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Really struggling with postural hypotension

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  • Really struggling with postural hypotension

    The last few days I've been really struggling with postural hypotension. Before starting going primal I had my blood pressure checked - it was 112/75.

    I've always had a tendency to postural hypotension but it's definitely got worse. Bending down is almost always giving me a head rush. It's not a pleasant experience.

    I've upped my salt intake - dissolving a teaspoon of Maldon Sea Salt in boiling water, addding some cold and drinking it when it feels really bad and remineralising my flitered water. And I've started taking magnesium supplements.

    I'd appreciate any advice or tips.

  • #2
    My regular BP runs about like yours. I'm also adding in Magnesium and a D vitamin supplement.


    • #3
      How long have you been eating primally? About how many carbs per day are you eating? Switching from a carb-heavy diet to very low carbs too quickly can cause your postural hypotension issues. Try adding some healthy starchy carbs to your diet, such as sweet potatoes; that might mitigate some of the problems that result from being too-low-carb. Scale the starches back as you adjust to eating low carb. The Eades blog post below also recommends upping your fat intake.

      I, too, went through problems with postural hypotension when I finally went grain-free. It surprised me, because I had been *mostly* low-grain and low-carb for several years previously; but, for me, completely eliminating the grains did produce episodes of dizziness, and I even blacked out once immediately after standing up. Eating more carbs & supplementing my electrolytes helped, and resolved the problem within a few days.

      Try supplementing with potassium; I use at least 5 caps of this per day:
      Now Foods, Potassium Citrate, 99 mg, 180 Capsules -

      Here is Dr. Michael Eades' advice on going low-carb, which specifically addresses postural hypotension:
      The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. ╗ Tips & tricks for starting (or restarting) low-carb Pt II
      Last edited by healthseekerKate; 09-22-2011, 09:51 AM.


      • #4
        Increasing fluid intake in general, along with the sea salt can be helpful. You could also try drinking a few cups of homemade bone stocks every day as well....helps with fluid volume, electrolytes, and lots of other nutrients as well.
        Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )


        • #5
          Thanks, guys for your help.

          I've been eating primally since the start of the month and I'm probably eating around 50g to 70g of carbs a day. Like you, Kate, I wasn't that heavily into grains before but I guess taking it down to zero has had an impact.

          Have now ordered some potassium supplements and I've got some good home-made chicken stock in the freezer - I'll de-frost some for tonight. I've also managed to find a supplier of rosÚ veal and ordered a kilo bag of bones from them so next week I'll have some SERIOUS meat broth action going on.

          If the broth and the potassium supplements doesn't sort things out, I'll add some starch back in.


          • #6
            Sounds like a good plan. Good luck, let us know how it goes!


            • #7
              Hey guys, just wanted to give you an update. I managed to get hold of some potassium and that has made all the difference!

              I first got hold of some tablets but now managed to get hold of Potassium Chloride powder. Felt a little nervous taking it at first - watched too many detective series where someone is killed with a potassium injection!

              Have dug around here some more about ratios of sodium to potassium and figured on a rough ratio of twice the K to Na ratio - so started making up my own little electrolyte solution with those ratios and taking that first thing in the morning before heading out to the gym or for a walk as that when the postural hypotension was really bad. As I don't want to poison myself, I'm keeping those amounts fairly low and will titrate up if symptoms come back. I'll carry on doing some tinkering around.

              I'm not entirely sure that those ratios of potassium and sodium are correct - would be great if someone could clarify.

              I do wonder if other people suffering from "carb-flu" aren't in fact suffering from an electrolyte depletion and are suffering unnecessarily...
              Last edited by csgmoore; 10-02-2011, 05:15 AM. Reason: clarification


              • #8
                Hey guys, just wanted to give you an update. I managed to get hold of some potassium and that has made all the difference!
                Awesome! Glad to hear it!


                • #9
                  I'm not entirely sure that those ratios of potassium and sodium are correct - would be great if someone could clarify.
                  PaleoHacks: Potassium/Sodium Balance
                  Potassium/Sodium Balance - Paleo

                  Consensus seems to be anywhere from 2:1 to 8:1, K:Na.


                  Here is a summary of a study about a paleo diet plan:
                  Paleo Diet Research | Mark's Daily Apple

                  In the comments section, one of the posters cites an excerpt from this study:
                  "The usual diet had a calculated K/Na intake ratio of 0.6 +/- 0.3..." ... not that just because this ratio happened to be used in the study, that means it's "ideal".... based upon the PaleoHacks link above, this actually seems like a ratio that is way too low...


                  Linus Pauling Micronutrient Center's info about potassium:

                  Recommended daily intake is 4.7 mg.

                  Info about potassium overdose:

                  Toxicity (excess)

                  "Abnormally elevated serum potassium concentrations are referred to as hyperkalemia. Hyperkalemia occurs when potassium intake exceeds the capacity of the kidneys to eliminate it. Acute or chronic renal (kidney) failure, the use of potassium-sparing diuretics, and insufficient aldosterone secretion (hypoaldosteronism) may result in the accumulation of excess potassium due to decreased urinary potassium excretion. Oral doses greater than 18 grams taken at one time in individuals not accustomed to high intakes may lead to severe hyperkalemia, even in those with normal kidney function (4). Hyperkalemia may also result from a shift of intracellular potassium into the circulation, which may occur with the rupture of red blood cells (hemolysis) or tissue damage (e.g., trauma or severe burns). Symptoms of hyperkalemia may include tingling of the hands and feet, muscular weakness, and temporary paralysis. The most serious complication of hyperkalemia is the development of an abnormal heart rhythm (cardiac arrhythmia), which can lead to cardiac arrest (38). The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine did not set a tolerable upper intake level (UL) for potassium because adverse effects from high dietary intakes of potassium have not been reported in healthy individuals (4). See Drug interactions for a discussion of the medications that increase the risk of hyperkalemia."

                  Adverse reactions to potassium supplements

                  "Gastrointestinal symptoms are the most common side effects of potassium supplements, including nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea. Intestinal ulceration has been reported after the use of enteric-coated potassium chloride tablets. Taking potassium with meals or taking a microencapsulated form of potassium may reduce gastrointestinal side effects. The most serious adverse reaction to potassium supplementation is hyperkalemia (see Toxicity). Individuals with abnormal kidney function and those on potassium-sparing medications (see Drug interactions) should be monitored closely to prevent hyperkalemia (5, 37)."
                  Last edited by healthseekerKate; 10-02-2011, 10:09 AM.


                  • #10
                    Kate, I'm in awe of you - you are so thorough!! And very appreciative that you take all this time to help me out.

                    It's good to know that I don't have to worry about killing myself until I ingest 18 grams at one time - I can't imagine being able to choke down that much KCl - bleugh!

                    The only way I'm going to really know if I'm getting my ratios exactly right would be input my daily diet into something liike fitday and figure it out. I'll give that a whirl in a while and probably try to keep the four to one ratio in mind.

                    And now that I'm a proud owner of a Biochem and molecular biology text book, I'll look up the K/Na pump.

                    Thanks again!
                    Last edited by csgmoore; 10-03-2011, 04:16 AM.


                    • #11
                      My doctor suggested a sports drink for the electrolye balance needed for adquate hydration. But I don't like any sweeteners, so I make my own.

                      I buy "NoSalt" which is powdered potassium, and I make my drink with water, potassium, and sodium (sea salt), adding a little lemon juice for flavoring. I just sprinkle in the salts--no real measurement--but this really helps. I usually drink a bottle in the morning.