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Low potassium symptoms at 4.0-4.3 (blood test value)?

Commented on November 29, 2013
Created November 26, 2013 at 6:27 PM

If your blood potassium level is in the 4.0-4.3 range, it is possible to be experiencing symptoms of low potassium (even though it is well within the reference range of 3.6-5.1?

I know that many people experience B12 deficiency symptoms in the 200-550 range, even though in the USA, the cut-off for 'low b12' is below 200.

Thanks,

Mike

PS: I really wish there was an intra-cellular test for potassium, since 95% of it is in the cells, not in the blood.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on November 29, 2013
at 12:20 PM

I just checked my most recent labs: my chloride was 101 and the reference range was 101-111. According to: http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/chloride-cl

A test for chloride may be done to:

Check your chloride level if you are having symptoms such as muscle twitching or spasms, breathing problems, weakness, or confusion.

BTW, Sorry: when I deleted my comment about the typo, it deleted two of your reply comments which were very informative.

Medium avatar

(15)

on November 27, 2013
at 08:36 PM

You're welcome! And interesting. Apart from salt, magnesium, calcium and baking soda can also modestly lower aldosterone levels.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on November 27, 2013
at 08:23 PM

I'm sure I'm no where near 3000-4000. Based on these answers, I'm upping my sodium, along with increasing my potassium foods, combining it with magnesium, and 900mg supplemental potassium citrate. Thanks!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on November 27, 2013
at 07:42 PM

Funny you mention "aldosterone" While researching my 23andme methylation results, I came across this: "ACE Gene: This enzymes leads to high levels of angiotensin II which causes an increase in aldosterone. High aldosterone leads to increase potassium loss in the urine and increased sodium retention." My doctor dismissed this saying if this were relevant, I'd have high blood pressure, which I don't. An MAO-A mutation makes this worse. (which I have). I am hetero for ACE and homo for MAO-A.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on November 27, 2013
at 07:42 PM

I certainly will. I very much appreciate this tip. I'm presently reading a book on potassium and ironically, I am actually at the point in the book where they are discussing this very topic!

Medium avatar

(15)

on November 27, 2013
at 07:05 PM

Yes. You should familiarize yourself with the effects of salt restriction on aldosterone and the effects of aldosterone on mineral status.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on November 27, 2013
at 04:18 PM

Did you mean to type: "Over-restricting salt is a prime reason for getting low POTASSIUM" ???

Medium avatar

(15)

on November 27, 2013
at 01:21 PM

Over-restricting salt is a prime reason for getting low potassium because it leads to excessive aldosterone production (which retains sodium while overexcreting potassium, magnesium and calcium). You won't fix the problem by eating more potassium (this will make it even worse), you have to salt more. Also ensure that you got enough calcium in your diet (i.e. from dairy).

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on November 27, 2013
at 04:29 AM

I don't have very much salt at all. I think perhaps higher salt in me caused muscle cramps, headaches. However, I'm not questioning that and have a new hypothesis: I think I've been teetering on the brink of potassium deficiency, and when I take mega doses of B12, it further lowers the potassium causing muscle twitching and muscle cramps. I'm only day 2 into no supplements (except magnesium),consuming lots of potassium foods, while keeping salt down. I've read that potassium and sodium compete, and if you have too much sodium with not enough potassium, you can run into problems.

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Medium avatar

on November 26, 2013
at 07:11 PM

Don't pay too much attention to potassium blood test. You already know the reason obviously.

It's hard to get too much potassium. I drink a lot of coconut water (I usually buy it in by the carton).

Low sodium can feel much the same. It's easy to get too much sodium but even easier to get too little. You should average 3000-4000 mg a day IMHO...

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on November 27, 2013
at 08:23 PM

I'm sure I'm no where near 3000-4000. Based on these answers, I'm upping my sodium, along with increasing my potassium foods, combining it with magnesium, and 900mg supplemental potassium citrate. Thanks!

0
Medium avatar

on November 26, 2013
at 06:38 PM

Do you salt your food enough?

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on November 27, 2013
at 04:29 AM

I don't have very much salt at all. I think perhaps higher salt in me caused muscle cramps, headaches. However, I'm not questioning that and have a new hypothesis: I think I've been teetering on the brink of potassium deficiency, and when I take mega doses of B12, it further lowers the potassium causing muscle twitching and muscle cramps. I'm only day 2 into no supplements (except magnesium),consuming lots of potassium foods, while keeping salt down. I've read that potassium and sodium compete, and if you have too much sodium with not enough potassium, you can run into problems.

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