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POTASSIUM SUPPLEMENTS made me ill

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

  1. Lou

    Lou Senior Member

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    Hi Dreambirdie,

    Quite understand people wishing to be extra careful with K. On the other hand I've read average adult gets about 2500 mg K daily with diet and that some think(Linus Pauling Institute, for one) much higher(4700mgs) is optimal.

    Regarding that bad experience of yours with taking K at bedtime think I remember perscription K coming with the warning not to lay down for at least 30 minutes after taking the mineral. Don't know if that applies to regular supplements as well, and not likely the cause of your symptoms, just another piece of the puzzle.
  2. Freddd

    Freddd Senior Member

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    HI Kurt,

    Fred - due to the possible risks of taking too much or too little potassium, wouldn't people be better off to use potassium salt, where they can regulate the exact amount, rather than potassium tablets?

    Darned if I know. I've been all around the barn on this one. For me, I figured 99mg, 3%, is fine enough granularity for me. That's like deciding the amount of vitamin C to 2mg granularity, close enough. I put 7 in each meals vitamins. I would have difficulty measuring that amount out as precisely. On the other hand I sometimes can't face another pill. On a typical day I take 17 tablets. Some days I need more can can add another tablet or 5 based on symptoms. I've never gone longer than 2 weeks without needing extra at some point so clearly I am hovering around the low end. My advice has been to learn what the low potassium effects are like and titrate to effectiveness. The point that I was making was that I very much doubt that a single dose of 50% of the RDA can cause permanent damage. If that were the case The salt substitute would be far too dangerous to sell and use in that way if that were the case.
  3. Freddd

    Freddd Senior Member

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    HI Adsgter,

    It is a common warning and I have made it over and over and over, that those with kidney damage may retain potassium and that they need testing and doctors advice. I don't make it every time. It is also the low probablity occurance for people having low potassium symptoms.
    Lou and madietodd like this.
  4. Adster

    Adster Senior Member

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    If you agree that it is a valid warning then I think you should put it in your main protocol post here http://forums.phoenixrising.me/show...rotocol-Basics&p=177752&viewfull=1#post177752
    dannybex likes this.
  5. Freddd

    Freddd Senior Member

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    Hi Adster,

    I think that is a good idea. I had been thinking that some centralized place for all sorts of cautions needs to be in place but wanted to do it after the ideas had been worked over. I started the Warning - potassium thread not quite a month ago. I figured we would get all kinds of discussion and ideas and work out how to use the information. This whole thing may seem to be crawling along but it is happening at a breakneck pace. Now we are getting to more understanding. Are there drugs people can be taking that decrease potassium loss? There are some diuretics that increase potassium loss. Are there other drugs that do that too? This whole thing is a work in progress. Most of the people with low potassium symptoms probably wouldn't test in the 2.5-3.5 range and so probably wouldn't be "low" even if tested. I'm not. So be aware of that. Much of what were are talking about may be sensitivity to being in the lower half of range and falling, like some folks are sensitive to falling blood sugar rather than an absolutely low blood sugar.

    Of the millions and millions of people starting b12 and folate in the world the thousands that read here have more awareness of this potential problem with an induced low potassium for anybody succeeding in starting methylation and cell formation specifically. This is an effect of cell formation that follows from methylation startup, regardless of the exact details of the exact doses or specific vitamin forms. It has even been noted with as unlikely a prospect (from my view) as folic acid and cyanocbl. I have also noted it with adb12, l-carnitine-fumarate (both and each triggerring a different round of cell formation), SAM-e, zinc, Metafolin, Vitamin D, vitamin C and others.

    I think that this is pretty clearly tied to startup of healing to layers of tissues. So with the methylation startup with epithelial tissue healing, to muscle healing separately from muscle increase, to removing other limiting factors that work acoross the board. It would appear that sufficiency of whatever is currently the limiting factor could trigger a greater need for potassium. I truely do not know the limits of this situation. I think it is pretty much an issue across the board for anybody doing large scale healing and we are just beginning to understand just how much healing needs to be done when methylation has been broken down for years to decades. I think that a lot of the secondary deficiencies come from years of messed up digestive system, hypersensitivity and poor absorbtion in general.
  6. therron

    therron

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    High low fast slow

    High dosing vs low dosing is an interesting discussion whether it pertains to potassium or other supplements. While I read and appreciate information from high dose fast healing proponents, I also like to hear from those who simply cannot tolerate more than a crumb of a supplement (especially in the early stages). This whole process is much for difficult for us! Many of us have particular gene mutations that cause us to be unable to process supplements well. I myself am on a "methyl budget", possibly due to two MTHFR mutations and COMT. I absolutely experience intolerable neurological symptoms which grow worse and worse over time when increasing doses of methy donors (and many other supplements).

    Not to be discouraged, however, I have pioneered my own low and slow approach beginning with a crumb and moving up very slowly. After 6 months, I still only take 1,000 mcg mb12, 800 mcg mfolate, and 500 mg TMG. I still can't take B-complex AT ALL. Guess what? I must be healing, or I wouldn't have had the sudden drops in potassium that I experienced recently. I have more energy, a clearer head most of the time, and sleep better (as long as I don't try to increase methyl donors). So, listen to your body. If you are low and slow, keep at it. If you can push high and fast, more power to you. It's not really about who is right or wrong, it's about each of us sharing our experiences in the hopes of helping others and perhaps finding methylation partners who understand the craziness of these bodies we have been given.
  7. lampkld2

    lampkld2

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    therron, can you detail your approach a bit more? I also have similiar mutations, just with a CBS.
  8. Kina

    Kina Moderation Team Lead

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    During my years as working as a nurse I learned one thing. You could give 20 different patients the same dose of something and they all react differently. So there is not a recommended dose of something that has the same effect for all people. It can be dangerous to tell a person to simply take more potassium if you don't know anything about their health status. What is safe for one person can be devasting for the next. You really have to know renal status, cardiac status, nutritional status, blood pressure, any pre-existing disease, genetics etc. I have seen people come into the ER with symptoms that could be potassium deficiency but turned out to be something totally different. When a potassium deficiency is severe, replacement is not easy, IV potassium has to be administered slowly with blood levels taken often. Cardiac status has to be monitered and sometimes replacement does not work. The same goes for potassium excess.

    I, personally, would not supplement with a large amount of potassium without investigating my levels to start with. I am also very aware that what works for one person does not necessarily work for the next so I wouldn't even dream of insisting that people do what I am doing. They are not me, they do not have my unique problems, therefore I shouldn't expect them to have the same results I do by taking certain supplements.

    From what I have read, potassium deficiency is a common problem with people with pernicious anemia when they first supplement with B12. I have also read somewhere that potassium can actually interfere with B12 absorption (not sure if this is true though).

    I prefer to err on the side of caution and I actually appreciate when people post problems they have had with supplements because it adds to general knowledge and can only help with the decision making process. Generally, it may be true that potassium supplementation is safe for most people but not for all and it's just good to be careful.
    leela, illsince1977, Merry and 5 others like this.
  9. Freddd

    Freddd Senior Member

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    Hi Adster,

    We have been looking at this thing potassium for a month now. I've been trying to find some specific incidence rate so we can look at relative probabilities of occurance. All I have found is that hyperkalemia in the absence of kidney damage is extremely rare. Also, diaebetes can affect potassium and RAAS therapy. Other wise the whole system is designed with a surplus to be consumed, the most potassium rich meals are those with meat, and homeostasis maintained by the kidney and colon excretion of potassium. The colon can cope with very damaged kidney's and still maintain homeostatis. The kidneys can normaly cope with and depends upon sizable excesses of potassium in the diet.

    http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/240903-overview
    The 2 sets of regulatory factors, those that regulate total-body homeostasis and those that regulate the distribution of potassium between intracellular and extracellular space, meld to create smooth control of potassium levels throughout the day. For example, a high-protein meal, such as a steak, may contain enough potassium to raise the serum potassium acutely to lethal levels if the potassium remained in the extracellular space. Although renal potassium excretion can increase fairly rapidly, this mechanism easily is overwhelmed by such an acute potassium load.

    The acute hyperkalemic effect of an extremely potassium-rich meal is blunted substantially by the release of insulin, which causes potassium to be taken up into cells. The excessive potassium then can be excreted by the kidneys, allowing serum potassium levels to return to normal. This integrated regulatory process is manifested in the diurnal rhythm for renal potassium excretion. The highest excretion occurs at midday, approximately 18 hours after peak potassium ingestion at the evening meal.


    In the absence of insulin problems, dehydration (low urine generation means little potassium filtered out) and severe kidney damage hyperkalemia can't be pinned down to an incidence. There is no data. All data is tied to specific onset problems such as diebetes, kidney problems or spironolactone and heart disease as listed below.

    An example of a drug induced hyperkalemia in a cadiovascular disease population
    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa040135
    The publication of RALES was associated with abrupt increases in the rate of prescriptions for spironolactone and in hyperkalemia-associated morbidity and mortality. Closer laboratory monitoring and more judicious use of spironolactone may reduce the occurrence of this complication.

    I think the more specific risk factors we can find to include will improve the warning. It appears that most of the people for whom this is a serious risk have some serious problems that are apparent and unlikely to catch such people by surprise. Right now it looks like with the exception of the previous groups mentioned that the risk of hyperkalemia from taking dietary quantities of potassium orally, say an extra hallibut filet worth of potassium (1680mg), is nil. Absorbtion of potassium from food is considered "complete".



    In any case I think that some more data collection is warranted to shape it out a bit better.
  10. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Hi therron--

    I agree. Everybody is different, and needs to investigate and determine what works best for them. The danger is when one person deduces from his own personal experience what is universally the right protocol/brand of supplement/and dosage for others. That concerns me.

    I have now heard many stories of quite a number of supplements and medications that worked well for some, and were either completely ineffective or even disastrous for others. The reason I ended up on this forum in the first place was due to a major crash and relapse caused by taking a medication that was deemed (and even confirmed by my lab work) to be "right" for me, because it had been theoretically "right" and helpful for others. I have been paying the price for that major error for three long years mostly in bed and on the couch. So it is especially important for me to speak out when I hear somebody preaching an agenda that feels dogmatic and absolutist. If there was one size fits all, we would all be cured by now.

    This is good to hear! I am glad you found an approach that is working for you. I am amazed, though that you consider 1,000 mcg of mB12 to be a small dose. I have never been able to take more than 500 mcg of mB12 at a time without overdriving methylation and ending up with excito-toxicity. I have a lot of heavy metal toxicity and that interferes greatly with how fast I can go with methylation. I can take very small doses of the SMP with the occasional 500 of mB12, but more than that and I get nasty symptoms that throw me into a tailspin and make me sick for several days, or even weeks.

    Well said. Thank you.
    illsince1977 and dannybex like this.
  11. Freddd

    Freddd Senior Member

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    HI Therron,

    That is good to hear. I think it important that you have that healing flag which does point out that healing was occuring. I kept following those hints of healing all the way home. The whole point which should not be forgotten is that this is about healing, not getting satisfactory test results without healing. Getting a very messed up body healing is the first trick. The second (and third and forth and fifth ...) trick is keeping it healing. Can you point at any particular thing you changed 3 days before the potassium drop(s)?
  12. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Thank you, Kina, for you input on this.

    (re: my bolds) It certainly was a bit dangerous for me to mess around with the WRONG KIND and WRONG DOSE of potassium that was appropriate for me at this time. I learned very quickly that the potassium in potassium citrate pills has very different effect than the potassium in coconut water and emergen-c. Waking up with severe heart palpitations, in a profuse sweat is not something I want to experience again!

    I also would recommend that anyone considering supplementing potassium check FIRST with their health care provider.
  13. Freddd

    Freddd Senior Member

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    HI Kina,

    Yes, hypokalemia is mentioned as "rare" in cases of pernicious anemia and I don't think it is as rare as it appears. If you have seen it listed as "common" I would love to see the reference. That may be because people become symptomatic at above the 3.5 cutoff and so are not included. What happens to a person who says "I'm having low potassium symptoms" and their serum level is >=3.5. My experience says that the person will be called names and told it's all in your head. I know with out a doubt that I would be treated badly in the ER because of the prescriptions I'm on and my useage of mb12 as 3x10mg injection per day (prescribed), or at least I would have been in the past. Has that changed in recent years?
  14. aquariusgirl

    aquariusgirl Senior Member

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    Dreambirdie: I don't understand why you don't just go out and run some potassium tests instead of going on & on... Wouldn't that be the sensible thing to do?
  15. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    These two sentences seem to contradict each other: you are using your personal experience as your basis for authority, to support your theory (unsupported by objective clinical testing) of how it worked for you. How is that better than basing it on a theory that should work for a few people?

    Are we talking about your personal subjective experience again, regarding "phantoms assigned to the nervous system waking up"? Why do you assume that your personal subjective experience and interpretation are correct, but those who have a different experience and interpretation are seeing phantoms?

    The attitude expressed here bothers me quite a bit. You are asserting that if people want to be healed, they must listen to you to the point of ignoring their own perceptions of their symptoms. Just like GET? Or is it different when you are the one telling us we are wrongly interpreting our symptoms, and sticking it out is the key to our medical salvation?

    Of course, pushing past pain or other unpleasant symptoms is sometimes necessary in medicine, but it's usually based on far more than personal subjective experience of how the "cure" will work. I think it's fair for people to demand an explanation that is more rigorous than "but it worked for me and maybe for some other people without ME/CFS".

    Here's the crux of the problem. You're saying we need to use our brains and intelligence to understand things in a specific way (your way), even though we don't have the medical expertise to, for example, distinguish between high and low potassium. In fact - YOU don't have that expertise either. Even if you were a trained doctor, you have not evaluated the people that you are encouraging and goading into doing things your way. You do not know if their potassium is high or low. You do not know if they are taking a lot of NSAIDs every day or have messed up adrenals and are at increased risk of potassium overdose.

    This is why people are getting upset. You are telling them that they are misinterpreting their body signals and you are trying to tell them what is really going on, even though in addition to lacking the necessary medical expertise, you have LESS information about their problem than they do - you are not experiencing it. They are. Ideally we would all have excellent doctors taking care of us and all of the testing we want, but in the absence of that, I'm going to trust my perceptions of my symptoms over some internet guy's perception of my symptoms.

    That's not to say that your experience isn't useful or appreciated. But your way is not THE way. Your experience of ME/CFS is not the only experience of ME/CFS. You can be wrong. Please keep that in mind when helping people.
    justy, dannybex, brenda and 4 others like this.
  16. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    AT this point I am over the potassium overdose. I don't need a test. ANd I am back to what works for me: coconut water and emergen-c if I need those.

    Eventually I will check out the Exatest. I'm curious to get a baseline on ALL my electrolyte minerals.

    Thanks for your post about it.
  17. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    I don't understand all this blaming. I was on the SMP for 9 months, and it didn't help me. It's looking like hb12 doesn't do anything for me. It would be completely inappropriate for me to blame Rich for giving me poor advice.

    I stayed on the SMP for 9 months because that's how long it took me to figure out a safe-feeling way to try out the active protocol's ideas.

    I switched to a hybrid methylation protocol about 2 months ago. I'm testing each supplement as individually as possible, because that's my job. To read the suggestions and ideas here, and figure out for myself what fits and what doesn't.

    I appreciate the time taken by everybody who shares their experiments. I don't decide on my own protocol based on how strongly somebody argues his/her case. I try it out and see what happens.

    My healing is my job. My experiments are my responsibility. My mistakes are my own, as are my successes. I get a lot of help here, but in the end, I make the decisions about what I take.
  18. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Valentijn--

    Thank you for articulating this so clearly and concisely. Really well said.
  19. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    Madietodd, I agree with this. No one has to follow the advice given here, and if they do, it's their own responsibility. If someone is not comfortable experimenting with protocols or supplements on their own, I suggest they stick to their doctor's advice.
    aquariusgirl and madietodd like this.
  20. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Hear, Hear!, Madietodd.

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