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Water "inside-the-cell" vs. "outside-the-cell"?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 08, 2013 at 4:30 PM

As I understand it, there's "two oceans of water": one inside-the-cell and one outside-the-cell.

Sodium attracts water out of the cell and potassium attracts water inside-the-cell.

From what I understand, edema is when water accumulates outside-of-the-cell.

If that's the case, it would seem like increasing potassium, and decreasing sodium would be the objective.

I also read that for the potassium/sodium pump to function properly, sufficient magnesium is required.

QUESTION:


Are there other co-factors that would help get water inside-the-cells instead of outside-the-cells?

[EDITED to add the following background]:

The reason I ask is it seems I'm having a terrible time balancing my electrolytes. Symptoms: muscle cramps, tension headaches, and occasional edema in feet (sometimes hands). Through a food diary, I have a set of suspect foods (kale, sweet potato, chocolate, which are high in oxalates) but I'm second guessing that conclusion because it might be the salt I'm having with those foods. I'm still experimenting. When things get really bad, my feet/hands cramp and swell, and I get muscle twitching.

I have 16oz of raw milk each day (so that should be enough calcium). I've read that raw milk offers the very most absorbable form of calcium around.

My BUN:creatinine ratio is 20 (normal is 10-20, with over 20 being an indicator of dehydration.). I drink more than 100 ounces of water/day (I'm 190lb male). My chiropractor administered a bio-impedance test (electrode on hand and foot) which reports the % of water inside-the-cells and outside-the-cells. The inside-the-cells was a bit lower than the reference range, but not hugely).

I've been working hard to ensure I'm getting enough magnesium (taking 500mg elemental magnesium in 4 jigsaw magnesium tabs/day. I just upped that to 6/day. I also have been using transdermal magnesium oil. The reason I'm currently focusing in on magnesium is that I have crohn's disease of the terminal ileum. Though I've been in remission for 20 years, there's lots of damage and scarring in that area of the intestine. That happens to be exactly where magnesium and B12 are absorbed so it seemed like a good hypothesis. (That's why I'm trying to also absorb magnesium through the skin, to bypass the intestine all together.).

My regular doc ran blood and urine tests and said everything is fine, which it clearly isn't.

Thanks,

Mike

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on July 09, 2013
at 02:05 PM

a final thought - have you tried intro gaps diet? I am just curious if you see any change of symptoms on it. Sometimes changing diet (say to fasting with coconut oil, or introducing carbs, or trying intro gaps with meat, probiotic yogurt or sauerkraut, and bone broth) can help you learn something about what could be the source of your problems, like fungi or bacteria, which we all have and which all tend to overgrow and cause problems at some point. I found a paper about someone with crohn's in remission and ocular edema. My grandmother had crohn's so it's good yours is in remission!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 09, 2013
at 02:01 AM

BTW, I just got back from my Paleo Doc and he told me that BUN / Creatinine is only a measure of dehydration at that exact second. If I chugged 16 ounces before the test, it would totally skew the results, and thus not a trend-able marker over years. (just wanted to share)

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 09, 2013
at 01:57 AM

BTW, it's funny you mention histamines. I thought perhaps that might be the problem because there's lots of symptom over-lap, and, I would also get terrible 5 minute long sneezing fits when I had certain high histamine foods. However, I no longer think that's the root cause. However, I did learn that when your body gets very dehydrated, it can provoke a histamine release (sneezing, watery eyes, ironically).

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 09, 2013
at 01:55 AM

Thanks again for all the links @Elf . BTW, I just got back from my paleo doc apt. He is having me get a kidney ultrasound (just to make sure they look ok). He's also having a set of fancier blood tests (one of which measures kidney inflammation).

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on July 08, 2013
at 09:50 PM

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/8-glasses-of-water-a-day/#axzz2YTnAJe00

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on July 08, 2013
at 09:50 PM

Also, some food for thought, because I really don't think drinking that much water a day is healthy for you (I know Dr. Brownstein recommends that much, but if you're eating paleo and not getting enough vegetables, I highly recommend switching to PHD-type diet - 3 lbs of vegetables a day (potatoes, sweet potatoes, avocado, tomatoes, bananas, etc.) and 1 lb of beef a day (more if you weight lift), etc.) As well as their supplementation...

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on July 08, 2013
at 09:46 PM

interesting. Some final thoughts: 1) histamine intolerance http://chriskresser.com/headaches-hives-and-heartburn-could-histamine-be-the-cause 2) Insufficient salt intake (perhaps try a mineral salt, like celtic sea salt) http://chriskresser.com/shaking-up-the-salt-myth-the-dangers-of-salt-restriction 3) Thyroid problems? http://paleohacks.com/questions/52161/hack-my-fasting-reaction#axzz2YUcrBJeu http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/long-and-pathetic/

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 08, 2013
at 08:40 PM

As kind of a 'hale-mary', I decided to see a chiropractor in case there was any goofy nerve impingement which was causing my kidneys to be over or under active. The chiro said my spine was in very good alignment, only minor issues in neck. I have been doing treatments for the last few months just for wellness , and just in case.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 08, 2013
at 08:27 PM

Other than this, I feel good, and am in good health (45, no prescriptions), crohn's been in remission for 20 years; I'd be surprised if it's an infection or parasite. Believe it or not, this has been going on for a few years (extremely frustrating).

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 08, 2013
at 08:24 PM

Thanks elf. When my regular primary care doc was completely unhelpful, I located a doc via paleo physicians network. Sadly, he wasn't particularly helpful, though much more motivated and interested in finding the root cause than my regular doc. The thing that worries me is if I have a more serious condition that isn't being identified as I fuss around with food diaries, trying to spot patterns in the noise.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on July 08, 2013
at 08:06 PM

Also, I found this interesting: http://agelessherbs.com/chinese-herbs/edema/ Chinese medicine says edema is typically caused by an infection. Would you consider getting a metametrix stool test, to search for pathogens/infections? They will give you a list of doctors who would be willing to work with you.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on July 08, 2013
at 08:04 PM

Hi Mike, I'm sorry I'm not much help, but in general, perhaps you could work with a functional medicine MD. I intuitively don't think that drinking 100 ounces of water is "natural." I try to take my fluid through beef broth and vegetables or rice, and 16 ounces of milk a day also seems like a lot.... It sounds silly but sometimes more, more, more (more supplements, more water) isn't better for helping your problem. I kind of wonder about your kidneys as well.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 08, 2013
at 07:06 PM

yes............

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on July 08, 2013
at 06:56 PM

also are you urinating proportionally to your liquid intake?

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 08, 2013
at 05:54 PM

Thanks Stephen. I just edited my question and added that I have 16oz of raw milk each day, so hopefully that covers the calcium. I'm searching through the archives now to see if perhaps I should add concentrace drops and perhaps stop drinking fluoridated tap water and go for spring water (or filter the tap water)

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 08, 2013
at 05:49 PM

Good point. If my memory is correct, I've read that 1 pound of glycogen wants 4 pounds water, so if you carb-up, you'll also retain water (though I don't know if that's inside-the-cell or outside.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 08, 2013
at 05:48 PM

Thanks so much for the PHD link. I'm a big fan of that book (in fact, I purchased the hard cover to loan to friends when the authors came to philly on a book tour).

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 08, 2013
at 05:48 PM

Thanksf for the reply. I just added background to the question, so please refresh the page.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on July 08, 2013
at 05:15 PM

Well potassium, sodium and magnesium represent 3 out of the 4 electrolytes. So I'll venture that calcium, being the 4th electrolyte, might play a role. +1 though, interesting question.

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2 Answers

1
8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on July 08, 2013
at 04:57 PM

I'm not sure if your question is about edema, so if you're trying to cure edema or if you're just trying to stay hydrated? But in general, I have read that salt is also important for hydration, so likely Chloride as well,

I'm not sure it would be as simple to cure edema by decreasing sodium/potassium ratios if that's what you're saying?

There are likely other factors as well as water contents of certain foods which would play a role. It's also not clear to me if certain micronutrients wouldn't influence this action, for example I know chromium is responsible for getting glucose into cells, but it's not clear if that should happen inside or outside of the cell (perfect health diet book, and I apologize if I've not said this correctly)

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/Perfect_Health_Diet_Color_Companion_v2.pdf

Edited to reflect the background update:

I know this might sound crazy but I had elevated BUN/Creatinine values eating the 1 g of protein/lean body mass (I think I was doing failed paleo diet).

I might actually recommend drinking less water and trying to get your "water" intake through food - tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes, or whatever foods high in potassium you can possibly eat. I think some water intake is normal, but I'm not sure if 100 ounces is necessary and if you're forcing yourself to drink it or just quite thirsty.

I also wonder if there isn't some other nutritional deficiency at work here, due to your medical background. Have you emailed Paul Jaminet or posted on their page?

Barring everything- here is an old post about edema:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/23921/non-supplement-solutions-for-edema-water-retentition#axzz2YUBcB9Zy

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on July 08, 2013
at 08:06 PM

Also, I found this interesting: http://agelessherbs.com/chinese-herbs/edema/ Chinese medicine says edema is typically caused by an infection. Would you consider getting a metametrix stool test, to search for pathogens/infections? They will give you a list of doctors who would be willing to work with you.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 08, 2013
at 07:06 PM

yes............

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on July 08, 2013
at 09:50 PM

Also, some food for thought, because I really don't think drinking that much water a day is healthy for you (I know Dr. Brownstein recommends that much, but if you're eating paleo and not getting enough vegetables, I highly recommend switching to PHD-type diet - 3 lbs of vegetables a day (potatoes, sweet potatoes, avocado, tomatoes, bananas, etc.) and 1 lb of beef a day (more if you weight lift), etc.) As well as their supplementation...

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 08, 2013
at 08:40 PM

As kind of a 'hale-mary', I decided to see a chiropractor in case there was any goofy nerve impingement which was causing my kidneys to be over or under active. The chiro said my spine was in very good alignment, only minor issues in neck. I have been doing treatments for the last few months just for wellness , and just in case.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 08, 2013
at 08:27 PM

Other than this, I feel good, and am in good health (45, no prescriptions), crohn's been in remission for 20 years; I'd be surprised if it's an infection or parasite. Believe it or not, this has been going on for a few years (extremely frustrating).

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on July 08, 2013
at 09:46 PM

interesting. Some final thoughts: 1) histamine intolerance http://chriskresser.com/headaches-hives-and-heartburn-could-histamine-be-the-cause 2) Insufficient salt intake (perhaps try a mineral salt, like celtic sea salt) http://chriskresser.com/shaking-up-the-salt-myth-the-dangers-of-salt-restriction 3) Thyroid problems? http://paleohacks.com/questions/52161/hack-my-fasting-reaction#axzz2YUcrBJeu http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/long-and-pathetic/

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 08, 2013
at 05:48 PM

Thanksf for the reply. I just added background to the question, so please refresh the page.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 08, 2013
at 05:48 PM

Thanks so much for the PHD link. I'm a big fan of that book (in fact, I purchased the hard cover to loan to friends when the authors came to philly on a book tour).

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 09, 2013
at 01:55 AM

Thanks again for all the links @Elf . BTW, I just got back from my paleo doc apt. He is having me get a kidney ultrasound (just to make sure they look ok). He's also having a set of fancier blood tests (one of which measures kidney inflammation).

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on July 08, 2013
at 06:56 PM

also are you urinating proportionally to your liquid intake?

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 09, 2013
at 01:57 AM

BTW, it's funny you mention histamines. I thought perhaps that might be the problem because there's lots of symptom over-lap, and, I would also get terrible 5 minute long sneezing fits when I had certain high histamine foods. However, I no longer think that's the root cause. However, I did learn that when your body gets very dehydrated, it can provoke a histamine release (sneezing, watery eyes, ironically).

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on July 08, 2013
at 08:04 PM

Hi Mike, I'm sorry I'm not much help, but in general, perhaps you could work with a functional medicine MD. I intuitively don't think that drinking 100 ounces of water is "natural." I try to take my fluid through beef broth and vegetables or rice, and 16 ounces of milk a day also seems like a lot.... It sounds silly but sometimes more, more, more (more supplements, more water) isn't better for helping your problem. I kind of wonder about your kidneys as well.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 08, 2013
at 08:24 PM

Thanks elf. When my regular primary care doc was completely unhelpful, I located a doc via paleo physicians network. Sadly, he wasn't particularly helpful, though much more motivated and interested in finding the root cause than my regular doc. The thing that worries me is if I have a more serious condition that isn't being identified as I fuss around with food diaries, trying to spot patterns in the noise.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on July 09, 2013
at 02:05 PM

a final thought - have you tried intro gaps diet? I am just curious if you see any change of symptoms on it. Sometimes changing diet (say to fasting with coconut oil, or introducing carbs, or trying intro gaps with meat, probiotic yogurt or sauerkraut, and bone broth) can help you learn something about what could be the source of your problems, like fungi or bacteria, which we all have and which all tend to overgrow and cause problems at some point. I found a paper about someone with crohn's in remission and ocular edema. My grandmother had crohn's so it's good yours is in remission!

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on July 08, 2013
at 09:50 PM

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/8-glasses-of-water-a-day/#axzz2YTnAJe00

0
Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

on July 08, 2013
at 04:58 PM

Insulin sensitive folk can get water in the cells after eating carbs...

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on July 08, 2013
at 05:49 PM

Good point. If my memory is correct, I've read that 1 pound of glycogen wants 4 pounds water, so if you carb-up, you'll also retain water (though I don't know if that's inside-the-cell or outside.

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