Support for health & wellness

Sodium-Potassium Imbalance

on November 23, 2013

Sodium is something I have to be careful w/ due to the fact that I have meneires disease which is like vertigo on crack in conjunction w/ a sodium-potassium imbalance…trust me, when I have too much sodium it ain’t a pretty sight!  My ears ROAR AND RING simultaneously which allows me to hear my pulse, effects my equalibreium (well that can’t be spelled right)  making me extremely light headed AND another wonderful sodium side effect is it will kick my RLS (restless leg syndrome) back into play; YES y’all it’s a real thing!  My legs just ache so bad and I feel like I have to move ’em…my honey calls it “the jumpy leg”…sometimes I literally just have to stand up & sway rotating my weight from leg to leg…its awful!  But Praise the Lord I rarely have THAT issue anymore.

Sodium and potassium are minerals that work together to regulate the transport of nutrients into the body’s cells and remove waste from the inside of a cell.   Any imbalance between these two electrolytes leads to excess fluid entering the cells <<which just happen to be in MY HEAD>>, which causes the tissues to swell. When fluid accumulates in the tissues of the lower extremities, swelling of the ankles and feet often occurs.

Sodium is a mineral that acts as an electrolyte. It helps keep the amount of water inside and outside of the body’s cells in balance. Too much sodium in the diet can raise blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke <<I had a TIA/mini-stroke 6 months after turning 40>>. If you have heart disease, consuming excessive amounts of sodium in your diet can lead to edema – or water retention – causing the legs, ankles and hands to swell. High sodium intake can also impair kidney function. Although it is uncommon to suffer from low sodium levels, severe vomiting and diarrhea or taking medications such as diuretics can cause sodium deficiency.

The mineral potassium plays several key roles in the body. Cell function depends in large part on proper potassium levels. Potassium helps regulate heartbeat and aids in nerve conduction and muscle contraction. This essential nutrient also plays a part in assuring a correct fluid balance between body fluids within and outside of the cells. Symptoms of potassium deficiency include muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, headahces (MAJOR), chronic fatigue and swollen feet and ankles. In some cases, you may have to limit the amount of potassium you consume in your diet if you have kidney disease or are taking certain medications.  Either too much of a mineral or a deficiency can lead to electrolyte imbalances in the body <waving hand>>. Sometimes, dietary changes can correct the condition <<yes, yes, yes it did..nowhere nearly how I used to suffer>>.  Symptoms can include weight gain <<had it>>, swollen hands and wrists <<yup>>, increased urination, high blood pressure and heart palpitations.  Some of these symptoms can be reduced or eliminated by regulating salt intake, drinking plenty of water, increasing physical activity by walking, using diuretics cautiously and all these remedies will help you to lose weight.

**side bar** Sodium, we all know it as salt but did you know many sodium compounds are useful, such as sodium hydroxide (lye) for soap-making, and sodium chloride for use as a deicing agent and a nutrient (edible salt). Sodium is an essential element for all animals and some plants. In animals, sodium ions are used against potassium ions to build up charges on cell membranes, allowing transmission of nerve impulses when the charge is dissipated. The consequent need of animals for sodium causes it to be classified as a dietary inorganic macro-mineral.

Salt IS an essential part of a healthy diet, as it helps to fight depression,  anxiety, cancer, osteoporosis, muscle spasms and many other health problems.   Sea salt is only obtained from the sea.   What is the difference between table salt and sea salt?  Table salt is heavily processed and has other ingredients added to it such as anti-clumping agents, sugar and iodine. Unrefined sea salt is sold in its natural state and contains many essential trace minerals such as calcium,  iron, iodine, potassium, sulfur and zinc.

Do you know what I’m gonna say next?  STAY AWAY FROM TABLE SALT, ESPECIALLY IF/WHEN TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT!  Salt will cause you to retain fluids which will show as numbers on the scale.  IT’S PROCESSED and it has what in it?  Sugar?  What what?!

While salt is essential to your health, you only need it in small amounts.  The daily requirement ranges between 1500 to 2400 mg a day. Keep in mind that salt is naturally in a lot of the foods you eat so DON’T SHAKE ON EXTRA.


There are a lot of foods that have a good amount of potassium in them (Tomatos and tomato products such as spaghetti sauce, salsa and even ketchup, milk & fruits) but can I just say, you CANNOT eat ENOUGH bananas to get the 200mg of potassium your body needs.  Eating a variety of foods that contain potassium is the best way to get an adequate amount.  Healthy individuals who eat a balanced diet rarely need potassium specific supplements.  I ain’t gonna lie, I’ll eat a banana, but only because I WANT TO 😉



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