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  #1   ^
Old Mon, May-01-17, 15:56
Robin120's Avatar
Robin120 Robin120 is offline
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Posts: 3,945
 
Plan: low carb
Stats: 171/125/145 Female 5'9
BF:
Progress: 177%
Location: DC
Default Electrolytes- scary!

Hi gang,
I had a severe magnesium deficiency that landed me in an ER when I was 25-26. I'm now 33 and developed similar symptoms.
I had the terrible tingling in face, clamping of hands, panic, cramping in legs.....

My magnesium came back fine (dr has had me supplementing ever since that scary incident), but my potassium is VERY low.
U
He wasn't TOO worried, as my blood sugar was also low when labs were drawn, which can apparently throw reading off.

But I am getting really bad tingli in my face and hands and feet, which dissipates after I take one potassium each morning. I am also eating tons of potassium rich foods- but it seems impossible to get close to the RdA. Even the great sources provide like 3-9%.....

I have a 12 hour endurance event on Friday, and I am wondering if I can take 2 potassium pills in addition to the bag of spinach, half an avo, etc.....that I am consuming. I don't want to make myself sick, but I am worried!

Thanks for any advice.

Last edited by Robin120 : Mon, May-01-17 at 16:19.
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  #2   ^
Old Mon, May-01-17, 16:48
thud123's Avatar
thud123 thud123 is online now
Senior Member
Posts: 4,399
 
Plan: ~25NC/IF
Stats: 342.2/213/000 Male 72 inches
BF:
Progress: 38%
Default

"I have a 12 hour endurance event on Friday" with an electrolyte "imbalance"? This would have me concerned if it was me racing. It's my understanding that heart regulation and potassium are tightly intertwined.

Can you maybe get a stress test prior to the race or at least have a doctor sign-off your your race?

If you want to self doctor yourself you can get a lot more potassium in "no salt" that you can get from those pills. I hate to give you advice like this but you can at least look into it anyway.

You are a smart, competitive lady. I trust you will make a wise decision. I do NOT want to disuade you from racing Robin, these are just thoughts that popped into my mind.
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  #3   ^
Old Mon, May-01-17, 18:00
Robin120's Avatar
Robin120 Robin120 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,945
 
Plan: low carb
Stats: 171/125/145 Female 5'9
BF:
Progress: 177%
Location: DC
Default

Thanks, Thud- my heart has been fine. I would go straight to an ER if I felt it was irratic- I promise!

And, yes- my Dr knows I'm racing. He gave me thumbs up, and wants me to focus on the pottasium rich veggies (he is my diabetes dr and very supportive of my low carb diet).
I was shocked to see the pill has 3% of the RDA, what a waste of money!

My DH uses the nu salt, but since my body struggles with electrolyte balance, I'm scared to take it.

I guess I should email my Dr that the tingling and cramping returned (it had stopped after increasing magnesium last week, so even though lab value came back normal for mag, I might have been deficient before upping my dose on my own before our appointment- I was getting the tingling and some aura type feeling like before a seizure. I was terrified and took some mega doses of mag, because I couldn't get a hold of my Dr. He was put on hospital duty and on call Dr completely dismissed my Complaints).

Ugh.....

Thank you, Thud!
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  #4   ^
Old Mon, May-01-17, 19:01
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inflammabl inflammabl is offline
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Posts: 1,905
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 296/220/205 Male 71 inches
BF:25%?
Progress: 84%
Location: Upstate South Carolina
Default

Yes, the rda is 4.7g. I struggle to get anywhere close to that. Even heavily using 1/2 salt at one meal a day doesn't get me there, I don't think.
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  #5   ^
Old Tue, May-02-17, 05:07
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is online now
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Posts: 11,911
 
Plan: ketosis/IF
Stats: 190/158/154 Male 67inches
BF:
Progress: 89%
Location: Ontario
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I've looked at some studies from India and Japan looking at highest vs lowest levels of potassium intake. The range of intake for the highest intake group (forget if it was quintiles or quartiles) was one half of the rda and up. The rda is largely made up, based on very mild effects of potassium intake in blood pressure studies etc.

That said, it's not that hard to get well below half the rda. I've had long periods where convenience (okay, sheer laziness) had me practically living on eggs, butter and heavy cream, it's easy to get below 1000 mg a day doing that, and I did end up in trouble, developing muscle cramps, mostly stomach, with exertion. Half salt did help with that.
I have a twelve cup coffee maker, if I'm the only one drinking, I'll stir in a teaspoon of half-salt per pot, any more and I find it a bit too salty.
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  #6   ^
Old Tue, May-02-17, 09:53
Robin120's Avatar
Robin120 Robin120 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,945
 
Plan: low carb
Stats: 171/125/145 Female 5'9
BF:
Progress: 177%
Location: DC
Default

Oh wow, thanks teaser. Yes, I can definely manage to hit half (1800mg) a day.
I'm there with a green smoothie I made and my salad for dinner.
At the grocery store, I got half an avo and one 5oz bag of spinach for each day this week, so here we go

I have made sure to keep my magnesium and sodium levels in check for many years, but potassium is one I haven't run into trouble with before (my lab work is done every 3-4 months), so hopefully it was a fluke due to the hypoglycemia when blood was drawn. The dr's office was about an hour behind schedule, and I hadn't had lunch yet, so I ended up low before leaving.

Thanks everyone! I'm stoked
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  #7   ^
Old Wed, May-24-17, 13:58
Robin120's Avatar
Robin120 Robin120 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,945
 
Plan: low carb
Stats: 171/125/145 Female 5'9
BF:
Progress: 177%
Location: DC
Default

Update: I have been missing round here the past couple weeks because I was nailing my endurance event, then hiking on the AT, then......well, you get the idea

I found eating a 5oz box of baby spinach made the tingling stop within hours- way better than a supplement. While I don't plan to eat that much daily for the rest of my life, I have made a concours effort to get through 2 boxes each week since the first event and have felt great.

Thanks for the help, and hope th spinach suggestion helps someone else.

I found sautéing it to sub for lettuce in salads is easiest way to get in large quantity.
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