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Potassium Levels


Jennij
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I have dipped in and out of high potassium(high by about 0.3) levels over the last 20 years. No doctor ever said anything. I know that having high potassium with lowish sodium could point to a problem with the adrenal glands. Well, actually, even the opposite points to another problem with the adrenals!

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I tend to have slightly low K+. My dr said some people w POTS have this and he has never been overly concerned although has prescribed potassium supplement for me to take during episodes where I feel poorly b/c typically when I feel very badly my potassium is low. I find that eating foods high in potassium can help. I don't know about HIGH potassium however.

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Like MomtoGiuliana, I tend to also have low potassium. (& low sodium.) When I first got sick and ended up in the ER I had really low potassium, but I'm still not sure what caused it. I eat foods high in potassium and take a supplement besides my multi vitamins. I don't know about high levels either.

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Much of what I have read so far shows that potassium alterations are directly due to whether or not you retain salt or waste salt. They go hand in hand. Your adrenal glands might be off on producing aldosterone or your body absorbing aldosterone. I googled adrenal insufficiency because I can't retain salt in my cells. It sits with water in between my cells (causing swelling in ankles), and so I probably have potassium alterations too. Haven't been tested yet.

I did get tested for aldosterone levels. Cortisol and other things were tested too. Hope that helps.

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Hi. I haven't been on the forum for a long while, although I take a look from time to time, and I thought I'd jump in with this one....

There is a group of rare neuromuscular diseases called hypokalemic periodic paralysis and hyperkalemic periodic paralysis which are characterised by muscle weakness from sudden changes in potassium levels - episodes are commonly brought on by resting after exercise or by eating too many carbohydrates the day before. There is a spectrum of effects from episodes, with paralysis being at an extreme end. The disease is only diagnosable during an acute episode.

I saw a metabolic geneticist last year who queried one of these disorders for me - my blood pressure was found to collapse post-exercise (while my heart rate stayed perfectly stable) and my fasting blood sugar was found to spike to diabetic levels during a carbohydrate challenge (I didn't respond to carbohydrates as a diabetic would, but my blood sugar rose dramatically over night). BUT these responses only seemed to be happening periodically, and were becoming rarer as I got older. Apparently this is also consistent with these neuromuscular diseases - you're left with permanent weakness from middle age, but have fewer acute episodes of illness.

It might never be confirmed for me - I'm 47 now and I might have had two opportunities in the past 12 months to check the theory (both missed, for various reasons). I still plan to poke at my illness occasionally, with my pathology order form handy so that I can check my electrolytes when I experience an acute episode.

Just something for you to think about.

With best wishes

Dianne

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