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Thread: potassium & fatigue?

  1. #1

    potassium & fatigue?

    So I ended up in the ER Thursday night shivering with a 103 temperature and a 77/42 BP. I didn't want to go because I figured the low BP was due to dehydration since I really hadn't been drinking much except coffee for 2 days before. I couldn't figure out the chills and fever but I had a gatorade thinking that would calm things down, especially since I didn't have any cold symptoms. I did feel a little better after the gatorade which raised my BP but I was still cold and my temp. hadn't changed so we went to the ER. By the time we got there, my temp had dropped to around 102. They gave me 800 mgs of motrin, took blood, a urine sample and a chest x ray. Everything came back clean which suprised me because I thought, at the least, I probably do have a UTI. They thought that I must have an infection somewhere since I presented with a fever so they put me on IV Rocephen and a saline drip as a precaution. I was also told that I had a potassium deficiency so before I left, they had me take (ugg) two potassium pills. My temp. had dropped to around 99 by then. My point is, I felt so much better yesterday in terms of my energy level and noticed how small my feet were, no edema at all. I looked up potassium deficiency and found that it can lead to chronic fatigue syndrome which has been an issue for me. I had assumed it was just a side effect of chronic SCI but now I think this may have been the cause. I haven't been drinking the boost everyday like I should but even when I am consistent with the boost and the gatorade, I've never felt as good as I did yesterday. I don't know, maybe the saline drip helped too. For those SCI's who are always tired, be sure to have your potassium levels checked out, that may be the culprit.

    Potassium

    What does it do? Potassium is needed to regulate water balance, levels of acidity, blood pressure, and neuromuscular function. It’s also required for carbohydrate and protein metabolism.

    Where is it found? Most fruits are excellent sources. Beans, milk, and vegetables contain significant amounts.

    In what conditions might potassium be supportive?

    • congestive heart failure

    • chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

    • high blood pressure

    • kidney stones
    http://www.vitaminevi.com/Supp/Potassium.htm
    Last edited by antiquity; 12-02-2006 at 03:08 PM.

  2. #2
    I have/had potassium issues with my Lupus. When I was first paralyzed I was getting IV pottassium and then when I went home they prescribed those big freakin horse pills. Didn't really have any problems until summer of 2005. I had been feeling run down, but not enough to really think anything was wrong. After some Lupus lab work two docs made calls to the house to get to the ER and have it rechecked as my level was 2.5.

    After months of eating bananas, potatoes, etc. I was SO sick of them and my levels were still below normal. I asked my Lupus doc if there was a potassium pill I could take. He could tell I was sick of bananas and they weren't helping so he prescribed KDUR - 10mg. A small dose, but I have remained in the normal levels for potassium and don't have the fatigue like I used to. My blood pressure also came up. I was running on a good day 80/50 sitting up. After the KDUR I am now at 100/60.
    "Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today." ~ James Dean
    http://www.kristi-allen.com

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi
    I have/had potassium issues with my Lupus. When I was first paralyzed I was getting IV pottassium and then when I went home they prescribed those big freakin horse pills. Didn't really have any problems until summer of 2005. I had been feeling run down, but not enough to really think anything was wrong. After some Lupus lab work two docs made calls to the house to get to the ER and have it rechecked as my level was 2.5.

    After months of eating bananas, potatoes, etc. I was SO sick of them and my levels were still below normal. I asked my Lupus doc if there was a potassium pill I could take. He could tell I was sick of bananas and they weren't helping so he prescribed KDUR - 10mg. A small dose, but I have remained in the normal levels for potassium and don't have the fatigue like I used to. My blood pressure also came up. I was running on a good day 80/50 sitting up. After the KDUR I am now at 100/60.
    Thanks for responding Kristi. I had a boost and a banana for breakfast yesterday and didn't notice a difference in my energy level. I'm basically back to feeling the way I usually feel which is crappy. I wonder if SCI affects our ability to process potassium from foods?

  4. #4
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    Hi Antiquity,

    I am wondering if SCI also affects our ability to process potassium? I am fatigued at times as well and also have elevated temperatures at times with no explanation. I found this in regards to potassium and thought it was also interesting. It pertains to the bones and osteoporosis.

    Osteoporosis
    Four cross-sectional studies have reported significant positive associations between dietary potassium intake and bone mineral density (BMD) in populations of premenopausal, perimenopausal, and postmenopausal women and elderly men (11-13). The average dietary potassium intakes of the study participants ranged from about 3,000 to 3,400 mg/day, while the highest potassium intakes exceeded 6,000 mg/day and the lowest intakes ranged from 1,400 to 1,600 mg/day. In all of these studies, BMD was also positively and significantly associated with fruit and vegetable intake. The only study to examine changes in BMD over time found that higher dietary potassium intakes (and fruit and vegetable intakes) were associated with significantly less decline in BMD at the hip in men, but not in women over a period of four years (13). Potassium-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables are also rich in precursors to bicarbonate ions, which serve to buffer acids in the body. The modern western diet tends to be relatively low in sources of alkalai (fruits and vegetables) and high in sources of acid (fish, meats, cheeses). When the quantity of bicarbonate ions is insufficient to maintain normal pH, the body is capable of mobilizing alkaline calcium salts from bone in order to neutralize acids consumed in the diet and generated by metabolism (14). Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables reduces the net acid content of the diet and may preserve calcium in bones, which might otherwise be mobilized to maintain normal pH. Support for this theory was provided by a study of 18 postmenopausal women, which found that potassium bicarbonate supplementation decreased urinary acid and calcium excretion, while increasing biomarkers of bone formation and decreasing biomarkers of bone resorption (15).
    http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocente...ase_prevention

    I know some meds like blood pressure meds cause you to lose potassium faster.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by darkeyed_daisy
    Hi Antiquity,

    I am wondering if SCI also affects our ability to process potassium? I am fatigued at times as well and also have elevated temperatures at times with no explanation. I found this in regards to potassium and thought it was also interesting. It pertains to the bones and osteoporosis.



    http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocente...ase_prevention

    I know some meds like blood pressure meds cause you to lose potassium faster.
    Hmmm, thanks DD. That is interesting, a fever with no infection. I wonder what's behind that?

    Regarding the potassium, I'm not on any meds, the only diuretic I consume is coffee and I eat more veggies than meat yet I'm potassium deficient so my body, like Kristi's, must not be metabolizing potassium from my dietary sources. I wonder if low BMD does have something to do with it since I am (most of us are) osteoporotic. Hopefully the spinal nurses or Dr. Young will chime in.
    Last edited by antiquity; 12-03-2006 at 03:21 PM.

  6. #6
    Potassium supplement should only be used under your doctor's direction, and must be based on periodic blood chemistry tests. Those who have any cardiac disease or kidney damage should NOT take potassium supplementation without close physician supervision. If you take a potassium wasting diuretic, you also need to have your potassium levels checked. Potassium levels that are either too high or too low can be dangerous.

    (KLD)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by antiquity
    Hmmm, thanks DD. That is interesting, a fever with no infection. I wonder what's behind that?
    Perhaps stress.....the last couple of times I have had procedures done (EGD, hysterectomy), I have had anywhere from 101 to 102 before. Maybe it is doctors in general that elevates it.....LOL

    I am very hot natured as well and worse since my injury. I rarely wear a heavy coat unless the wind is blowing really bad.

    Another interesting weirdness...regarding blood pressure. High blood pressure is a familial thing in my family and I had been on BP meds(age of 12) for 8 years before my accident (age of 20). When I had my spinal cord injury BP normalized and never had any other evidence of high BP.
    Last edited by darkeyed_daisy; 12-04-2006 at 10:50 AM.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Is CFS tested for like mononucluosus? I'm still tired if I get 10 hours of sleep during the week and more on weekends. During my hospital time for a kidney infection, fever of 105 when admitted and my normal am of 97.1 to 97.7, I was tested for mono. Negative for everything but a simple E. Coli kidney infection. Still feeling tired 3 months later. Only thing out of what I thought was my norm was anemia but not from lack of non-ferrous iron. Any help for this?
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Broknwing's Avatar
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    Another tidbit of information regarding low potassium/potassium deficiency...It can cause leg cramps/muscle spasms. I learned this YEARS ago, back when I was a workahaulic and sleep deprived...

    Another interesting tidbit....Dasani water(bottled by Coke) says on it's label "enhanced with minerals for a pure, fresh taste", when reading the label more closely, one of those minerals is in fact Potassium...Yes, it's a relatively minimal ammt, probably neglegable to most people, HOWEVER, at least for ME, it's enough to make a difference between HORRENDOUS daily leg cramps and not...I therefore drink Dasani water DAILY...It may be something for y'all to consider trying to help with your potassium levels...
    'Chelle
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broknwing
    Another tidbit of information regarding low potassium/potassium deficiency...It can cause leg cramps/muscle spasms. I learned this YEARS ago, back when I was a workahaulic and sleep deprived...

    Another interesting tidbit....Dasani water(bottled by Coke) says on it's label "enhanced with minerals for a pure, fresh taste", when reading the label more closely, one of those minerals is in fact Potassium...Yes, it's a relatively minimal ammt, probably neglegable to most people, HOWEVER, at least for ME, it's enough to make a difference between HORRENDOUS daily leg cramps and not...I therefore drink Dasani water DAILY...It may be something for y'all to consider trying to help with your potassium levels...
    The blood pressure medicine I was on in my early teens also depleted potassium. I had to eat a bananna every morning when I took my pill.

    Ahhh the medical mysteries we all are....LOL
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

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