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Old 06-24-2005, 04:14 PM   #1
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consistently low potassium - ? Lyme connection

Okay, I've got a question of everyone who has "fatigue and body aches" -

My GP (not much of a believer in Lyme - but great with meds for other diseases) has been treating me for a low Potassium for 1-1/2 years now. He says the symptoms of low potassium are "fatigue & body aches"...

First it was cramming all the potassium-rich foods - lab results = no improvement.

Then it was potassium Huge pills - lowest dose + p.r. foods = lab = no improvement.

Then it was double the dose for 5 days per week + p.r. foods - lab: = no improvement.

Now it's 7 days a week on the double dose + p.r. foods.....sighhhhhhhh

I also started on Bicillin injections 1xweek and today can hardly drag myself around, (inj. was on Monday) I'm getting familiar aches and some mild brain fog and the "clincher" for me, bladder leaking, so I think I'm herxing - mildly except for the fatigue.

I'm so fortunate to have improved so much, but the doc is totally perplexed by the lack of improvement in my potassium......

Hmmmmm do ya think it could somehow be related to my Lyme?? HUH?

LOL - there's no end to the mysterious goings-on with this disease. Does anyone else have a problem with potassium? I never had one before and we've tried everything but a totally potassium rich diet....blaaaaach

Last edited by outinthe_woods; 06-24-2005 at 04:20 PM.

 
Old 06-24-2005, 05:29 PM   #2
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Re: consistently low potassium - ? Lyme connection

Although I don't know anything about potassium I just wanted to say that it sounds like yet again you've been through the "rigg-a-ma-row"....I am constantly suprised by how much of "troopers" we all become on this journey of living and fighting with Lyme. Day after day of looking and most often fighting for answers or to see progress, yet we continue to do so hoping and praying that maybe today we will see a ray of a little itty bitty piece of light. Sorry that it has been so hard and that there's been a lack of results for all of your efforts...hopefully with this last week of injections, signs of herxing, and double doses perhaps the work will pay off and you'll see a bit of that "ray of light". Heres to hoping!! Hang in there.
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Old 06-24-2005, 05:37 PM   #3
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Re: consistently low potassium - ? Lyme connection

Hi gerribear

I also have low potassium--very low--and have to take pills for it. When potassium is severely low, I don't think diet can help.

 
Old 06-25-2005, 03:27 PM   #4
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Re: consistently low potassium - ? Lyme connection

Thanks Romans & Ticker:

Ticker, may I ask what strength Potassium you take and if your doc has said there are any explanations for not being able to get it to normal? I only put it on the Board because my Doc admitted to being perplexed in spite of researching and adjusting other meds....LOL So, let's put it in the Lyme mix?!

 
Old 06-25-2005, 05:07 PM   #5
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Re: consistently low potassium - ? Lyme connection

gerribear, I take SIX 20meq Potassium pills daily! I used to take even more. This amount keeps my levels in the low normal range. I am also severely magnesium and iron deficient.

No one seems to know why this has happened in my case either. Low potassium can be very serious so make sure your levels are okay.

 
Old 06-25-2005, 08:35 PM   #6
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Re: consistently low potassium - ? Lyme connection

Gerribear,

I hope your doc is doing labs to monitor your levels! If you're low (like Ticker) you may need all that potassium. But if you're not that low, overdoses of K+ can cause cardiac irregularities (and at extremely high doses, death).

Kali
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Old 06-26-2005, 12:09 PM   #7
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Re: consistently low potassium - ? Lyme connection

Thanks Kali!

Yes, he's been testing my Potassium CONSTANTLY, sometimes much to my chagrin, I get cranky and wish terrible things upon him (but never Lyme! - I tell him he hasn't annoyed me enough for THAT! LOL) and I think GGB takes 6 TIMES daily as much as I take! (or is it BDFM?) sorry...I read but don't retain...what else is new, eh?

 
Old 06-26-2005, 01:24 PM   #8
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Re: consistently low potassium - ? Lyme connection

*Whew* Okay, then that's a relief. You mentioned the K+ hadn't helped your symptoms, or that things were no better, so I'm assuming that means your actual blood levels of K+ have stayed low. I know so little about Lyme that I don't know why this would happen, but it doesn't surprise me with all the muscle pain, cramps and twitching folks have. It does surprise me that levels don't come back up with supplementation, but perhaps what's going on there is the same process that made my DHEA supplementation not work for long periods of time. Who knows. Nasty little spirochetes!!
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Old 06-26-2005, 03:49 PM   #9
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Re: consistently low potassium - ? Lyme connection

SO right, Kali! I don't know what's keeping my potassium low but I'm going to research the heck out of it like I did everything else! At least my Brain Fog days are not as bad as they used to be and my printer is working ....

 
Old 06-26-2005, 06:12 PM   #10
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Re: consistently low potassium - ? Lyme connection

You know, I was looking up the signs of hypokalemia (low potassium) again and they include muscle weakness, paralysis, hyporeflexia (decreased tendon reflexes), ileus (intestines don't move things forward), cardiac arrhythmia's, etc. Many of these things folks have written or complained about whether on this board, on websites, or in books about Lyme. And several of these things are listed in the many different Lyme disease "checklists" we've seen. Perhaps this is because folks with Lyme are at a high risk of losing K+. Why would this be? Interesting. An alkalotic state can lower serum K+ levels. Any reason Lyme would make us alkalotic? Drugs such as penicillin G, diuretics, and aspirin can do this as well. Or high calcium levels. But that usually involves the parathyroid; and I'd hope most physicians would be able to identify that!
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Old 06-26-2005, 06:17 PM   #11
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Re: consistently low potassium - ? Lyme connection

thanks for trying, Kali! I appreciate your research!

 
Old 06-27-2005, 12:13 AM   #12
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Lightbulb Re: consistently low potassium - ? Lyme connection

Are you having leg cramps at night in bed?
Are your muscles cramping other places?
Potassium, calcium and magnesium is needed for the proper contraction of muscles....You can get into an electrolyte imbalance easily if you only take potassium....Magnesium is needed for the contraction of the muscles as well.
I had horrible leg cramps that were not relieved by massage or walking...as the "charley-horse type" usually is.
My Dr.~ Larry Sharp wondered if my blood was too thick. In Lyme disease your blood becomes thickened from the fibroblast in the red blood cells clumping together and the fibrogen being deposited in the vascular system. It has been found that the bacteria associated with Lyme Disease hides under the fibrogen.
Thank God he did.
My blood was tested for Coagulation Protrombin time....and It was so thick they had to stick me 6 times to fill the tubes. If he had not found this I would have been headed for deep vein thrombosis. Which would have been my death if a clot had traveled to my lungs, heart or brain.
I was put on Heparin....at the beginning of my treatment and it has done wonders. I no longer have cramps in my muscles from too thick (viscous) blood. IT was caused from the Lyme Disease.
which I am being treated for now.
Good luck and think of changing Dr.

Last edited by Jackjaw; 06-27-2005 at 12:23 AM.

 
Old 06-27-2005, 05:49 AM   #13
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Re: consistently low potassium - ? Lyme connection

Just wanted to add on to jackjaw's thourgh comment that it's been found that a high percentage of lyme patients suffer from exactly what he described. the actual name for it is called hypercoagulation. My llmd tested me for it before beginning therapy and thankfully I am one of the few, according to his experience, that does not suffer from it. Another sad fact about having hypercoagulation is taht the process of oxygen getting from your bloodstream to your cells takes on average about 5-10 minutes, whereas in a healthy non lyme patient the process is complete in 5 seconds!!

be well everyone....
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Old 06-27-2005, 07:23 AM   #14
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Re: consistently low potassium - ? Lyme connection

Thank you both for your input! I appreciate it! My prothrombin time test was okay and my doc checks it about every 6 weeks - I'm having pain in the front of legs, right near the tibial bone. First one leg, then the other. There's a temporary dip or crater it seems, that lasts about a week the most, with a bumpy "hill" next to it...I'm thinking it's spiroketes trying out another place...little buggies!

But, it's not bad at all compared to everything that came before! I'm grateful that my symptoms are definitely lessening....

 
Old 06-27-2005, 08:48 AM   #15
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Re: consistently low potassium - ? Lyme connection

Hi Jackjaw, welcome to the board!

How are you doing with your Lyme treatment? Have you been tested for the co-infections?

 
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