“You’d think they would have told us after you went into cardiac arrest,” she replied.
They are the dozens of specialists caring for me in the days, weeks, and months after my brain surgery.
“Three days after your surgery, your electrolytes bottomed and you went into cardiac arrest.”
I knew this story well as both my parents have told me of being pushed out of ICU and listening to the sounds of their child’s heart monitor flat lining. What stuck out this time, however, was the cause, which I’d also known. My electrolytes – my potassium – had been so deficient my heart stopped.
It has long been known that if your potassium, necessary to keep the heart beating, gets too low, your heart will stop.
You can imagine the drugstore pumped into me in the hours and weeks after the surgery. I was sent home with a medication to prevent seizures. I had a horrific reaction to it and was put on another medication. We were never told, and perhaps it wasn’t known back then, but the medication is known to deplete the body’s potassium stores. Within years of being on this medication I was experiencing debilitating migraines before a thunderstorm. You know, EMF Sensitivity!
The pain started two days before the storms rolled in.
The pain was horrendous so I was given strong narcotic pain killers. In reality, they did nothing to stop the pain, but they did allow me to sleep until the system passed on and the migraine disappeared.
In my mid-twenties I was offered Imitrex, a non-narcotic alternative. I jumped at the chance. I’d always hated the way the other stuff made me feel.
Not to mention I had to find someone to drive me home from the ER which sometimes meant waking my mom and stepdad up at 3am to come and get me.
Several months ago I began to suspect that potassium was the EMF mineral. Sure enough, when I brought my potassium stores up, my migraines disappeared.
Even when the thunderstorms rolled in, I was free of pain.
I continued taking the potassium and noticed my EMF Sensitivity symptoms disappeared. In fact, I could be around the Wi-Fi and other electrical and technology devices that used to make me ill without any issue. Not long after, I found an article that made me smile. Potassium had been shown in clinical trials to be as effective as Imitrex in treating migraines.
I experimented with potassium dose and my EMF Sensitivity symptoms. I would purposely let my stores fall by cutting back on the supplement and see which symptoms came back, how fast, and how long they lasted.
When my skin began to itch like it used to back in the East Bay, I took a 90 mg potassium supplement. Within minutes the itching stopped. Permanently. That is, as long as I took the potassium supplement.
I believe the electromagnetic frequencies that smog us daily invoke an immune response which drains critical minerals like magnesium and potassium. While magnesium deficiency definitely plays a role in our health, it is potassium deficiency that is at the center of EMF Sensitivity.
The best way to approach restoring mineral levels is to go for balance. If one mineral is out of balance, either too low or too high, others will be too and you have to take this into consideration as you rebuild your mineral stores.
There is a lot of trial and error in figuring out where you’re at and sometimes you experience nasty relapses. However, you can usually figure out what happened by looking at what you changed in terms of taking or no longer taking supplements.
This is how I learned about the DHEA – RA link. I woke up one morning so stiff and in so much pain I could barely get out of bed. What did I change? Well, seeing that my mineral levels were better I decided to quit tthe very small amount of DHEA I was taking. My mistake. It took 3 days but once my DHEA levels were back up the pain and stiffness disappeared.
I have found that numerous nagging little symptoms I attributed to other causes have all disappeared as I’ve restored my mineral balance.
A feeling of grit in my eyes, incredibly dry hair and skin, all the curl suddenly coming out of my hair, a dry itchy nose, a runny nose, discolored nails, soft nails that would tear and shred, sciatic pain, lower back pain, joint pain, itchy skin, to name a few.
One of the more poignant moments was when I read that severe potassium deficiency can cause intestinal paralysis.
I remember telling my neurosurgeon when I was 11 that I thought my intestines were paralyzed. Since my left side had been paralyzed, it was logical to assume my intestines, which engaged muscles as part of their normal function, had suffered the same. He dismissed my concern and told me to drink prune juice. This did absolutely nothing but give me a horrible stomach ache. Tasted vile, too. In my late twenties I again brought up to my doctor that I thought my intestines had become paralyzed from the brain surgery. He dismissed my concerns.
About four days after I began drinking the filtered water I felt my intestines move. It was the most wonderful feeling, and one I’ve experienced every day since.
I was right, my intestines were paralyzed, just not for the reasons I originally thought.
Although I am certain the Bay Area water, high in mercury , copper, and other contaminants, played a significant role in both my rheumatic arthritis** and EMF Sensitivity, I know it wasn’t the only source of mineral depletion. For decades I’d taken different medications that contributed to the problem.
Phenobarbital and then Dilantin after the surgery, antibiotics, Demerol/Vistrol for the migraines, birth control pills, aspirin, and other medications, including over the counter medications.
I haven’t taken pharmaceuticals in years and I intend to keep it that way as long as I can. In the meantime, I continue to rebuild my mineral stores and use nutrition to restore my health.
Incidentally, dark circles under your eyes can be a sign of low potassium.
** I was diagnosed with rheumatic arthritis, low thyroid, and heavy metal toxicity (mercury, nickel, and cadmium) after moving back to Michigan from Silicon Valley. The diagnosis was made via blood tests and hair mineral analysis by an MD.