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Tips on helping me to retain salt

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by keenly, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. keenly

    keenly

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    I am really thirsty right now, adding salt and water just makes me urinate more. I am a bit shaky and weak.

    Currently I am awaiting an appointment with a cardiologist on the NHS. I already saw him private, he just said drink more water in the mean time.

    Any tips to make the body hold salt? Searching google is not much help. So much crap comes up about salt being bad(mainstream propaganda).
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
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  2. belize44

    belize44 Senior Member

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    I'm not sure if it would help, but I find that each time I have a glass of water, I make every other glass one with salt. i only put about a half teaspoon or less in it and sip it frequently. I also monitor my blood pressure because it drops pretty low if I don't keep the salt coming. Salty snacks with plenty of water helps, too. Of course sea salt is all I use, or some of the other interesting salts out there. I even sprinkle some on a slice of buttered toast!

    I think the key is slow, steady intake and not taking a lot at once.
     
  3. Jenny TipsforME

    Jenny TipsforME Senior Member

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    Retaining it is the tricky bit isn't it? You just end up peeing all the time. Pumpkin seed oil helps me with general irritable bladder type problems, I'm not sure re retaining salt. I've tried salt tablets as a supplement. There's issues with minerals needing to be balanced. You can try things like Elyte balanced electrolytes. This is a lot more expensive than regular salt. I perceive that I absorb it better but may well be placebo.

    What do people think about bath salts? This is often a technique to absorb magnesium. Can you absorb sodium effectively this way?
     
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  4. AdamS

    AdamS Senior Member

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    Hi Keenly, I take an extra 6g of salt per day for POTS, which is about 1 heaped teaspoon. I usually put the heaped teaspoon into a tiny container each night, then split out 2g across my 3 meals the next day...tastes strong as you can imagine but i'm used to it now. I also try drink 3 litres of water per day and take Midodrine 2.5mg 3x daily, this is just what works for me.

    The best thing to do is a 24 hour urine collection then get your cardiologist to have a look, they can then make recommendations according to your situation. You need to get the balance of salt and fluids right otherwise you can just end up urinating it all out or being super thirsty etc. Also i've heard that raising the head of the bed with a wedge can sometimes be useful although I haven't tried this personally. Hope this helps :)
     
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  5. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    I think it very unlikely that you can do anything to make your body retain salt. The body has a very powerful homeostatic mechanism that will chuck out any salt it does not want straight away. And the bit about salt being bad is probably not crap. It is not propaganda, there is at least some reasonable evidence that high salt intake can contribute to risk of stroke. Certainly salt retention from excessive mineralocorticoid steroids causes major problems.

    What symptom are you wanting to control? Thirst is not a sign of lack of salt - if anything it tends to occur when you have had more salt than you need in proportion to water.
     
  6. keenly

    keenly

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    Exactly!
     
  7. keenly

    keenly

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    Yes the body does, but clearly those of us on here have bodies that do not function ideally.

    I am not holding water. I am dehydrated(not life threatening, but causing weakness).

    Do you know when a boxer weighs in, he is dehydrated? He cuts water weight, then uses IV or oral electrolytes to rehydrate. It is normal to put on a stone within 12 hours. Some put on 28 pounds in 18 hours, after weigh in. It is know as 'water weight' in the trade.

    I want my body to hold fluids. I have all the symptoms of diabetes insipidus which goes along with what you said about salt. The more I add, the more thirsty I am.
     
  8. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    But if so that will probably simply mean that your body's powerful homeostatic mechanism is operating off target - so the same applies; eating salt will make no difference.

    Yes of course, it is possible to dry oneself out deliberately in situations like this. But you are not doing that it seems. Your body is adjusting itself to where it wants to be. If the problem is hormonal then it is unlikely you can do anything about it other than get appropriate endocrine treatment.
     
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  9. keenly

    keenly

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    Yeah I was thinking that. I would like to see an endocrinologist. Would you say that is the best avenue to explore?
     
  10. Jenny TipsforME

    Jenny TipsforME Senior Member

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    @keenly @Jonathan Edwards my cardiologist does tell me to eat more salt (for POTS in my case). This obviously doesn't apply as general advice - he was very clear that my partner's food shouldn't have extra salt.

    Fludrocortisone was also discussed at my last appointment. I haven't tried this yet. https://www.drugs.com/cdi/fludrocortisone.html It is a steroid, so not the first thing to try. Technically a GP can prescribe it, though perhaps they usually wait for a consultant to suggest it?
     
  11. ahimsa

    ahimsa Sick since 1990

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    Hi @Jonathan Edwards

    I really appreciate all the information you share on this forum.

    I've seen several of your messages saying that salt doesn't help ME/CFS patients at all. Do you think this is true even for patients with POTS or some other form of orthostatic intolerance? (e.g, Neurally Mediated Hypotension, also called Neurocardiogenic Syncope, but since I don't actually faint, except on the tilt table test, I prefer the term NMH over NCS)

    My cardiologist has recommended extra sodium (salt tablets) & potassium (Rx, time released) to go with the fludrocortisone that I take daily. Extra sodium is also recommended in several of the documents I've read on POTS. Here's one chart I found using mEq units:
    Daily Sodium for POTS.png

    (had to use online converter but I think 200 mEq sodium is approx. 4600 mg sodium)

    I do understand that regulating blood pressure/blood volume is a very complicated subject! And I would never suggest that anyone start taking lots of salt without talking about it with their doctor.

    But it's confusing to read that salt "will make no difference" when there are so many sources that recommend extra sodium.

    In fact, increasing sodium intake to help with POTS / NMH symptoms is one of the few pieces of advice that I have heard consistently since 1995 when Dr. Peter Rowe published his study on the link between blood pressure problems and CFS (see Rowe PC, Bou-Holaigah I, Kan JS, Calkins H. Is neurally mediated hypotension an unrecognised cause of chronic fatigue? Lancet 1995;345:623-4)

    Dysautonomia International has a copy of Dr. Rowe's patient handout here - http://www.dysautonomiainternational.org/pdf/RoweOIsummary.pdf (This one is dated 2014 but it's very similar to the patient handout that I got back in 1995 - 1996)

    I have no idea what's correct. Maybe the advice for POTS/NMH patients to get more sodium has become controversial? New research?

    At any rate, I'm curious about it. Thanks for your thoughts!:)

    PS. That chart above was found in this doc - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4664448/
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
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  12. Chocolove

    Chocolove Tournament of the Phoenix - Rise Again

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    Have you seen an Endocrinologist to test for the diabetes theory?
     
  13. keenly

    keenly

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    No, I have to wait to see the cardiologist, first then he will refer me on. Unfortunately this is how the NHS works right now, very slow.
     
  14. Chocolove

    Chocolove Tournament of the Phoenix - Rise Again

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    @keenly Since you are going to see a Cardiologist, it makes me wonder if you are currently on any diuretic drugs that can affect electrolytes including sodium. We really don't know anything about what you eat, drink, or the supps and meds you are taking which could really affect your situation. Do you keep a regular log of these? Can you expound?

    Heart and diabetic diets usually recommend avoiding salt for good reasons - you might want to read about why - see:
    http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Healt...-and-Salt_UCM_303290_Article.jsp#.WOZ66qK1uM8

    Why are you thinking that you need salt? Perhaps you might need a different electrolyte to get in balance?
    Is the problem lack of fluid retention? In what context? Or...?

    Without all the info it's hard to speculate. :confused:

    Nobody wants to risk getting worse by just throwing some "sugar in the gas tank"...to see what happens. :thumbdown:
     
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  15. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem All Good Things Must Come to an End

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    Perhaps the potassium along with the sodium is important.
     
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  16. Jenny TipsforME

    Jenny TipsforME Senior Member

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    my understanding is that sodium and potassium work in a sort of seesaw effect. So if you increase salt, potassium can be out of balance (and low potassium can be serious). Balanced electrolyte products are probably a good idea if worried about this. There are also cheaper online recipes (Lo Salt is a cheap way to buy potassium).

    I think in the murky back of my mind I'm recalling that licorice (not the sweet, the supplement) can help retain fluid/raise low blood pressure. The reason that memory popped up is in a large quantity it can also seriously deplete potassium so you have to be cautious.
     
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  17. Jenny TipsforME

    Jenny TipsforME Senior Member

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    As explained by this chemistry lecturer http://drholly.typepad.com/licorice/
    @keenly
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
  18. ahimsa

    ahimsa Sick since 1990

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    @Little Bluestem
    Yes, in case it was not clear, the potassium and sodium work together. But even more important is that fludrocortisone is known to deplete potassium over time. So that's another reason that I take a prescription, time-released potassium supplement.

    @Jenny TipsforME
    Yes, my understanding is that fludrocortisone and licorice both work on the same receptors (aldosterone? sorry, this may not be the correct terminology...) but that fludrocortisone provides a more stable dosage than licorice.

    I want to clarify that I may not be repeating the information that I got from my cardiologist (and other reference documents) exactly. So definitely check with your doctor(s) to verify that what I'm saying is correct.
     
  19. Jenny TipsforME

    Jenny TipsforME Senior Member

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    @ahimsa @keenly this thread has prompted me to take a licorice tablet this afternoon. This seems worth cautiously experimenting with before taking fludrocortisone which is a steroid and the next step for me prescription wise.

    Also I'm very rundown with a virus and mouth ulcers and licorice is reputed to be an immune booster http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-licorice-root.html
     
  20. ahimsa

    ahimsa Sick since 1990

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    Sounds like it might help. I'm sure you're going to check with your doctor, and you've probably already read about possible side effects (lowered potassium, muscle weakness), but just in case here's a link to an article on licorice:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3498851/

    The title is over the top ("Licorice Abuse") but the information about how licorice works in the body might be helpful.
     

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