Long35 - I agree with you. Self medicating even supplements could tend to be deadly. I know, when I worked in the ER I used to see it all the time. I do watch my sodium intake, and do not use salt substitutes. Bev
I'll definitely second the motion that you see your doctor before taking supplements. Lowering salt intake is usually a good thing. Anything more than a banana a day could be too much potassium. Make no mistake, potassium can kill! I am on a potassium supplement, prescribed by my doctor because I am chronically low, and my instructions are (1) no bananas, (2) no substitute salt (it has potassium in it, and no potassium rich foods in my diet. The combination could be deadly. I've known this doctor for well over 30 years, watched her go from a family practice doctor, to going to UCLA to become a cardiac surgeon - I trust her judgement! Be good to yourself - don't self diagnose. Fran
Fitness Minutes: (39,527) Posts: 24,771 3/10/13 4:17 P
WHITNEYTEACHER - I'm glad that you made the connection :-)
And yes - IF YOU WANT TO TAKE SUPPLEMENTS OTHER THAN MULTIVITAMINS, PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR DR!!!!
In Australia a woman needed an operation. She was asked what meds she was on and she listed them. That was o.k. She had the minor surgery, but later died. It turned out she was taking GARLIC SUPPLEMENTS and hadn't listed them (most don't think of supplements as meds) and that caused the problem. It thins the blood as do some herbs in excess. This is what caused her to bleed out.
That is an extreme example, but not as uncommon as people think.
And now more and more randomized studies are being done about whether supplements (even multivitamins) are beneficial...turns out that different vitamins that people have been taking lots of because they think it's healthy leads to higher cancer rates--the thinking is now that the cancer cells like the extra nourishment! My doctor and I figure that if I eat a good diet, and get what I need from that, the only thing I should be taking other than my RA meds is a baby aspirin a day. And the baby aspirin was touted by the ancient Greeks in the form of willow bark. Aspirin has been shown to cut several types of cancer rates as well. Just my two and a half cents for the day. Being a nurse, I see so many people that figure if a little is good, then a lot must be a lot better, but it's not. Like anything else, if your body can't use it, it will either excrete it or the buildup will cause harm instead of good. TTFN.
Blessed be. Becky
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And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye. --Antoine de Saint-Exupery
56ROSE, You should read the Mayo Clinic information. Supplements really aren't recommended without doctor's supervision because too high potassium levels can cause heart attack. You may be getting more than you realize from your food. The nutrients in supplements don't react in your body the same as the nutrients in food. It's processed differently, your body has the ability to filter out excess potassium from food but it's not at easy with the chemical form found in supplements. I'd recommend looking at the list of potassium rich foods and trying to incorporate them into your diet instead. The salt substitute takes some getting used to but I think it is a good alternative to salting food. I'm also becoming a fan of all the different varieties of Mrs. Dash.
My name is Carolyn (Whitney is my last name, I'm a retired high school biology teacher = WHITNEYTEACHER) Grants Pass, Oregon
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Thanks for the information. I'm glad that you were able to make the connection and resolve the swollen ankles problem. According to the nutrition tracker, I'm consistently low on potassium. I also probably need to limit salt intake. I'm at the higher end of the daily sodium recommendations. I've looked at otc potassium supplements but the daily dose is so low compared to daily requirements. Thanks again!
Marilyn Boise, ID Mountain Time Zone
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I recently had a problem with my ankles swelling, some of you followed the posts and I thank you for your input and suggestions. What finally solved the problem for me was simply recalling a concept I used to teach, the relationship between sodium and potassium in your cells. Iím a retired Biology teacher, NOT a doctor so this information is from an educational standpoint, not medical advice but I thought it might be helpful to understand a little more about how this part of your body works. Your body controls the movement of sodium and potassium into and out of your cells by something called the Sodium Potassium Pump. It is very important to your body to keep this balance. Too much sodium can cause conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke or kidney disease. Too much potassium mainly affects your heart causing weakness, irregular heartbeat and even death. The pump moves sodium and potassium in or out of your cells to maintain the needed balance. If the pump isnít working right or if you donít have enough of either sodium or potassium than your cells canít maintain that balance. Itís more common for people to have too much sodium. Water follows salt so water enters your cells and now your ankles swell, or other parts, thatís what edema is. Salt substitute is made from Potassium Chloride, salt is Sodium Chloride. In my case, even though I didnít feel like I was using the salt shaker too much I switched to salt substitute and it didnít take long for the swelling to disappear. Potassium supplements are not recommended unless prescribed by your doctor because it can be life threatening if you get too much and itís pretty easy to get enough from proper diet. Hereís a link from Mayo Clinic that explains that and also has a table of potassium rich foods
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