I spend the majority of my blogging efforts helping you avoid spinning your wheels seeking worthless diagnostic testing and useless Alternative Medicine therapies. Instead, I focus on evidence-based Endocrinology and counsel you to address the other boring, unsexy stuff: diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management. Therefore, when I discover an opportunity to write about something you’re probably not doing for your health that is easy to implement and has a huge ROI (return on investment), I get excited.
First, let’s cover my critical disclosures. I must confess that the title of this post is shameless click-bait and intentionally sensationalistic/misleading. I have not discovered a “cure” for hypertension, nor can I claim that my intervention will do for you what it has done for me. While there are data suggesting that the strategy I have implemented in my own life is a wise idea, consider this post anecdotal evidence. In addition, there are certain groups of people who absolutely should not attempt to do what I describe (e.g. advanced kidney disease), so consult your health care provider before making any changes. As always, my Disclaimer applies to everything you see or hear on this blog.
I Have Hypertension
I am lean and decently muscular (but I’m no Dr. Naiman), I eat a fairly healthy diet, and I love exercise – but my BP (blood pressure) returns to the 150s/90s whenever I try to stop my medication. I am aware of a few things that may negatively impact my BP. My sleep quality is often not as great as I’d like, I’m not stingy with the salt in my cooking, and my stress management is a lifelong work-in-progress. Plus, I have a strong family history of hypertension (without obesity).
After trying a few different regimens of medication, I eventually discovered that a miniscule dose of chlorthalidone kept me < 120/80. That near-homeopathic dose worked great for years, until sometime in the last 6-12 months, when my pressure started creeping up into the 130-140s/80-90s. As I highly value well-seasoned food and didn’t have another obvious lever to pull, I increased the dose of my medication from near-homeopathic to low. My BP then returned closer to normal.
I wasn’t totally satisfied with that, however, as I had a nagging sensation there was something I could do better (besides the obvious/smart move to lower dietary salt) to improve my blood pressure and lower my cardiovascular risk. From somewhere deep in the memory banks, I recalled that potassium (K) intake correlates with blood pressure; embarrassingly, I didn’t remember much more than that – and I certainly couldn’t list the top five K-rich foods. So I decided to look into the issue further.
Potassium-Rich Foods are Good for You – Who Knew?
It turns out there are copious data showing that diets higher in potassium correlate with lower blood pressure. It just so happens that most high-potassium foods are fruits and vegetables – long-promoted as critical components of a healthy diet, but chronically under-consumed in the standard Western diet.
What I find most interesting is that the BP-lowering effect of potassium is seen even at higher levels of sodium intake. This is good news for salt-lovers like me. Nonetheless, lowering sodium (Na) intake where possible (like decreasing canned and boxed foods) remains a worthy endeavor; some studies show that the ratio of Na:K is a stronger predictor of cardiovascular disease and mortality than sodium or potassium intake alone.
Why Not Take Potassium Pills?
Ah, that question must have come from one of my fellow Americans – we are all about the easy fix in this country, am I right? As I see it, there are a couple of things one should consider before implementing this strategy.
First, it is not entirely clear how much of the BP-lowering benefit is from potassium itself in K-rich foods. K may also be a marker for other beneficial components of diets rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and dairy products. For example, the flavonoids and polyphenols in certain citrus fruits have been found to have anti-hypertensive effects. Ditto for the magnesium and lactotripeptides in dairy products, and the omega-3 fatty acids in fish (EPA/DHA) and nuts (ALA).
Second – and I will get into more personal detail about this shortly – increasing your dietary K almost guarantees you will be eating a healthier diet than however you eat now. More fruits, vegetables, nuts, salmon, eggs, and yogurt? Yes, please! Notice what isn’t on the menu: bread, pasta, cereal, rice, tortillas…you get the idea.
But, if you’re still enamored of the easy fix, there have been several meta-analyses showing that potassium supplements do, indeed, have a meaningful BP-lowering effect (one meta-analysis failed to show an effect, though only 6 trials were included). The most recent meta-analysis I could find showed benefit but had some limitations. Although the authors included 23 trials, they could only perform their most meaningful statistical analysis (change score analysis) on 8 of those trials. Also, the results cannot be extrapolated to normotensive people (for prevention purposes), since the trials were of hypertensive subjects.
One middle-ground strategy you may wish to consider (if you can embrace the taste) is replacing your cooking salt with a higher-K salt substitute. This 2014 study of 282 Tibetans was patient-blinded, randomized and controlled. The subjects using a salt substitute of 65% NaCl/25% KCl/10% MgSO4 showed fairly impressive reductions in BP compared to the control subjects.
Regardless of what you do to increase your K intake, remember that the Na:K ratio is still important. If you’re scarfing down canned soups and frozen dinners, you’re probably not going to completely negate the downstream consequences of that by consuming 2-3 extra grams of K per day.
How Does Potassium Lower Blood Pressure and Why is This Not Discussed?
Physiology geeks and conspiracy theorists may be interested in how potassium lowers BP and why this isn’t a more popular topic in the doctor’s office, respectively. Dietary K intake appears to cause loss of sodium in the urine, leading to less retention of sodium and therefore lower BP (less retained Na means less water will migrate to follow it, which means there is less volume in the vessels, which means lower pressure). Other purported mechanisms include inhibition of proliferation of smooth vascular muscle cells and reducing vascular resistance.
What is really fascinating is that dietary potassium seems to have the same effect on the kidney as a thiazide diuretic, with respect to driving more Na excretion. For those who are exquisitely sensitive to thiazide-type diuretics (like me), it then makes sense that ramping up dietary K would decrease BP in a significant fashion.
So why aren’t doctors shouting this from the rooftops? It seems like a no-brainer intervention, doesn’t it? If you’re a conspiracy theorist (I am not, but some of my commenters clearly are), there is no money in dietary K or K pills. Since doctors only know what Big Pharma shoves down our throats at conferences they sponsor, of course we’re ignorant of this strategy.
While I do think that K would get more air time if it could be packaged into a pricey pill, I think the conspiracy angle is too simplistic and overly cynical (and I’m a cynic!). The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet – which is high in potassium – has been recommended by major medical societies and physicians for years, but patient adherence has been dismal. Not that I’m blaming patients entirely…physicians tend to do a relatively poor job of counseling patients about diet, for lots of reasons. It’s time-consuming. We didn’t learn enough about nutrition in medical school and have to learn it on our own later. After seeing our patients continue to eat the same crappy diets – despite our best efforts at counseling – we become fatalistic about the inevitability of this outcome.
What I have learned over the past six months – and would like to share with you – is that simply focusing on increasing K-rich foods is: not hard; leads naturally to decreased consumption of less-healthy foods; and seems to meaningfully lower BP.
What Does a Potassium-Rich Diet Look Like?
The United States government recommends 4700mg of dietary K daily. Using that as my goal intake, I googled “high potassium foods.” From there, I culled that extensive list down to the highest K foods that I either already eat regularly or wouldn’t mind eating more regularly. For me, that list looks like this:
- avocado 900mg
- egg 125mg
- tomato 450mg per med tomato
- mushrooms 400mg per 10 small
- coffee 115mg per 8 oz
- salmon 600mg per 6 oz
- white beans 1200mg per cup
- black beans 740mg per cup
- plain NF yogurt 580mg per cup
- spinach 840mg per cooked cup
- edamame 680mg per cup
- beets 520mg per cup
- broccoli 450mg per cup
- lentils 370mg per 1/2 cup
- pistachios 300mg per oz (49 nuts)
- cantaloupe 340mg per 1/4 melon
- tiny orange 200mg
- sweet potato 700mg
With that list of K-superfoods, I was confident I’d be able to hit 4700mg most days. It turned out that my confidence was misplaced, as the best I did while actively logging was 4350mg. My typical intake was more like 2200-3600mg – better than my old diet, but falling far short of the brass ring. Fortunately, in America, if we fall short of our goals, we move the goal posts closer.
I did a bit more digging, and the World Health Organization recommends K intake of 3500-4700mg, suggesting that there is BP-benefit to be seen at the lower end of the range. Further, there are more data suggesting that even just pushing K intake to the high 2000’s can cause a reduction in blood pressure. That was great news for my goal-setting.
Changing My Diet
In order to have a prayer of meeting my target, I had to abandon my experiment with Time Restricted Feeding. I just couldn’t eat enough potassium while skipping breakfast. Do I miss TRF? Not really. I’ve always enjoyed eating breakfast, so now I’ve returned to enjoying that.
But breakfast is different for me now. To cram in the K, I have to focus on what gives me the most bang for my buck. One of my current go-to breakfasts is black coffee, 1/2 avocado, sliced tomato, 1 egg, 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt, and a high-K fruit in the yogurt. Breads are gone – they don’t get me any closer to target, and I’m stuffed by the time I finish all that other food. You hear that, Low Carb Cardiologist? I’m eating less bread!
For lunch, I started out by making some epically large spinach salads with beans, pistachios, beets, other high-K vegetables, and goat cheese. They tasted awesome and left me satiated, with the added bonus of no post-lunch afternoon slump. Unfortunately, after a month of eating copious amounts of (often) raw vegetables, I had to accept the fact that my (ahem) persistent and significant GI distress necessitated some cookery of the plant matter. Now, if I’m eating spinach and beans for lunch, I’ve sauteed them in olive oil and garlic the night before. Problem solved – suffice it to say that cooked vegetables may be gentler on the gut for some people.
Dinners are too variable for me to make sweeping generalizations; let’s just say I do my best.
Now 6 months into this dietary adjustment, I am back to taking my baseline, near-homeopathic dose of chlorthalidone. As long as I really focus on packing in the K, my BP tends to run around 120/80. When I am less diligent (which happens), it starts climbing closer to 130/mid-80s. I do struggle with losing my appetite for some of my go-to high-K meals – sometimes I just need to recharge the taste buds with something completely different. Usually, that something does not directly advance me toward my goal. On the other hand, it typically provides enough respite to allow me to resume my higher-K eating at the next meal. Let’s call that a win.
I suspect if I could cut Na further and increase K a little more – thereby decreasing the Na:K ratio – I’d be off medication entirely (since K acts like a thiazide-type diuretic). But realistically, I don’t see a more intensive diet than what I’m doing as sustainable for me. Given that I spend a fair amount of time counseling my patients to only employ dietary strategies that feel sustainable, I’ve decided to stick with my moderately successful plan. Perfect is the enemy of good enough, and all that.
As with any other attempt to become healthier, there is no “finish line.” This requires constant, daily attention to every meal. Sure, it gets easier with time, as choices become more ingrained/automatic. But the content of some meals are not in my control, so I need to make up for it the next time I eat. This is sometimes easier said than done but is worth the effort.
Have any of you made a concerted effort to increase the potassium in your diet? What have you noticed, if anything? Are there any doctors reading who counsel their patients to increase dietary potassium? Do any of you prescribe potassium pills with the intention to lower blood pressure? Comment below!
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Image Credit: Photo by Yannes Kiefer on Unsplash
30 Replies to “The Hypertension Cure”
We are inadvertently eating a lot of potassium rich foods at the moment as we have a glut of home grown Savoy cabbages and also need to eat up any damaged potatoes that won’t store. Add in the tomatoes, the nuts and whole grains in our muesli and the fish and I think we might be getting reasonable amount, I’ll ask Mr Jazz to test his blood pressure.
Did you get hacked? This is strait up alternative food is medicine stuff. I actually do believe that food is a key for many situations (including Hashimotos which you had a blog post against). I’ve lived though it. But as you say, sleep/stress reduction (physical or mental)/exercise is also key.
Potassium is ironically one nutrient I struggle to get enough of every day. And if I’m eating a mostly veggie/fruit/seafood diet (avoiding processed foods), most people on a standard american diet are likely no where near getting enough. This also goes for Magnesium (also could be impacting your situation). Avocados are like a super food for these types of situations. I try to eat them quite a bit (hope I don’t get kidney stones).
Do you think this could help for someone with low blood pressure? I was high early on with hypothyroidism, but now I’ve been having some low BP. Could be because still trying to get my TSH levels around 2 (currently around 4)…or could be something else like potassium or other nutrient issues.
Today is a good example. I feel like I’m done for food, yet, I’m low on calories and my potassium is only 46% of the recommended daily total.
Mike, I go where the evidence leads me. In the case of hypertension, it is clear that potassium has potential super-powers. But don’t worry – I will continue to be skeptical of most Alt Med “food as medicine” claims, as the majority I come across are bogus.
This sure sounds like a lot of work to me! And you must spend an awful lot of time in preparation & cooking. I’d like to hear from others who may eat a very healthy diet but still get extra potassium in a pill for hypertension. Dosage? Type?
Any nutritional or other side effects to taking such a pill?
Breakfast isn’t too much work, but lunch prep can sometimes be a chore. I have cut corners where the ROI isn’t significant enough to justify the extra work. For example, I found that I can pressure-cook beets for 25 minutes in the Instant Pot, but the process of peeling them after is enough of a hassle that I now just buy pre-cooked beets from Costco or the grocery store. I don’t get the beet-greens when I do that, obviously, and the greens are a great source of K, but cooking the greens is another hassle!
As far as doing K pills, the supplementation studies in the meta-analysis I linked to used daily doses of K ranging from 1200mg to 3700mg. The most common dose among the studies was around 2400mg. Taking too much K could cause all sorts of problems, including life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, so it is definitely something to do only with physician guidance.
An easy way to cook beet greens is to steam them in a steamer pot. Frying with bacon and onion is tasty also. I’d try getting potassium from food first. Today I had beet greens and beets, a few bananas, and some chili and I ended up getting my potassium full for the day.
Beetroot gratin, put the cooked beets and beet greens in a shallow oven proof dish with whatever creaminess you prefer from white sauce through yoghurt, creme fraiche to full fat cream, and a good dollop of horseradish. Bake with some potatoes for a complete meal perfect for winter. If you are using lower ft creaminess mix in a table spoon or so of flour or cornflour to stop the creaminess splitting.
I recently learned I have elevated BP and started avoiding sodium. I also aim to eat 3x potassium to 1x sodium. One good shortcut is to buy frozen beans such as edamame, and use them in salads. I also carry a small container of unsalted nuts or seeds for a healthy snack.
I would be careful when eating kale, beets, beet greens and spinach. I have Celiac Disease and decided to eat more vegetables instead of using gluten-free bread and pasta products that raised my bloodsugar. After a few months of eating my favorite vegetables, spinach and beets, I developed kidney pain and went to the ER in serious pain one night.
A urine test showed I had sky-high oxalates in my urine, and a GFR of 53.
I had no idea a woman should be getting about 34 mg of oxalates in her food maximum and a guy about 45 mg of oxalates a day, and a serving of spinach contains over 700mg of oxalates!!!!! Beets and beet greens are not as high, but still a serving is above the 34mg daily limit. Nuts, seeds and chocolate are also very high, so anyone on a keto diet should be very careful.
Seems all the antibiotics we take and give the animals we eat, kill off the Oxalbacter formigenes bacteria in our guts that normally deal with the excess oxalates in the fruits and vegetables we eat. Oxalbacter formigenes only eats oxalates and can not live on anything else. And it is very difficult to recolonize Oxalbacter formigenes in the gut, you can not get it in a probiotic capsule because it is so hard to keep it alive, even a little oxygen kills it and if it lacks food it dies right away.
So now I eat very low oxalate veggies, think the cabbage family like bok choy and cauliflower, etc and make sure to take calcium citrate and magnesium citrate before each meal to deal with the oxalates so they no longer cut up my kidneys and bladder. My GFR is now at 60 once again, but if I eat too many oxalates I get trouble holding my urine and severe kidney pain.
Beware the high oxalate. so-called “health foods”, they may hurt you badly. And dealing with kidney problems is way worse than dealing with thyroid problems. By the time you find out you have a kidney problem, the problem is already severe.
The Trying Low Oxalate groups on Facebook and on Yahoo (soon to be moving to mewe or io dot groups) has a reliable list of food oxalate contents, all tested at the University of Arizona for oxalate content to help chose foods that are less likely to harm the kidneys.
Anecdotally, I have use K+ Tablets 1000mg evening and morning to dramatically reduce my waistline which seems to be caused by visceral water more than not that much subcutaneous fat. The theory I was going on from a alternative practitioner was that your body stores Na+ and causes water to build up outside the cells if there is not sufficient K+ to offset the Na+ – I tried it and it seemed to work – it continued to work even after I modified my diet to eliminate virtually all non isotonic sources of Na+ except e.g in the brine on Tuna after draining – so so much for the theory maybe. It makes sense that if you are taking in processed food levels of Na+ without offsetting sources of K+ you could get this imbalance – seems high levels of Na+ are much easier to come by than offsetting levels of K+. I eat fruit and drink coconut water as I live in tropical humid country and it may be that your body much more easily replaces Na+ lost through sweating from food than it does K+.
Thanks for a great blog- THIS is exactly what I come here for ” I spend the majority of my blogging efforts helping you avoid spinning your wheels seeking worthless diagnostic testing and useless Alternative Medicine therapies. “
Interesting, Philip. Though I would caution anyone using K with the intention that it will help to lose weight – I suspect that you are doing a much better job with diet and exercise than you realize, and that is more likely to influence weight.
I carelessly omitted to mention that I take K+ like this for only a month as part of what I have to do to get back into suits made for me in my early fourties, I don’t start dieting until the end of the K+ month as by the end have an idea of how much was water and how much is fat and thus what level of fat is the remainder that I have to try and reduce by dieting.
This build up of water seems not to be related to any pathology. Kidney and Liver function are fine. I have less of a belly than most 55 yr olds and at 55 look like a Greek god – albeit one who has been attending a few too many of Zeus’s feast days of late .
Your comment cautioning against using K+ as a diet aid was very appropriate I also carelessly ommitted to mention that taking K+ supplementation is something one should not do without consulting a doctor as it is inappropriate with some conditions – it is used as a heart medicine and dangerous in overdose.
Is there any concern increasing K intake while on an ACE inhibitor (lisinopril)? It seems one of the potential side effects of lisinopril is causing the body to retain K.
Yes, there is a concern with ACE inhibitors and ARBs. Same with other meds that cause K retention, like spironolactone. Anyone on one of those meds increasing the K in their diet would do well to monitor the K level in their blood through their health care provider.
No more bread??? I’m so proud of you HD I could cry:)
Thanks for making excellent points about potassium and its role in blood pressure management. We hear so much about avoiding sodium (probably not necessary) and we almost never hear about seeking out potassium (from the whole food sources you mentioned). That’s a great reminder for all of us!
I consume about 4,000mg a day of potassium and eat a low sodium diet to battle Hypercalciuria. I feel so much better eating so many fruits and veggies. The jury is out whether it will help my condition and my bone health.
The question is WHY is your calcium bloodlevel high?
Have they checked your PTH(ParathyridHormone) bloodlevel? A Parathyroid tumor will cause high calcium bllodlevels by drawing the calcium from your bones and causing Osteoporosis. It happened to me and is dangerous to your health.
A simple PTH bloodtest repeated once a week for three weeks to catch the PTH surge is all that is needed. Make sure you get the blood drawn as early in the morning as possible, as by lunchtime the PTH bloodlevel will be low again. The PTH gets reduced fast by the body, so an early AM test is necessary to diagnose the condition.
The Parathyroid tumor will also keep your Vitamin D bloodtest level low, by drawing the vitamin D out of the blood, and storing the Vitamin D in the body’s tissues.
High blood calcium with low Vitamin D is a sign of Hyperparathyroidism, caused by a Parathyroid tumor. Bones lose density, hair on the body and head gets thin, and you start to be exhausted all the time. Blood pressure will start getting higher and higher.
I had my Parathyroid tumor removed at the Norman Parathyroid Center in Tampa General Hospital in Tampa Florida.
Unfortunately my local endocrinologist let it get to the point that I now have permenant damage and high blood pressure, he knew I had this condition for more than three years, when the cure was a simple 30 minute operation that would have prevent permanent damage if it had been done sooner.
Thank you so much for your reply. I never heard that PTH needs to be checked three times in a row. It has been checked a few different times and has been normal (37). Also serum calcium has never been out of range as well as Vitamin D. I did have radiation to my neck in my 20s for lymphoma and I sometimes wonder about the damage this could have caused. Thyroid is shot because of this and I am on full replacement. I would love to get to the bottom of this, but the only answer seems diuretics. I will definitely ask my doctor about this.
My big question about Hypercalciuria is: can you compensate by eating more calcium? Does this condition definitely cause bone loss if you are eating a good diet? No one has been able to answer this. I love this site because I get truthful answers. Definitely willing to take medication for the Osteoperosis but I would love to stop the leak first!
First, the medication for Osteoporosis works by preventing the normal breakdown of old brittle bone cells that the body then normally replaces with new flexible bone cells. This is part of the normal body process to maintain your bone structure as flexible so you do not break any bones when you fall. Your body keeps breakdown and rebuild your bones your entire life, bones are not made once and then ignored, daily the body is doing the housekeeping of removal of old and replace with new.
The medication prevents the breakdown of old brittle cells, so your bone density test will go up. The side-effect of doing this is your bones get more and more brittle, so if you fall and you will break your bones which are now as brittle as glass, instead of being flexible and withstanding the fall unharmed. Hey, the medication does what they say, your bone density test will go up, but the bone will be so brittle after years of taking the medication that you are lucky not to break a bone by just standing there with your weight on it.
If your blood levels of Calcium are not high, then the Calcium is being used and then excreted in some process going on inside the body.
The most common reason is the body is combining the Calcium with oxalates, in order to remove the oxalates from your body. In that case, your urine will have a high level of Calcium Oxalate in it. This is usually referred to as Hyperoxaluria.
But if it is only calcium being excreted into the urine in high amounts, then this is a sign of Hyperparathyroidism, which is caused by a Parathyroid tumor. In 99% of the cases, this tumor is not cancer but what they call “benign” . However, there is nothing benign about it’s effects. The Parathyroid glands there are usually four of them, regulate the amount of calcium in your blood and if a tumor causes them to excrete more calcium than they should you are in trouble.
There is no way to take in enough calcium to make up for the excess calcium being urinated out. As soon as the tumor senses the extra calcium you take in, it will excrete more hormone to get the body to excrete it in the urine. Your bones will continue to lose mass, as the body breaks down the old bone cells daily, and there will not be enough calcium in your blood to support rebuilding the bone. The body will focus on keeping enough calcium in your blood to keep your heart working.
The only cure to stop the process is to have the tumor removed. This tumor is a slow killer, it damaged my kidneys so now I have a GFR of 56 when it is good, once you get below 60 your kidneys have sustained severe damage. My teeth crumbled from the calcium drawn out, my blood pressure is constantly high even with medication. Your kidneys are not meant to process and deal with a constant level of high calcium.
This is not a condition to sit back and wait and see what happens, as most Endocrinologists will do. Three years of this made me an old decrepit woman, from healthy to being chronically ill with kidney and heart problems. There is really no other condition that causes high calcium in the urine like a Parathyroid tumor. You need proper testing and treatment before you become like me, old way before your time with a whole flock of specialists trying to keep your body working.
Please go to Parathyroid dot com and read all the information about this condition, and how to properly do the PTH bloodtests. There is patient information and also physician information areas. This condition is way more common than people think, I have met so many people who have had to have this operation, and in most cases the physicians waited so long they all had chronic illnesses develop. Once this tumor has a chance to work on your body for years, you have chronic problems to deal with for the rest of your life.
I downloaded the app from the Norman Parathyroid Center and according to my numbers, I have very little chance of having a parathyroid tumor (normal
Serum calcium and PTH). I wish there were a simple answer to this. I know the risk of bisphosphonates, but they actually work very well at lowering urine calcium which may actually be caused by high bone turnover. I have an endocrinologist appointment soon and am hoping to get some answers. Thank you so much for your response.
I am glad you an appointment with an endocrinologist, since you did not have one.
Just be aware that the normal PTH release is during sleep, so by midmorning your PTH level will be low. That is why I said you need to have the bloodtest done as early in the morning as you can get it done.
My endocrinologist did all my PTH blood tests in his office in the afternoon when the PTH is at it’s lowest. And he still ignored the two times the PTH was high, a time at which it should never be anything other than low.
Make sure to go over the proper testing procedure outlined on the Parathyroid website, to make sure you get the tests done correctly.
I sincerely hope it is not a tumor, but the only other cause would be something even more seriously wrong with your kidneys.
Taking the medication for Osteoporosis is always a personal decision, but interfering with the normal clearing out of dead bone cells and rebuilding of normal bone cell replacement is just crazy in my book. This means that over time bone necrosis will occur. Not every medication is a wise choice, but the patient has the right to chose to take it.
High bone turnover is a misnomer, it is high bone catabolism without the corresponding rebuild phase. That generally comes from a lack of the minerals and nutrients the body needs to rebuild bone. Those are mainly Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin D3, Boron, and K2. A lack of any one of these can impair bone repair and regrowth. It took me only a year and a half to go from severe Osteopenia from the Parathyroid tumor (only one point from Osteoporosis), to normal bone density except in one bone which was a still a fraction osteopenic , just by properly supplementing with the above nutrients. They offered the medication, but after researching how it works and the side-effects of the medication, I decided to let my body heal itself, using the proper amounts of nutrients.
I found I had been getting too little Magnesium, and that most Americans get way too little Magnesium, no Boron , and little K2. To rebuild bone that fast while in my 60s means most likely anyone can do it without medication, as long as the medical condition causing the Osteopenia or Osteoporosis is fixed. Including reducing alcohol drinking as alcohol will cause Osteopenia and Osteoporosis. In cases where it is simply a lack of nutrients, supplying the nutrients enables the body to repair itself.
Upping my potassium has been a huge eye opener for me, but not for blood pressure. Diagnosed with hypercalcuiria, and Osteoperosis at age 55. I lowered my sodium to 1,500 mg, upped potassium to at least 4,000 mg and kept protein around 65 mg. Urine calcium went from 496 to 300. Starting a very low dose thiazide and hoping that will be the final piece. When you are trying to get that much potassium, you have to consider every bite. No room for junk food and sugar. Love the way I feel now with this one change. Thanks for validating my diet change. And my resting heart rate has dropped 10 points with perfect BP.
You state “I spend the majority of my blogging efforts helping you avoid spinning your wheels seeking worthless diagnostic testing and useless Alternative Medicine therapies.” I was wondering why you don’t speak up more often about those “Ask your Dr about the newest prescription drug” plugged on TV? Never hear a bad word on those. How although approved, not necessarily good. Zarelto is one example. Might not hurt to see you show both sides.
Actually, I hate those types of commercials with a passion. I wish there would be legislation to outlaw that type of advertising, like there is for cigarette advertising on TV. Perhaps a topic for another day…
It you are eating mostly a whole food diet, using only the low sodium shaker (mostly K), would cause a very low sodium level?
Kute 😉. It’s a good question, though, and no, one would not expect to have a low serum sodium level eating a whole food diet and seasoning with the K salt. Most derangements of sodium in the blood will be due more to shifts of water diluting or concentrating the blood, rather than due to the absolute intake of sodium from the diet. There are exceptions to this, but in normal everyday life, this statement will be mostly true.
Why not just supplement magnesium every day? You need magnesium to use potassium.
I would say that taking Mg and eating more K are not mutually exclusive. If one decides to take Mg, it is still possible that one is not consuming enough K.