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POTS/OI, insomnia - functional potassium deficiency?

Discussion in 'Autonomic, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory' started by Mary, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. Mary

    Mary Moderator

    Southern California
    Well, I did something stupid - but I think I learned something valuable! So maybe it was worth it :confused:

    I’ve been taking silica for my nails and bones for a few months. (I also take other things) Then I read that horsetail was a very good source of silica and it was a lot cheaper so I started taking that instead of my silica supplement. I noticed briefly in reading about horsetail that it was a diuretic but that didn’t stop me - hah!

    So some 4 weeks or so after I started the horsetail I woke up one morning to very low BP - 91/ over I forget what, and my HR was in the 80's to 90's and when I moved or did anything it went up to over 100 - I finally realized, at least a little, what people with severe POTS/OI experience.

    I also had started to experience rather severe insomnia in the preceding week, which I have not had to deal with in awhile.

    It took me awhile to realize that my BP and HR problem must be due to the horsetail - dang! I had noticed my blood pressure had gone down some in recent weeks but it wasn’t a problem until that morning.
    So I took a total of about 2 teaspoons of salt spread throughout the day and finally my BP got up to about 116, though my HR was still too high. I tried cutting some vegetables kneeling on a chair and even that was too much for me, when ordinarily I could have handled it.

    And then the next morning I had a painful spasm in my foot and finally realized my potassium must have tanked as well as the sodium from the horsetail. I loaded up on potassium (drank 3 glasses of low-sodium V8 throughout the day plus took my usual 800 mg of potassium gluconate), and by that night my resting HR was back to where it normally is, in the 60's, and BP back to normal in the mid 120's, and a lot of the weakness had gone.

    And I did some more reading and found that insomnia can be caused by low potassium. All the pieces were falling into place.

    This experience left me wondering if some of the insomnia, POTS and OI in ME/CFS is due to a functional potassium deficiency. I believe PWC tend to have a functional B12 deficiency - despite often high serum B12 levels, we’re not utilizing it properly. And I would not be surprised at all to find the same may be true of potassium - that despite normal seeming levels on blood work (mine is always in the normal range but on the low side), I think it’s very possible we have trouble utilizing potassium properly. And if true, this could explain, in part at least, some of our severe problems with POTS and OI, insomnia, etc.

    I'm aware the horsetail caused my sodium and potassium to be depleted, but even in the best of times I have to take lots of potassium - I become deficient very quickly.

    For those who don’t want to increase or take potassium supplements, low-sodium V8 is a very good way to get more potassium rather quickly into your system. It’d be an easy experiment to see if POTS/OI symptoms improved with more potassium.

    I’d be interested in hearing about anyone’s experiences with POTS/OI and potassium --
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
    South likes this.

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