How to combat potassium deficiency

  • If you’re still drinking cola after this, I’d be amazed…
  • …but to be honest I don’t expect many of you would do what this lady did
  • The hidden danger of disco dancing – a warning to all dancing Dads!


What a headline, it’s like I am writing in a real scientific journal!

But to save you reaching for the medical dictionary, or more likely opening a new tab with Google search in it… hypokalaemia means lowered levels of potassium in the blood.

Whilst this might not sound too bad, it could mean some mild irritations such as cramps and low energy, but in the worst cases it could be fatal.

Choosing the right foods and drinks can make all the difference.

There are some things you know just aren’t right for you…

Processed foods, foods with loads of additives, A Westlife reunion tour…

You just sense, instinctively, that all these things will do you no good. And if you have too much of any of them, they could actually do you harm.

All right, maybe Westlife wouldn’t do you harm.

But too much of them and you could end up throwing your CD player out of the window, then watch as it falls two stories and hits someone on the head, causing THEM harm.

So, indirectly, Westlife could be dangerous.

But fake foods and the like… you just KNOW they’re bad.

Well last week I read something really startling about one of the biggest culprits of all fizzy drinks.

Cola in particular.

I mean, I knew the stuff was bad. I’ve written about cola in these pages before, outlining the dangers of drinking it.

But what I read last week really surprised even a wizened old natural health newsletter writer like me (warning: NEVER try saying that with your mouth full)…

If you’re still drinking cola after this, I’d be amazed…

So, our good old friend cola is under our microscope again…

… and this time it’s serious.

Because a recent study has revealed that too much cola can cause paralysis and even fatal heart conditions.

That’s a far cry from the way most colas advertise their product isn’t it? I mean, I don’t think I’ve seen an ad yet where a group of smiling, young people pass around a bottle of cola, run laughing to the top of a hill, then clutch their hearts and drop dead.

Maybe they’re saving that one for a big budget Christmas release.

Anyhow, back to the problem…

Drinking cola in large quantities can flush potassium out of your bloodstream, which can lead to a whole heap of problems.

Take one lady who drank three litres of cola a day (THREE LITRES! I’m surprised her whole head hadn’t rotted through)…

Anyway, due to this level of cola intake, this woman suffered a heart blockage. But when she stopped drinking cola (and, it has to be said, took supplements, which weren’t mentioned by name but I assume were potassium), she recovered.

Not looking good for cola is it?

And that’s not the half of it.

According to Dr Moses Elisaf, large quantities of cola can cause paralysis, which is called cola-induced hypokalaemia.

‘Although most patients recover when they stop drinking cola and take potassium, it can make them more susceptible to potentially fatal complications such as an irregular heartbeat.’

Now, I have to be fair to poor old much-maligned cola…

People are only at risk when they drink more than two litres a day. So that probably rules you and me out.

But there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of people out there who have replaced water with cola, and drink it at every possible moment.
So this is a real threat to many, many people.

Maybe cola companies should print a warning on the label… something that warns people off drinking too much a day.

I know that would cut into their profits, but surely they’d swap a little bottom line for the sake of our nation?

Hmmm, maybe. And maybe I’ll play centre forward for Manchester United next season.

Of course, a spokeswoman for the British Soft Drinks Association pointed out that the examples quoted above are all very extreme cases.

But still, it can’t be good if a soft drink has the ability to cause paralysis can it? If we were talking about drinking 100 litres in one sitting to bring on the condition, then it wouldn’t be a problem.

Obviously ANYTHING eaten or drunk to such extremes would cause a problem.

But we’re talking about two litres a day here… an amount that a lot of people can easily manage.

For me, this is just another nail in the coffin of fizzy drinks.

There are so many nicer, healthier, safer drinks available, that I personally would never go near cola. But that’s my choice, and I’d never nag you to do the same.

Each to his own and all that.

Anyway, talking of potassium…

The hidden danger of disco dancing

I call this the hidden danger, because some of the dangers associated with dancing are obvious:

  • The acute embarrassment of wanting your legs to do one thing while they do another…
  • The giggles you have to put up with for the next two days whenever you walk into the same room as a member of your so-called loving family…
  • The heartache you feel when you THINK you’re doing ok, then catch the confused look on someone’s face as they watch you.

But the hidden danger occurs the next morning, when you wake up, try and get out of bed, and realise that all of your muscles have gone on strike.

This happen to me last weekend after a wedding, and here are a few ways you can iron out those aches:

– Get eating bananas! Bananas are rich in potassium, and large amounts of potassium seem to have helped some sufferers. Exactly why potassium helps is one of life’s little mysteries, but if it works, why ask questions!

Try loading up on potassium rich foods such as bananas, oranges and potatoes.

– Create your own hydrotherapy centre! Agatha Thrash, M.D., a medical pathologist and co-founder and co-director of Uchee Pines Institute in Alabama, suggests that a simple shallow bath can work wonders on the pain – but you MUST use a certain sequence.

Fill your bathtub with enough warm water to cover the lower part of your back, then soak for 20 minutes. After the bath, get in the shower and douse yourself with the warm temperature water, gradually turning it cool. The muscles in your lower body will expand and contract and loosen up.

– Try a cup of nettle tea. Nettle has been used for centuries to treat dozens of ailments, including sciatica – because active compounds in the leaves reduce inflammation.

– Rub the pain away! Lie on your back, with your lower back supported by pillows. Lift up your leg and massage along the nerve from the back of the knee round to the hip. Then repeat going downwards. Work back and forth across the nerve. Repeat three times.

– St. John’s Wort Oil is said to be an effective massage oil for relief of sciatica, arthritis and back pain, so perhaps you can try it with the above tip.

Of course it might not be dancing that does this to you, but these are also handy tips if you overdo it in the garden too!