The Catch-22 of Electrolyte Balance

4seat-see-sawA reader contacted me with a very astute observation.  Since I believe the information is of value to a wider audience, I will respond in a post.  I will begin, however, by pointing out that this is a very complex situation as it involves the interrelationship between several nutrients that are electrolytes.  I will do my best to explain it in a simplified manner, but the truth is, it’s a complex aspect of nutritional balancing.

From the email:

Just a thought/brainstorm on your bakingsode/calcium and potassium/EMF’s posts:

Increased potassium intake is associated with calcium urinary retention:

Therefore it seems that sodium bicarbonate is the preferred method and not potassium bicarbonate (it could have been that the bicarbonate was the main item that worked but due to this research it does not seem that way).

However, higher sodium intake lowers potassium levels as it directly affects the sodium/potassium equilibrium.

Therefore higher sodium intake most likely leads to higher EMF susceptibility.

Therefore attacking hard water with high calcium with sodium may lead to higher EMF susceptibility.

And attacking EMF susceptibility with potassium leads to higher calcium retention and all of its negative effects.

This seems like a catch22 (unless for moving to a soft water location).

He brings up excellent points.

Up and Down on the Playground.  This goes to that teeter totter relationship that I’ve written about.  Imagine a nutrient (say, sodium) on one side and it’s on the ground while the other side (potassium) is up – because there isn’t enough of it.  If you want to bring balance you can attack it in multiple ways.  You could remove some of the sodium until there is balance or you could add potassium until there is balance.

I’m sure others could come up with other methods as well.

When it comes to the minerals involved in EMF Sensitivity, there is a catch-22 for the simple reason that there are more than two components needing balance.

Each side of that teeter totter is connected to other teeter totters.

As I write in Calcium: The Old Man Mineral and Its Role in EMF Sensitivity, excess calcium can wreak havoc with our health.  Therefore, in addressing the specific symptoms, it is necessary to reduce excess calcium.

Either by removing some or by adding its counter component.  Just one little detail… there’s more than one counter component!

Calcium is a mineral, a metal, an electrolyte.  Here are the other electrolytes:

  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Chloride
  • Phosphate

You cannot upset the balance of one without affecting the others.  This means that you have multiple connected teeter totters going up and down helter-skelter as you work to bring them into balance.

All Bets Are Off.  Interestingly, the problem I ran into after moving to a soft water location was that, in spite of continuing the baking soda to address the excess calcium, I ended up low in sodium.

Horribly low.

I believe it ironic because one of the nutritional myths is that people who are worried about sodium intake shouldn’t use baking soda.  However, as Dr. Sircus writes, that is not necessarily the case.

Rather than reinvent the wheel on this, I suggest reading his material.

I eat a very low sodium diet by nature.  I also eat potassium rich foods.  This led to a nasty situation wherein I had to increase my sodium intake.

NOT through ingesting sodium bicarbonate!

I made the mistake of drinking an electrolyte drink that was higher in potassium – worsening the symptoms associated with the low sodium, most notably dizziness and a nasty ringing in my ears.  Upon increasing my sodium intake, the ringing ceased and the dizziness went away.

So, yes, there is a catch-22 with balancing electrolytes because you can easily throw off other electrolytes.  It’s definitely a complex situation.

Location matters!  As I write in Calcium: The Old Man Mineral and Its Role in EMF Sensitivity, the therapy one uses while living in an area with hard water will yield different results than when living in an area without it.

For me, the therapies, including homeopathy and probiotics, were ineffective.  In my situation, the probiotics were a total disaster in such an environment and it took months to straighten that mess out.

Yes, low potassium increases EMF Sensitivity but I actually ended up with low sodium through the bicarbonate therapy.

My potassium was too high relative to sodium.  Go figure.

The interrelationship between the electrolytes is complex and needs to be managed carefully.  For me, the baking soda therapy was indeed the most effective at removing the excess calcium but yes, it brought with it some unfortunate side effects.  I addressed those as quickly as I became aware of them but it took awhile for me to figure out that my symptoms were due to low sodium and not low potassium.

About 36 hours.

Tricky business.  Detoxing and rebuilding nutritional balance is an incredibly complex venture and I adamantly encourage people who are not knowledgeable to consult with a health care professional when starting on the path.

Especially, if you take any medication or have specific health issues that need to be considered.

 It can be incredibly frustrating, and it is hard work.

You will find yourself saying “Now what?!” more often than you care for. 

However, when you restore nutritional balance, your symptoms resolve and the sensitivity to EMFs disappears.

At least, it did for me.

Return of the Suffering.  The symptoms and sensitivity will return if balance is knocked out again, so it is imperative that you determine how it got out of balance to begin with.

Many medications deplete valuable nutrients – and electrolytes in particular.

In my situation, the damage from excess calcium led me to take action.  Unfortunately, due to that catch-22, I did experience other [temporary] electrolyte imbalances.

For me, it was absolutely worth the temporary discomfort. 

I addressed these imbalances as soon as I became aware of them!

Detox is complex too!  The gentleman also asked me to comment on the rigorous detoxification I undertook.  I comment more on this in Wipeout EMF Sensitivity, the Challenge of Curing Autoimmune Disease.  In summary, you need to be very careful when doing a rigorous detox because you can really throw off your electrolyte balance if you aren’t careful.  The most effective way to approach, in my opinion, is as follows:

  • Stop ingesting the problem

This requires determining what is causing the problem and dealing with it.

  • Use nutritious food to replenish nutrients

Use supplements sparingly and get off of them as soon as possible.

  •  Take other steps as appropriate

Only you can determine if colonics or infrared or other therapies associated with detoxification are appropriate for you.  

I have found that inundating the body with good nutrition in the absence of the toxins is an effective way to get the toxic environment turned around, retoring health.

The minerals will displace the metals.

The key is to discontinue ingesting the toxin that caused the issue(s) in the first place.

You absolutely have to determine how you were exposed.  Find the source and either stop ingesting it or move the hell away from it.

Did You Say MOVE?  That might be what it takes.  Is it hard?  You bet!  Is it ideal?  No!  You may have to turn your life upside down in order to deal with the source of the toxins, but I do not know – in all honesty – any other way to ensure you can fully heal.

And stay healthy. 

Unique.  As a final comment, I wish to point out that my body chemistry is unique to me.  I customized everything to address my particular situation.  I gathered information, considered what I was dealing with, and mapped out a plan.  I adapted the plan as appropriate for each member of my family, taking into consideration their individual needs.

I also considered their age, weight, sex, and how much of various toxins they were exposed to.

There is no quick fix.

The remedies I discovered and share in Riding the Waves: Diagnosing, Treating, and Living with EMF Sensitivity can ease the symptoms so that you can address the underlying issue without the stress of suffering the symptoms as you do so.  Desperation can lead you to make poor choices so I encourage people to ease the symptoms when they can and address the underlying cause in order to restore health and end the sensitivity.


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