Tracking my efforts to beat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), aka CFIDS, aka CFS

Tracking my efforts to beat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), aka CFIDS, aka CFS

Friday, February 3, 2012

Low Potassium Crashed Me

For several weeks, I'd been flirting with the idea of trying one of the vitamin B12 protocols.  Once I finally decided to try it, I had to decide between the two protocols suggested on Phoenix Rising.  Then there's the matter of figuring out the most current version of the protocol and exactly which supplements are to be taken in which amounts.  It's not as clear as you'd think.

As I digested all this information, I happened to have a bottle of vitamin B12 (methylcobalmin) lozenges lying around.  So I thought, "what the hell.  I'll get a little head start on whichever protocol I choose."  I figured, both protocols involve B12 supplements (along with at least 5 or 6 other things) so I might as well start popping the B12 while I make up my mind.

Yes, I had read the several, emphatic threads on PR warning about potassium depletion when starting the B12 protocols.  Apparently, it's critical to supplement potassium when you're on an active B12 protocol.  But, honestly, who thinks a few days head start with the B12 is going to harm anything?  (Actually, it was more like a week)

Well...last Saturday, I developed a brain fog like nothing I'd experienced before.  It lasted three days, and came with a general crash and a new type of headache.  I thought, could this be potassium depletion already?  After Googling the symptoms of low potassium, I decided it probably wasn't.  Wrong!

A day later, my muscles began to twitch...all over my body...non-stop.  Nerves were randomly twinkling like Christmas lights.  My heart rate increased, brain fog returned, and for the first time in my short run with ME, I truly, truly experienced depression.  It wasn't anything like I thought it would was much worse.  One does not just will himself into a happier state of mind.  I understand now why depression is described as a chemical change.

This lasted for another 48 hours.

While the brain fog could have been caused by any number of things, the twitching and depression pointed unmistakably to potassium deficiency.  I rushed out and purchased a bottle of potassium supplements. Within a few hours of taking the potassium, my symptoms began to resolve.  Now, three days later, I'm still feeling the occasional twitch, but they are slowly fading.

I guess I've learned not to mess around with these protocols.  I had a tendency to think, "it's all just vitamins! This is over-the-counter kiddie stuff."

Not so much anymore.  Lesson learned.

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