1

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Cramping Antagonists: Sodium <-> Potassium; Mag <-> Cal ; Vit K (k2) <-> ?? Kale?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 17, 2013 at 6:55 PM

I'm really not sure my problem is electrolyte balance (though for some reason I keep coming back it this hypothesis), and I'm kinda grasping a straws here but:

Twice recently, I went from feeling great to severe systemic muscle cramps (calves, feet, hands, scalp, neck).

One change in my food routine both times was adding greek yogurt & raw kale to my routine.

I have the impression (incorrectly so, perhaps) that Kale and certain other veggies can bind to minerals. Could that be enough to mess me up if I'm teetering on the brink of my minerals being out of whack?

I do consume plenty of dairy (for the calcium), so I supposed that too much calcium could lower magnesium levels.

Are there any other food antagonists that could be relevant for muscle cramping?

Also, for some crazy reason, I keep having the impression that I run into problems when I shake salt onto my food. Could that suggest I'm low in potassium?

At the same time, histamines is on my radar and of course yogurt (being fermented) would be high in histamines.

BTW, I did find an osteopath on the Paleo Physicians Network and saw him last week. I had this blood test performed (and am waiting for the results):

http://www.drhorvitz.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/spectracell-comprehensive-nutritional-panel.jpg

Any and all thoughts or theories (no matter how remote) would be very much appreciated !

If I could just get to the bottom of this, I'd be the happiest caveman in the modern age :-)

Mike

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on February 26, 2013
at 02:47 PM

Thanks @Hemming , please continue to report your experiences.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 26, 2013
at 07:07 AM

FWIW. I've just over the last couple of days experienced the opposite. On the days when I've had raw cream in the evening I feel better in general (energy and mood) and I actually sleep. I haven't tested it enough yet to say that is the final conclusion, there are some other factors I need to control too. Just an observation from my side.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on February 21, 2013
at 11:50 AM

I certainly will share the outcome. This is a slow process of having a hypothesis, constructing experiments trying to isolate variables, and re-testing to confirm. It really does seem that I'm reacting to either salty foods, or foods high in histamines. I think I ruled out calcium rich roods competing with magnesium. I had a lot of bacon and am having full blown muscle twitching. There's no calcium in the bacon, but it is high in histamines/tyramines as well as sodium. I think my next experiment (after stable) is to simply add salt to my water to isolate salt from histamines.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 21, 2013
at 03:50 AM

thanks for the link Mike. you will have to update your question if you have any success with the potassium supps, or anything else

90bcfafd2ef73fea5398c483c593349e

(872)

on February 20, 2013
at 04:36 AM

You're very welcome, Mike. Our bodies are so complex, aren't they? I wonder sometimes if we're even capable of fully understanding them. It just takes a lot of time and patience to figure these things out by process of elimination. Keep at it!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on February 19, 2013
at 12:35 PM

@daz: I had the same question. It really makes no sense. Check out: http://paleohacks.com/questions/109431/dangerous-potassium-supplements-hack-my-cramps-twitches-please#axzz2LLcD5xwc

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 19, 2013
at 08:42 AM

Please keep us posted on how your experiment with eliminating calcium goes.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 19, 2013
at 04:18 AM

Mike, i see on iherb that there are some magnesium supps that include potassium. may work out a good option if you are after mag as well? i may give them a go when i order my next mag supps, the potassium is still only small, but better than nothing...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 19, 2013
at 04:12 AM

anyone know why potassium supps seem to be limited to 99 mg per tablet? is it because its 'concentrated' potassium, in contrast to potassium found in food. after all the RDI for potassium is 4.7 grams per day for adults (5.1 grams p/d if breastfeeding), & 99 mg works out at 0.099 grams!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on February 19, 2013
at 03:36 AM

Yes , sometimes twitching but not from exercise.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on February 19, 2013
at 03:16 AM

do you get twitching too? exercise intolerance?

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on February 19, 2013
at 01:21 AM

I have these, have use the drops in the past, but it didn't seem to be the magic solution, at least by itself. I am circling back and and retrying some things that didn't solve all by themselves. Thanks for the reminder of these

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on February 19, 2013
at 01:20 AM

If I figure this out I will shout it from every roof top, and answer every post I've posted here. I've approached this from a million different angles,and I'm sure folks are sick of me already :-)

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on February 18, 2013
at 04:03 PM

If you figure this out, let us know some how. I get cramps- lately they've been in on the top of my feet, and I don't drink milk or eat kale. Despite drinking plenty of water, I seem to be dehydrated all the time. Salt seems to help. I can't figure it out either.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on February 18, 2013
at 04:27 AM

And thanks, I have used nuun before but I think I'll buy some more and retry. And, the more I think about it, I think I should do a week of high salt. And, though I had been taking magnesium, I had stopped that (and all pills), trying to do just food. Maybe it's worth revisiting that decision as well.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on February 18, 2013
at 04:19 AM

Thanks so much for the reply Lesley. I'm embarrassed I haven't solved this yet. I think I've tried high and low salt, but since there's so many variables involved, I'm doubling back to retry things in case I got it wrong. At a high level, not knowing if it's a food reaction (e.g. histamines) or a deficiency of a certain mineral or vitamin makes this insanely hard to figure out. The fact that when I eat high histamine foods I get sneezing fits might not be related to the cramping, and might just be sending me down a rabbit hole.

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3 Answers

best answer

1
90bcfafd2ef73fea5398c483c593349e

on February 18, 2013
at 12:45 AM

Hi CaveMan_Mike, I've battled with cramping, too. I can't speak to your question on Kale, but I can share what's killed my cramping problem. I've found three things to be helpful on this front: taking a daily magnesium supplement, eating quality meals, and drinking a bit more water than I think I'm thirsty for, especially in the evening hours.

Don't be afraid to salt your food to taste. This especially holds true if you're eating unprocessed foods like every cave man should. I find my cramping tries to come back when I'm eating lots of food with salt already added or if my meals are not well-rounded. The other night my dinner of just prosciutto came back to haunt me, if you know what I mean. If I'm plagued by cramps and nothing works (which almost never happens anymore) I drink a Nuun. I also drink these during my fasted workouts to prevent cramping.

Here's a link to my favorite flavor if you're interested: http://www.amazon.com/nuun-Active-Hydration-Tropical-Tablets/dp/B004WKSMA4/ref=sr_1_20?ie=UTF8&qid=1361148129&sr=8-20&keywords=nuun

Good luck!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on February 18, 2013
at 04:27 AM

And thanks, I have used nuun before but I think I'll buy some more and retry. And, the more I think about it, I think I should do a week of high salt. And, though I had been taking magnesium, I had stopped that (and all pills), trying to do just food. Maybe it's worth revisiting that decision as well.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on February 18, 2013
at 04:19 AM

Thanks so much for the reply Lesley. I'm embarrassed I haven't solved this yet. I think I've tried high and low salt, but since there's so many variables involved, I'm doubling back to retry things in case I got it wrong. At a high level, not knowing if it's a food reaction (e.g. histamines) or a deficiency of a certain mineral or vitamin makes this insanely hard to figure out. The fact that when I eat high histamine foods I get sneezing fits might not be related to the cramping, and might just be sending me down a rabbit hole.

90bcfafd2ef73fea5398c483c593349e

(872)

on February 20, 2013
at 04:36 AM

You're very welcome, Mike. Our bodies are so complex, aren't they? I wonder sometimes if we're even capable of fully understanding them. It just takes a lot of time and patience to figure these things out by process of elimination. Keep at it!

1
4debe57f81d507bcb844f10b2ef38a83

(398)

on February 18, 2013
at 03:37 PM

I use these drops to remineralize purified drinking water. When I do this, I rarely have problems. However, bursts of heavy physical activity can give me excrutiating cramps in my thighs, so bad I can barely stand. Several drops in a little water gives INSTANT relief. They have a very broad spectrum of minerals, equivalent to the minerals in sea water without the sodium. I can usually find them at my health food store and one bottle lasts a long time.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000AMUWLK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=g0c0d-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000AMUWLK

I am a huge fan of raw dairy, and I have found that drinking a lot of milk seems to contribute to muscle cramps. So I need to practice moderation there. The cost of it usually forces moderation.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on February 19, 2013
at 01:21 AM

I have these, have use the drops in the past, but it didn't seem to be the magic solution, at least by itself. I am circling back and and retrying some things that didn't solve all by themselves. Thanks for the reminder of these

0
7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

on February 19, 2013
at 03:42 AM

Could the calcium in milk + kale be competing for absorption with magnesium?

I had cheese last might and today, along with milk and went from feeling good to abrupt muscle contraction, tension headache, neck muscles got tight.

I will experiment with eliminating calcium for a few days, combined with the magnesium zma I bought today to see if I can feel better.

Just one of a zillion hypothesis to prove out experimentally.

Thanks for any thoughts,

Mike

Ps: Today I got some potassium caps and am starting at 3 per day to see if that helps

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 19, 2013
at 04:12 AM

anyone know why potassium supps seem to be limited to 99 mg per tablet? is it because its 'concentrated' potassium, in contrast to potassium found in food. after all the RDI for potassium is 4.7 grams per day for adults (5.1 grams p/d if breastfeeding), & 99 mg works out at 0.099 grams!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on February 19, 2013
at 12:35 PM

@daz: I had the same question. It really makes no sense. Check out: http://paleohacks.com/questions/109431/dangerous-potassium-supplements-hack-my-cramps-twitches-please#axzz2LLcD5xwc

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 19, 2013
at 08:42 AM

Please keep us posted on how your experiment with eliminating calcium goes.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 21, 2013
at 03:50 AM

thanks for the link Mike. you will have to update your question if you have any success with the potassium supps, or anything else

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 19, 2013
at 04:18 AM

Mike, i see on iherb that there are some magnesium supps that include potassium. may work out a good option if you are after mag as well? i may give them a go when i order my next mag supps, the potassium is still only small, but better than nothing...

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on February 21, 2013
at 11:50 AM

I certainly will share the outcome. This is a slow process of having a hypothesis, constructing experiments trying to isolate variables, and re-testing to confirm. It really does seem that I'm reacting to either salty foods, or foods high in histamines. I think I ruled out calcium rich roods competing with magnesium. I had a lot of bacon and am having full blown muscle twitching. There's no calcium in the bacon, but it is high in histamines/tyramines as well as sodium. I think my next experiment (after stable) is to simply add salt to my water to isolate salt from histamines.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 26, 2013
at 07:07 AM

FWIW. I've just over the last couple of days experienced the opposite. On the days when I've had raw cream in the evening I feel better in general (energy and mood) and I actually sleep. I haven't tested it enough yet to say that is the final conclusion, there are some other factors I need to control too. Just an observation from my side.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on February 26, 2013
at 02:47 PM

Thanks @Hemming , please continue to report your experiences.

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