    I guess in food form it comes with a balance of different electrolytes. Probably more difficult to overdose too.
    I love coconut water/kefir, and the way it makes me feel. Years ago before I was cautious about fruit sugars I used to get a similar effect from watermelon juice. :) I haven't tried fermenting watermelon juice....there's a thought? Whether it's a good one or not though....? Might end up with something suitable for Heapsreal's Ethylation Protocol!

    I guess that's one more thing you can eliminate as "helpful" DB :)
     
    CJB likes this.
  17. lolasana

    lolasana

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    Hi Dreambirdie,

    That's a great point, I don't know whether or not these symptoms are related to potassium or something else entirely. Oddly enough, I had a mercury blood and urine test on the same exact day I went to urgent care for the horrible symptoms. I had 0 mercury being excreted in my urine and my blood levels were totally average. So it doesn't seem like I was excreting mercury. I have never tested positive for excess of any other heavy metal.

    However, your point about the excito-toxicity is intriguing. I didn't know anything about excito-toxicity so I looked it up; seems that it is caused by excessive glutamate. Now, excessive glutamate is something that I definitely have a problem with. I had a NutrEval test done recently and my glutamate was too high and my glutamine was too low. So my problem could definitely be increased excito-toxicity. I guess the million dollar question is: why is my glutamate too high and how do I fix it? Will the methylation protocol fix this problem as well? I guess I need to learn more about excito-toxicity. If I recall, I read a post where Rich recommended liposomal glutathione for people having excito-toxicity problems. Have you tried that?
     
  18. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Heapsreal's Ethylation Protocol, brought to you by Anne's watermelon powered fermentation. :rolleyes: Sounds intriguing.

    Maybe I will just sit out and watch everyone else drink THAT! :eek: :D:D
     
  19. aquariusgirl

    aquariusgirl Senior Member

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    I just got the results of my first exatest (intracellular minerals). surprised to find out my potassium was in range 170.1 (80-240) Magnesium was low out of range 32.5 (33.9-41.9) in spite of lots of supplementation. Been supplementing folates and b12 since 2007 w/out supplementing potassium so I expected it to be low.
     
  20. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    A potassium overdose can cause palpitations; stomach cramps; diarrhea; muscle spasms; slow, weak pulse; irritability; anxiety; tiredness and heart failure. It's probably very easy to mistake these symptoms as under-dose as well.
     

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