How do I get my electrolytes to balance?

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I appear to be having a sodium/potassium issue and I have no idea why or how this is related to my other health issues. I'm sensitive to everything but I am finding treatments the issue is each treatment seems to send my electrolytes in a whole new spin off.

Calcium D Glucarate: Robs me of potassium, have to keep taking potassium every few hours or get terrible headache.

Lecithin: Also robs me of potassium, have to keep taking potassium every few hours, wake up with the worst hangover feeling, but upon taking potassium it goes away.

Taurine: Now, I took this because this forum posts said it would help balance my electrolytes. Well it stopped the potassium deficiency headaches in its tracks but it swung me the other direction where I got salt deficiency headaches and needed salt.

I've had what is likely cell danger response for 4 months and only ever took or had thoughts about electrolytes for the past month, so I know its related to my illness, but how on earth do I fix this?
I take magnesium glycinate twice a day. None of my naturopaths know and I can't find any reading material on it.
 
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How do you know you are having sodium/potassium issues? What are you going by?
When I take some things, I get a massive headache and the only thing that helps is potassium. When I take other things I get a massive headache and the only thing that helps is salt. Plus it feels like a hangover with extreme thirst.
 

pamojja

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I believe, and I could be wrong, you are severely deficient. Because the things you mention don't rob potassium (or salt), they just need sufficient supplies of co-nutrients present for their processes.

Against deficiency usually only consistent supplementation helps. However, it might take really huge doses to correct. Therefore I would first check for actual levels, and than monitor at how high daily intakes those levels improve. Some serum electrolytes don't even show the deficiency (since they are so essential in serum and tightly regulated), in this case also get red blood cell levels and if not available, at least whole blood levels.

As example just to show how high such deficiencies might increase the need for replacements, in the case of my magnesium deficiency I supplemented up to 2.4 g of elemental supplemental magnesium daily. Still didn't correct my deficiency, but at least ellaviated my extremely painful muscle-cramps only somewhat. Finally found a GP giving me almost monthly Mg IVs, which finally ceased the cramps after the sixth. 4 year later (and 35 IVs later) the GP interrupted the IVs (lockdown-related) this January. And I had to increase to 3 g/d of Magnesium daily now, to keep muscle-cramps at bay.

I would be cautious with potassium. Increase gradually and only take bulk powders (bicarbonate, citrate, chloride..) disolved well in a glass of water. Otherwise could irritate or even harm stomachwall.
 

wabi-sabi

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When I take some things, I get a massive headache and the only thing that helps is potassium. When I take other things I get a massive headache and the only thing that helps is salt.
Neither of these are necessarily indicative of potassium or sodium levels. I could diagnose myself with a severe chocolate deficiency or ibuprofen deficiency by this method. :)

The only way to know if your electrolyte levels are OK is by blood test.
 

lenora

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Yes,@ Tigersmom....perhaps the only way you'll ever know what your electrolytes are is through testing. Ask your internist to do this, keep something like Pedialyte on hand and perhaps focus more on your diet.

Do you have sinus headaches, migraines even (which can even be one-sided and affect your eyes, etc.)? Speaking of your eyes, have you been for a check-up with your opthalmologist? I have autoimmune encephalitis, but last summer I was fine. I was just careful and made certain that I also had salt in my diet, not all sea salt contains what's necessary.

Give yourself some time off....you can go a little mad with all of it. There is still so much to be found out about this illness....here we go again!....but more and more people are being diagnosed with it and not all of us have the same symptoms. It would be nice if the hospitals or doctors' offices gave sheets showing us how we can get about getting the proper electrolytes. I wish you well. Yours Lenora.
 
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Neither of these are necessarily indicative of potassium or sodium levels. I could diagnose myself with a severe chocolate deficiency or ibuprofen deficiency by this method. :)

The only way to know if your electrolyte levels are OK is by blood test.
This reply made me laugh and it stuck in my head. Today I had what I SWORE was a low sodium headache, but instead of taking sodium I ate a blackberry, and the headache went away. IDK whats going on but you may be right. Hard to think what the sodium or potassium could possibly be doing, I guess I have to look at what they are co-factors in. But anyways, your reply was enormously helpful!! Thats so nice of you to take the time to reply it really helped me.
 

wabi-sabi

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Thats so nice of you to take the time to reply it really helped me.
That's so kind of you to say! We are here to help each other as much as we can. Headaches are awfully unpleasant and awfully hard to figure out what's causing them.

I get more headaches with ME/CFS than I used to before, so I'm thinking that sadly, it's just part of the disease.

If you have the orthostatic intolerance (OI) with ME/CFS than many docs recommend pushing water and salt to help with this, and OI could certainly be playing a role in headaches. Dr. Bateman has a NASA 10 minute lean test to help figure this out. This is something your healthcare person can do in the office without any fancy equipment.

link here: https://batemanhornecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/NASA-Lean-Test-Instructions.pdf

And with most things ME/CFS- when all else fails, lie down and rest!