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Old 04-25-2012, 07:27 PM   #1
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Potassium

...thinking my potassium is low. How much and what kind do I take?

I'm often dizzy, feel "weird" and have major leg cramps at night. Not to mention I have NO energy. Not a great feeling. Should I go to the doctor? I can't afford it right now, so I would rather remedy it myself
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:29 PM   #2
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We always keep potassium tablets in the cabinet that we get at WalMart. WHen I LC'ed I would get leg cramps if I didn't take several a day. I haven't had to do that while JUDDDing but DH takes them when he is working outside and sweating a lot.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:50 PM   #3
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EAT A BANANA!

Why?

The US government mandates that the maximum pill size for potassium is 99mg. That's a whopping THREE PERCENT of what you need in a day.

So you'll be forking out lots of money on pills, or you could pay 25˘ for a banana.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:19 PM   #4
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On a DD eat some spinach...

1c spinach = 840mg

On an UD eat a potato...

1 medium = 850mg

(Banana = 560mg, RDA = 4700mg)

Btw, in most states you can order blood tests for yourself at a minimal cost--like <$25 for CMP which has potassium and sodium. Order online, walk it into a Labcorp, get the results in a few days. Healthy range is 3.5-5.2 but many people feel best >4.0.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:29 PM   #5
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According to ************ my potassium is low to. Actually I hardly get any!
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melisa82 View Post
...thinking my potassium is low. How much and what kind do I take?

I'm often dizzy, feel "weird" and have major leg cramps at night. Not to mention I have NO energy. Not a great feeling. Should I go to the doctor? I can't afford it right now, so I would rather remedy it myself
Going to the Doctor is not a bad idea. My potassium is High, and I have some of the same symptoms as you do. Things I have to avoid....potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, fruit drinks, colas, coffee, Well, the list of what I can eat is a whole lot shorter than what I cannot eat. LOL!

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Old 04-26-2012, 02:59 AM   #7
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I mix 1/2 mortons light salt and 1/2 regular salt in all my salt shakers.
1/2 an avocado will get you a full days+ amount, too
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:24 AM   #8
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When I am on my very low calorie days I take 8 OTC potassium pills. That is the amount in prescription potassium pills. And then at night before bed I take 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar for its potassium. I know I am low in potassium from the leg cramping and all the bathroom visits I make on my 500 calorie days. Lots of water lost then.....have to replace the minerals that it takes with it.
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:36 AM   #9
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I agree on the potassium, and also like Dottie recommend avocados and light salt!

Also, dizzyness and tiredness can come from being dehydrated. How much are you drinking?

Magnesium may also help you...

I am not sure of what you eat, but try stick with whole, natural foods and don't overcook your vegetables.

For a natural way to get lots of goodness aside from what's already been suggested are daily cups of good quality store bought or better yet homemade bone broth. Can't beat it for minerals!

Eating nuts can also add to your minerals, but watch the calories...

Hope you feel better soon!
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyjupiter View Post
EAT A BANANA!

Why?

The US government mandates that the maximum pill size for potassium is 99mg. That's a whopping THREE PERCENT of what you need in a day.

So you'll be forking out lots of money on pills, or you could pay 25˘ for a banana.
And that is why we take multiple OTC counter potassium supplments when needed. . When waking up in the middle of the night with leg cramps a few OTC pills work pretty quick to end those cramps.

As to the banana. Not even close to many other foods that contain potassium. And they must really be cheap where you live or tiny to only cost a quarter. And the pills don't spoil and are always available if needed.

Like I stated, no longer have the problem since I am no longer doing LC. One more reason to eat REAL food.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:29 AM   #11
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It was mentioned on here before and I drink this every day without really thinking about it:
in 16oz of water add 1T organic apple cider vinegar and 1/8tsp mortons light salt (I add a little stevia and lemon juice - it really tastes like tart lemonade) .

Warning though: don't go too overboard on potassium. Too much has its own set of health issues, so be careful
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:09 AM   #12
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I have noted that i am getting "charle Horse" in my feet and shins. IS this the same cramp you all are talking about?? I drink 3 liters of water every day.. Now i do pee alot.. so if this the discomfort you are talking about.. how many miligrams should i take when this happens.. i dont care to eat a bananna.. seams to mess with me sugar wise..
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:43 AM   #13
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I make an electrolyte beverage; a liter of water, 1/8-1/4 t lite salt, a touch of stevia and a dash of lemonaid flavored kool aid.
It's cheap!

I also keep potassium tabs on hand but recently ordered some tri salts which is a blend of Ca, Mg, K carbonates. It's powder so I don't need to wait for it to dissolve.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:45 AM   #14
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I know this sounds crazy but in reading about some other health issues, I came across a home remedy for leg cramps...putting a bar of soap under your sheets, or pillow, or even small hotel-size ones in your socks at night. Probably won't hurt anything to try and would be very cheap or free if you already have soap around the house.

IIRC, there's some form of magnesium in the soap; it could be absorbed through the skin and relieve the cramps.

Twinlab makes a liquid potassium (Liqui-K) supplement, as well as a potassium + magnesium one. It's a lot easier to take than those dratted 99mg pills! Also, as has been suggested, "fake salt" is a cheap/easy source...IF potassium is what you actually need!

Hope you feel better soon!
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:08 AM   #15
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I never take tablets, just use NuSalt or Morton Lite Salt in conjunction with sea salt in all my food. If I feel really potassium deficient I sprinkle a bunch in a shot glass of water and knock it back. We learned to do this about 25 years ago when hubby worked a strenuous job outdoors and had to protect against heat stroke.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:11 AM   #16
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I have experience in this area!!! BRB. Phone.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:17 AM   #17
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Coconut water has potassium as well as other benefits, I have been drinking it a lot recently especially before and after exercise.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:32 AM   #18
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Last year during a regular check up my doctor informed me that my potassium level was dangerously low.

You should Google potassium deficiancy and get scared because this is nothing to ignore.

She asked me if I was having leg cramps. YES! Was I dizzy sometimes? YES. We discussed possible reasons and she surmized that my habit of donating blood every 8 weeks for 39 years could possibly have depleted my mineral stores and she recommended I take a break from donating blood.

BTW: for the first time in my life last year I fainted after donating. After that every time I donated I felt week, dizzy and nauseated for 2 days.

My doctor told me to go right to the drug store and buy Potassium Gluconate. I bought "Nature's Own" brand and it is 595mg of Potassium Gluconate. At first I took one in the morning and one at night.

Now I take it at night with my magnesium and calcium citrate right before I go to bed.

I always keep a couple on my night stand at night. If I get leg cramps in the middle of the night, I take one. Occasionally I get leg or foot cramps in the day time. I take one. Or, if I get dizzy (which has not been happening since I started taking PC) I take one.

BE CAREFUL because it is possible to over dose on Potassium supplements. You can die from not enough potassium. You can die from an overdose of supplements.

The safest and most effective is the Gluconate (I can't remember the name of the other Potassium supplement, but don't buy it!)

On the nutrition info on the label of my bottle it stay "99 mg potassium from 595 mg potassium glutamate". I showed it to my doctor and she said it's the best one to take.

You can also do some Internet research and learn why potassium deficiency causes cramping. It has to do with the brains inability to trigger normal muscle contractions. Potassium regulates fluid in our bodies. When we don't have enough potassium it does not matter how much water we drink. We become dehydrated, have a tendency to retain fluid, and our blood flow is not sufficient for brain/muscle function.

It would be best if you could talk to your doctor (doc would probably do a simple urine test). But, if you can't afford it, do your research. Maybe talk to a nurse practitioner.

If I were you I would start out with one Potassium Gluconate capsule before bed or at the onset of leg cramps or dizziness. Drink lots of water. If the cramps are still there after an hour (mine usually go away within 2 minutes of taking a pill!) take one more.

There are other things that can cause leg cramps. Certain medications cause them. If you are taking any prescription meds, Google them for side effects. If one of them lists leg cramps, get it changed to something else.

OK! HTH!
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:35 AM   #19
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Also: Google "Top 10 foods with potassium" and you will come across a wonderful list. I was surprised that paprika is in the top 5!! Now I sprinkle paprika on every thing. I use it liberally in sauces and soups and on casseroles and meat.

Start eating paprika, avacados, berries...... go find that list!
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:47 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yam-Yam View Post
Also: Google "Top 10 foods with potassium" and you will come across a wonderful list. I was surprised that paprika is in the top 5!! Now I sprinkle paprika on every thing. I use it liberally in sauces and soups and on casseroles and meat.

Start eating paprika, avacados, berries...... go find that list!
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:37 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Hatewashingup View Post
Coconut water has potassium as well as other benefits, I have been drinking it a lot recently especially before and after exercise.
Love coconut water I try to drink it every day.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:30 PM   #22
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Dana Carpender wrote a great post about it on her Hold the Toast blog. One of the take-home messages that stuck with me was that an hugely excellent source of potassium is PORK! I love me some chops, lol.
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