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Chronic electrolyte imbalance and worse during detox. Potassium?

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by Kontra, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. Kontra


    Hi all,

    Looking for some advice on some symptoms which appear to have worsened when I try any form of detoxification.

    I have the full gamut of health issues - gut issues (Constiptation), hypoglycemia, multiple chemical sensitivity, fatigue, brain fog etc. Probably 50 symptoms or so. I've long since felt that detoxification will play a part in my healing due to my MCS but I appear to experience some strong adverse effects that 'feel' like some sort of electrolyte imbalance.

    Recently after taking a few epsom salt baths every other day for a week and not too hot, I feel bone dry on the inside. I believe 'parched' is the expression. My eyes are extremely dry and I'm feeling more constipated with hard to pass stools. I urinate quite frequently generally and also have what I thought was idiopathic neuropathy but am starting to wonder whether all these things are also related to electrolytes, specifically potassium. My brain fog tends to get worse with any type of detox, whether it's baths, sauna or something to stimulate my bowel to improve the constipation.

    I know the issue is electrolyte imbalance as I did end up at the ER a long time ago with similar symptoms that transpired to not be of any major concern (according to them). I pee'd out an almost clear sample of urine and was told I was dehydrated, given a cup of water and then discharged. The fact my urine was so clear and I appeared to be dehydrated signaled no alarm bells.

    I get sufficient sodium in my diet from sea salt, although I am on a restricted diet to help with all my food allergies and constipation. It's high fat, moderate protein and moderate carb with all carbs from fruit. Other than that it's meat, fish and veggies. There are a wide range of foods I can't eat due to my gut such as most starch, dairy, nightshades and some fodmaps.

    My memory of how I've felt isn't the best but I think I may have felt similar symptoms during one of many failed attempts at starting methylation. This was at doses of one drop of B12 liquid or a few crumbs of a tablet. I can't be certain though.

    Only one way to find out - test and try supplementing but could this dehydration I'm feeling be related to potassium? I wouldn't want it to get worse by trying. I don't supplement with magnesium as it tends to worsen my 'air hunger' and almost feel like it's lowering my already low blood pressure.

    Oh and yes....I am drinking enough water, but the more I drink the more it goes through me. I've been tested for diabetes in the past and it's been negative.

    Many thanks!
  2. bertiedog

    bertiedog Senior Member

    South East England, UK
    @Kontra - could it be that your sodium is still low because of very weak adrenals? Have you had your aldosterone tested? Do you have a blood test result for sodium recently? It might be helpful to at least rule out these because too low sodium will make you feel terrible.

    I have to take low doses of Fludrocortisone from time to time but especially if I have had a lot of stress. As you probably know the adrenals not only handle your sugar balance but also your sodium balance.

  3. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

    I have exactly the same issues as you @Kontra
    I can't get to the bottom of it either. I tried coconut water for potassium as I can't tolerate bananas, it really doesn't make any difference. I've also now developed very withered looking fingertips as if my hands have been in water for 24hrs, some days they're better than others, but this is definitely a recent thing.
    Adrenal stress test showed mega high morning cortisol but the rest of the days rhythm okay.
    Thyroid okay
    Just waiting for a complete hormone panel test to come back
    Porphyrins test last week showed high levels of mercury, which I now have to address seriously.
    just ongoing trying to figure stuff out though...
  4. PennyIA

    PennyIA Senior Member

    I spent almost five years with diahhrea four or five episodes per day about 25 days a month... and all my doctor would tell me was to drink more water which caused a lot of electrolyte issues (duh)... I'm on potassium now and epsom salt baths for magnesium (can't take the supplement without explosive diahhrea); and added more salt to my diet including a poor-man's electrolyte which is flavored water with sea salt added.

    My cortisol levels act like I'm under severe stress and nothing else coming back that means anything to anyone.

    I think anyone with gut issues should consider electrolytes assometime to help them manage their symptoms so they don't get worse while we wait to figure out the root causes of other issues.

    I've learned that I had more food intolerances than I realized - so now that I'm restricting my diet more - I'm having less diahhrea; but when I have episodes again - I can tell my electrolytes get out of balance with increased POTs and leg cramping.
  5. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

    Arizona, USA
    I had that exact thirst/clear pee/withered fingers at the end of my last major virus infection. I am aware that there is an anti-diuretic hormone that can get out of whack. If this is a chronic condition, please have it tested with a doctor.

    For me, the first time it happened, before I was diagnosed adrenal insufficiency, I emptied a packet of salt into my mouth and felt much better (so for me, that time, it was sodium), and other times a double-strength bouillon cube has helped. Because it was several days coming back from it this time, I did the bouillon but also used a 72-trace mineral supplement, which I doubled the normal daily dose of, for the first 5 days. And I made bone broth out of all the bones in my freezer (about 6 quarts worth) with celery, carrot, onion, and parsley. Those things seem to have helped me - but then I have occasional episodes of this, not chronic, and while it took a couple of weeks maybe, my fingers are not withered and I'm not peeing like it's going out of style.

    With that, I still have to say, an ADH test seems in order.

    Oh, also had that air hunger when starting the magnesium salt baths. I took it as a sign that I needed it, in addition to the Mg glycinate I (still) take at night.
  6. Kontra


    Intersting responses. Thankyou.

    I have had a full endocrine workup in the past which yielded nothing. I dont think i was feeling like i do now though when i was tested. I dont think i would have the sympathy of my GP as he thinks im a basket case and ive given up hoping they will believe im ill. You all know how that feels :) If anyone in the UK knows how i can get these things tested with a doctor referral let me know.

    Adrenals are certainly a factor in my health. Never could tolerate any supplements that might help as my gut is also a mess. Chicken and egg situation.

    Maybe I'll try some more salt with the potassium when it arrives.
  7. drob31

    drob31 Senior Member

    I personally think a big factor is hydration, water AND electrolytes. Sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium. The things is, with low aldosterone that may occur with low cortisol (and maybe even high cortisol if your body is diverting all of the prog/preg to cortisol), you will always need more salt and possibly less potassium.
    PennyIA likes this.
  8. Kontra


    Have just had the results from an electrolyte and liver test back and there is some correlation with how I feel but it's not conclusive. I would appreciate any input if anyone has any theories

    Sodium - 146mmol/L (133-146)
    Potassium - 4.6mmol/L (3.5-5.3)

    And then the only other relevant test result was Albumin (51.1), which the lab doctor suggested is due to mild dehydration.

    Researching around high sodium causes diabetes insipidus seems to crop up quite a bit. This makes allot of sense in the absence of any significant blood sugar abnormalities associated with diabetes mellitus, although I do have hypoglycemia so blood sugar can spike after carbohydrate meals (120 ish after 1 hour). Fasting blood sugar is always in the 80-85 range. In the alternative medicine 'world' I'm sure there is a correlation to the adrenals as well.

    Debating whether it is worth a battle with my GP to see a specialist. If I repeat these bloods (I did them privately) I don't even know if they would justify a referral to an endocrinologist in my GP's eyes. Had some endocrine investigations a couple of years ago that 'only' yielded hypoglycemia and then it was case closed. Didn't experience these water symptoms back then.

    Made reduce my salt intake in the meantime but it doesn't look like I should be fiddling with potassium.
  9. smileygirl


    I also have chronic electrolyte imbalance. I have never been able to detox. A few years back I was taking dead sea salt baths and I fainted twice.

    I was drinking a lot of water this summer because I was very hot and I ended up in the hospital. They didn't find anything wrong with me. I have been drinking less water since and that has helped. I have been eating my food well seasoned with pink Himalayan salt now and taking magnesium and potassium. I crashed when I took calcium.

    This has helped. I get out of bed at 2pm instead of 5pm now. I'm not dizzy all the time anymore. My front teeth looked black but now they're white again.

    I'm taking licorice for my adrenal fatigue. I read that you should increase your potassium when you take licorice for adrenal fatigue. My potassium needs seem to be increasing so I take more based on symptoms. I also read that you can feel like your blood sugar gets low because of your adrenals so you should eat often.

    If you read this, I hope something helps you. Wish you the best. Hope you're feeling better.

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