• Phoenix Rising needs funds to operate: please consider donating to support PR

Potassium dosage on methylation therapy?

Messages
21
Likes
27
Hi all! First post.

To make it short: looks like methylation is my problem, experimenting now with Methylfolate and Methyl B12.

Getting some heart palpitations and rapid heart rate. Being aware of need for added electrolytes, I'm taking 1000mg Potassium Citrate (prescription, to lower acid in urine to prevent stones) x 2 a day, and Magnesium 400 - 800 mg a day. Palpitations are better but still there. So I'm trying to find our if electrolytes (mostly potassium) are the cause, or something else.

Blood work showed:
Potassium 3.8 (3.5 - 5.2)
Sodium 139 (134 - 144)
Chloride 97 (96 - 106)
Carbon Dioxide, Total 21 (20 - 29)

Should I take more Potassium? Isn't 2000 mg per day enough?

Is the blood work a good indicator of adequate potassium intake?

Thanks!
 

Pyrrhus

Senior Member
Messages
327
Likes
917
Location
U.S., Earth
Welcome!

You may want to mention your heart palpitations to your doctor. I can't speak to your situation, but I get heart palpitations whenever I take more than 100mg Potassium Gluconate. (I can't imagine what I might experience at 2000mg.) Your blood potassium levels are within the normal range, so your body appears to be excreting the excess potassium properly.

Blood electrolyte levels are most useful for determining if your body has any problems with regulating electrolyte levels. Blood electrolyte levels are less useful in determining if there is any deficiency or excess in a specific part of the body. Some people naturally maintain blood electrolyte levels at the low end of the normal range, and others naturally maintain blood electrolyte levels at the high end of the normal range. (Probably due to genetics.)

Since you're taking magnesium, you may also consider taking calcium, since the body requires a stable ratio of calcium-to-magnesium for proper nerve function. In my case, I take 160mg of magnesium citrate and 400mg of calcium citrate per day. (For a calcium-to-magnesium ratio of 2.5, which is roughly the ratio of calcium's RDA ~1000mg to magnesium's RDA ~320-420mg. Your ideal ratio may vary.)

Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:
Messages
21
Likes
27
Welcome!

You may want to mention your heart palpitations to your doctor. I can't speak to your situation, but I get heart palpitations whenever I take more than 100mg Potassium Citrate. (I can't imagine what I might experience at 2000mg.) Your blood potassium levels are within the normal range, so your body appears to be excreting the excess potassium properly.

Blood electrolyte levels are most useful for determining if your body has any problems with regulating electrolyte levels. Blood electrolyte levels are less useful in determining if there is any deficiency or excess in a specific part of the body. Some people naturally maintain blood electrolyte levels at the low end of the normal range, and others naturally maintain blood electrolyte levels at the high end of the normal range. (Probably due to genetics.)

Since you're taking magnesium, you may also consider taking calcium, since the body requires a stable ratio of calcium-to-magnesium for proper nerve function. In my case, I take 160mg of magnesium citrate and 400mg of calcium citrate per day. (For a calcium-to-magnesium ratio of 2.5, which is roughly the ratio of calcium's RDA ~1000mg to magnesium's RDA ~320-420mg. Your ideal ratio may vary.)

Hope this helps.
Thanks. I didn't have palpitations before starting methylation protocol, while I was on 2000mg of Potassium per day. This started with Methylation support.

What is the most common dosage range of Potassium and Magnesium supplementation during Methylfolate/Methyl B12 protocol?

Also what's the recommended form of Potassium for this purpose?
 

Mary

Moderator
Messages
11,856
Likes
25,422
Location
Southern California
@Aragorn - even though your potassium is in the normal range, it's on the low end of the range. Additionally, people with ME/CFS can have normal potassium levels on blood work but low intracellular potassium. This happened to me. My potassium levels were always in the normal range, albeit on the low end of the range, and I got symptoms of potassium deficiency - severe fatigue, cramps and spasms in my feet and lower legs. I didn't get cardiac issues, though those are very common. This post explains how persons with ME/CFS can have low intracellular potassium despite normal blood work.

People here are all over the map in terms of how much potassium they need. I do well supplementing with 1000 mg a day of potassium gluconate in divided doses. I take 200 mg with each meal, 200 mg before bed and 200 mg more middle of the night - and yet the other morning I woke up with a severe cramp in my foot, a sure sign that my potassium had gotten low again. fwiw, Potassium citrate actually contributed to a UTI for me (!)

There are members who need more than me, and who need less. There is no one size fits all. Since your palpitations started after starting methylation support, I think it's very possible you may need more potassium. One thing you might try would be to drink low-sodium V8 (or other low-sodium veg juice - the low-sodium kind is high in potassium). I would try 2 or 3 glasses. When low potassium is an issue, this often helps relieve symptoms within a few hours. If this helps with your palpitations, I think it would be a very good clue that low potassium is the issue.
 
Messages
21
Likes
27
@Aragorn - even though your potassium is in the normal range, it's on the low end of the range. Additionally, people with ME/CFS can have normal potassium levels on blood work but low intracellular potassium. This happened to me. My potassium levels were always in the normal range, albeit on the low end of the range, and I got symptoms of potassium deficiency - severe fatigue, cramps and spasms in my feet and lower legs. I didn't get cardiac issues, though those are very common. This post explains how persons with ME/CFS can have low intracellular potassium despite normal blood work.

People here are all over the map in terms of how much potassium they need. I do well supplementing with 1000 mg a day of potassium gluconate in divided doses. I take 200 mg with each meal, 200 mg before bed and 200 mg more middle of the night - and yet the other morning I woke up with a severe cramp in my foot, a sure sign that my potassium had gotten low again. fwiw, Potassium citrate actually contributed to a UTI for me (!)

There are members who need more than me, and who need less. There is no one size fits all. Since your palpitations started after starting methylation support, I think it's very possible you may need more potassium. One thing you might try would be to drink low-sodium V8 (or other low-sodium veg juice - the low-sodium kind is high in potassium). I would try 2 or 3 glasses. When low potassium is an issue, this often helps relieve symptoms within a few hours. If this helps with your palpitations, I think it would be a very good clue that low potassium is the issue.
Thank you! I will try to add Potassium Gluconate to my Citrate, or maybe switching to Gluconate?

What confuses me is that high potassium produces similar symptoms.

One more thing to add. About 2 months ago (around the same time I started methylation) I increased D3 from 5,000 IU to 10,000 and added 200mcg K2 due to low blood work D3. I've heard that higher dosages of D3 may also deplete body of Potassium. Have you heard anything about that?
 

Mary

Moderator
Messages
11,856
Likes
25,422
Location
Southern California
I will try to add Potassium Gluconate to my Citrate, or maybe switching to Gluconate?
Some people do okay with potassium citrate - but it wasn't for me. I don't know if potassium gluconate would be better for you, though I know many people take potassium in this form.

What confuses me is that high potassium produces similar symptoms.
Yes - it can be hard to sort out exactly what's going on. From what I understand, you were doing okay with 2000 mg potassium citrate a day before you started methylation - is this correct? And then when you started methylation, your palpitations started - is this correct also? If all of this is correct, then I think it's quite possible you may need more potassium. Methylation can increase the need for potassium, thus causing a functional potassium deficiency.

You said your potassium citrate was in prescription form. So isn't the dose measured in mEQ and not milligrams? I can't remember what mEQ means though I just look it up and get the mg equivalent. What is your mEQ dose?

I've heard that higher dosages of D3 may also deplete body of Potassium. Have you heard anything about that?
I have not heard this, but that doesn't mean a lot. I just don't know, it's worth asking about. I did a brief google search and didn't find anything but that doesn't mean a lot either! :whistle:

I don't know of any easy way to get answers for you about potassium. I think one of the simplest and safest ways is the low-sodium V8. It's helped many people here, and if it does help your symptoms, then it can give you more information in making a decision about how much potassium to take. Or whether to just start drinking low-sodium V8, etc.
 
Messages
21
Likes
27
Some people do okay with potassium citrate - but it wasn't for me. I don't know if potassium gluconate would be better for you, though I know many people take potassium in this form.

Yes - it can be hard to sort out exactly what's going on. From what I understand, you were doing okay with 2000 mg potassium citrate a day before you started methylation - is this correct? And then when you started methylation, your palpitations started - is this correct also? If all of this is correct, then I think it's quite possible you may need more potassium. Methylation can increase the need for potassium, thus causing a functional potassium deficiency.

You said your potassium citrate was in prescription form. So isn't the dose measured in mEQ and not milligrams? I can't remember what mEQ means though I just look it up and get the mg equivalent. What is your mEQ dose?
It's 10 MEQ tablets, I take two tablets per day. One in the morning, one before bed.

Unfortunately, I can't recall exactly whether my palpitations started exactly the day of first methylation supplementation. I'm still adjusting dosages etc so I've been playing with different combinations.

I sometimes benefit from Niacinamide 500mg, other times I don't. But I've noticed that 150mg of Niacinamide per day also creates palpitations and high heart rate. Now I don't take more that 500mg (not every day) and I haven't observed a correlation between 500mg of Niacinamide and palpitations.
 
Messages
8,510
Likes
18,305
Location
Second star to the right ...
I've heard that higher dosages of D3 may also deplete body of Potassium.
I've never bumped into that before, I believe you may be thinking of magnesium, to echo @junkcrap50 here ..... without sufficient magnesium, your body can't effectively absorb oral D3, ad it does take a fierce toll on your mag stores .....
Some people do okay with potassium citrate - but it wasn't for me. I don't know if potassium gluconate would be better for you, though I know many people take potassium in this form.
I use potassium gluconate with no issues.


I do know that too much potassium can cause irregular and/or too-rapid heart beats .... and if overdone for too long can cause cardiac arrhythmias and other, more severe, cardiac problems ....
Or whether to just start drinking low-sodium V8, etc.
The advantage to taking the low-sodium V-8 route is that the potassium will be accompnaied by a wider range of potentially important minerals and vits which you might also be low in after loading so much potassium for so long.....
I don't know about potassium. But high doses of Vit. D can deplete magnesium.
Yeah, what he said .....
 

PatJ

Forum Support Assistant
Messages
4,880
Likes
13,955
Location
Canada
What confuses me is that high potassium produces similar symptoms.
That's a problem with potassium -- low and high symptoms are similar so it's difficult to tell if the body needs more or has too much. It took me a couple of months to really get a feel for the signs my body was giving me when it needed more potassium.

One more thing to add. About 2 months ago (around the same time I started methylation) I increased D3 from 5,000 IU to 10,000 and added 200mcg K2 due to low blood work D3. I've heard that higher dosages of D3 may also deplete body of Potassium. Have you heard anything about that?
When I first tried taking vitamin D it gave me heart palpitations so I stopped. A few years later I learned that the heart palpitations were a sign of magnesium deficiency induced by the vitamin D.

Here's some information about vitamin D and cofactors such as magnesium.
General side effects (usually caused by lack of cofactors): https://www.easy-immune-health.com/Vitamin-D-Side-Effects.html

Always take magnesium with vitamin D: https://www.easy-immune-health.com/magnesium-and-vitamin-d.html
 
Messages
21
Likes
27
That's a problem with potassium -- low and high symptoms are similar so it's difficult to tell if the body needs more or has too much. It took me a couple of months to really get a feel for the signs my body was giving me when it needed more potassium.



When I first tried taking vitamin D it gave me heart palpitations so I stopped. A few years later I learned that the heart palpitations were a sign of magnesium deficiency induced by the vitamin D.

Here's some information about vitamin D and cofactors such as magnesium.
But I'm taking magnesium with D3. 400-800 mg magnesium a day, depending on brand and form. Isn't that enough? How much magnesium were you taking while on D3?
 

PatJ

Forum Support Assistant
Messages
4,880
Likes
13,955
Location
Canada
But I'm taking magnesium with D3. 400-800 mg magnesium a day, depending on brand and form. Isn't that enough? How much magnesium were you taking while on D3?
I was taking, and still take around 400mg which is enough for me but there were other times when I needed more if my dietary calcium intake increased. If you're taking 400-800mg, and not getting any other signs of low magnesium, then maybe it's enough as long as your body is using the magnesium properly.

Some people use taurine or coq10 to manage heart palpitations.

When I was doing Freddd's methylation treatment I needed 3.5 grams per day of supplemental potassium. For some of us, once we start methylation treatment, the body causes such a high potassium demand in a way that most doctors would probably say is impossible. I would take potassium and then about three hours later would need more. Many people need more potassium once they start taking B12 and methylfolate together but for me the extremely high potassium demand didn't kick in until I added l-carnitine fumarate.
 
Messages
21
Likes
27
I was taking, and still take around 400mg which is enough for me but there were other times when I needed more if my dietary calcium intake increased. If you're taking 400-800mg, and not getting any other signs of low magnesium, then maybe it's enough as long as your body is using the magnesium properly.

Some people use taurine or coq10 to manage heart palpitations.

When I was doing Freddd's methylation treatment I needed 3.5 grams per day of supplemental potassium. For some of us, once we start methylation treatment, the body causes such a high potassium demand in a way that most doctors would probably say is impossible. I would take potassium and then about three hours later would need more. Many people need more potassium once they start taking B12 and methylfolate together but for me the extremely high potassium demand didn't kick in until I added l-carnitine fumarate.
Thank you! This was helpful!
I was experimenting with it this morning. Took hydration powder in 1L of water - still palpitaions 30 mins later. Took 400mg Magnesium Citrate - still palpitations. Took 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda in glass of water - still there. Took 1MEQ of Potassium Citrate - palpitations improved. Waited aprox 30 min before each try. I guess I need more Potassium. Will try to get Gluconate and start adding to Citrate.
 

Eastman

Senior Member
Messages
494
Likes
490
@Aragorn

A member resolved his suspected potassium problem involving the heart with sulbutiamine, a form of vitamin B1 or thiamine. See here.

Perhaps closer to your case, another member alleviated her heart palpitations apparently brought on by methylation treatment with allithiamine, another form of vitamin B1. See here.

Some papers on vitamin B1 deficiency and electrolyte imbalance can be found here.
 

dannybex

Senior Member
Messages
3,418
Likes
2,451
Location
Seattle
Thank you! This was helpful!
I was experimenting with it this morning. Took hydration powder in 1L of water - still palpitaions 30 mins later. Took 400mg Magnesium Citrate - still palpitations. Took 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda in glass of water - still there. Took 1MEQ of Potassium Citrate - palpitations improved. Waited aprox 30 min before each try. I guess I need more Potassium. Will try to get Gluconate and start adding to Citrate.
It might help if you take these with some form of carb or even glucose. Or a meal. Electrolytes need glucose in order to get into the cell. Even the World Health Organization uses sugar in their recipe.

https://cdn.ymaws.com/oley.org/resource/resmgr/ors_recipes/ORS_recipes_handout.pdf
 
Messages
21
Likes
27
Do I actually need calcium while taking 800mg of magnesium and 2Meq of potassium Citrate per day? I can't find out a reason behind diarrhea that's lasting for 3-4 weeks. Could this be due to calcium deficiency caused by magnesium excess?

If so, how much calcium do I need?
 
Last edited:

Eastman

Senior Member
Messages
494
Likes
490
Are you still taking magnesium in the form of citrate? That form of magnesium gave me diarrhea at a daily dosage of less than 300 mg. I have since switched to magnesium bisglycinate.
 
Messages
21
Likes
27
Yes, Magnesium Citrate by Solgar never gave me and diarrhea at 400mg dosage, been taking it for many years. Recently I switched to 800mg due to increased need for electrolytes because of Methyl B12 and Methyl Folate.
So I'm not sure if diarrhea is from lack of calcium/too much magnesium, or something else.
 

Eastman

Senior Member
Messages
494
Likes
490
Yes, Magnesium Citrate by Solgar never gave me and diarrhea at 400mg dosage, been taking it for many years...
Same here. I started with more than 300 mg of magnesium in citrate form for about a year or two, during which I had well-formed stools. Eventually, though, I was barely able to take any magnesium citrate without getting diarrhea.

I think the body adjusts its absorption rate for magnesium as it becomes replete.
 
Messages
21
Likes
27
Same here. I started with more than 300 mg of magnesium in citrate form for about a year or two, during which I had well-formed stools. Eventually, though, I was barely able to take any magnesium citrate without getting diarrhea.

I think the body adjusts its absorption rate for magnesium as it becomes replete.
What form of magnesium do you take/recommend?