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  • Getting nervous at baking soda intake...

    Went outside to pull some weeds, was jumping on a bush to crush it down, and *pow*, right vastus lateralis or rectus femoris starts to lock up. Quickly as I can, knowing it's a race against time, I hobble inside trying not to flex the muscle, and dump a couple of teaspoons of baking soda into the first cup I see, fill it with tap because the faucet is closer than the well water tower, and chug it. How long can I play this game? Alkalosis is a reality, the more sensitive I become to cramps. I'm getting afraid to go outside again - I know better than to touch the bicycle today. I just want to know, when this cumulates to the point of body-wide cramping and I've already had too much baking soda, what then? It's only getting worse.

    Something in grains fixes this. WHAT IS IT?! Should I start eating bread again? I'm scared and angry about this.

    What if I'd decided to go to the beach instead of do yardwork? What if this happens when there is nobody to help me, and my kneecap snaps off?
    Crohn's, doing SCD

  • #2
    Thread is invisible. *bump* so it appears in forum...
    Crohn's, doing SCD

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    • #3
      Still invisible. Trying again.
      Crohn's, doing SCD

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      • #4
        Say what? I've never even heard of baking soda for muscle cramps before. If the condition keeps getting worse and worse, I would assume that the baking soda is not working.

        Instead, how about some gentle stretching, a hot pack, or a potassium filled sweet potato. Or a banana. (Unless you're one of those bananaphobes.)

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        • #5
          I already eat too much potassium as it is. Stretching, I can do more of. Heat and cold packs just weird me out - but I'll try anything at this point. Mostly interested in prevention.

          The baking soda definitely works as an instant cure, and short-term prevention. Much like mustard, it has an immediate, dynamic impact and defeats the cramp swiftly. But as for long-term use, it is known that alkalosis is a possibility. Not that I use it every day. Mostly on work-out days, or if I know I'll be using my legs for anything but walking.

          I did just go and buy "lite salt" which is potassium-based. Perhaps I need to get up near the lethal dosing range for potassium to do anything for me...
          Last edited by Knifegill; 06-27-2012, 12:41 PM.
          Crohn's, doing SCD

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          • #6
            No, I don't know. I had cramps sometimes before, but after cutting out processed food it's slowly getting worse. Dragonmamma is probably right. Stretching, enough potassium to kill a raccoon and maybe cold/hot packs might be what I need. I just can't understand why I'd need superhuman doses of potassium to survive in the wild. Is my body just destroyed from living on kool-aid and macaroni & cheese all those years?
            Crohn's, doing SCD

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            • #7
              If you're getting adequate (and / or too much) Potassium and Sodium, most likely the cause of frequent cramp is that you're not getting enough Magnesium.

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              • #8
                At this point, I'm desperate enough to try anything just to be able to do yardwork. I have magnesium, and I think I'll start taking it again, too. Maybe I should just invest in a high-quality one-a-day for electrolytes instead of all these different sources. Any good brands you know of?
                Crohn's, doing SCD

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                • #9
                  this might sound dumb, but have you considered the fact that you might not be drinking enough water? and also, at what point in time would supplementing with teaspoons of baking soda be normal or natural? i mean, the stuff doesn't really exist in food. or am i missing something?

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                  • #10
                    Make sure your magnesium is chelated.

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                    • #11
                      I've been using Solgar Magnesium Citrate with good success, taking 400-800mg / day, though any form ending with -ate will probably work well. I'm currently trying to reduce my intake of this though by consuming more magnesium rich foods, but that can be problematic (well, expensive at this time of year).
                      Something to consider is that if your Potassium and Sodium intake is very high (why so much?), your intake of Magnesium may need to be too.

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                      • #12
                        also, what is your carb intake? are you low carb or vlc? because for the year or so that i was low carb (under 50g a day) i dealt with cramping issues and lightheadedness that i never dealt with before in my life. yet another reason low carb paleo didn't work for me

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by not on the rug View Post
                          this might sound dumb, but have you considered the fact that you might not be drinking enough water? and also, at what point in time would supplementing with teaspoons of baking soda be normal or natural? i mean, the stuff doesn't really exist in food. or am i missing something?
                          He's not actually "supplementing" with baking soda, but using it as an immediate treatment for existing cramping. He's looking for prevention, I think, to avoid the non-natural treatment of taking baking soda to get rid of the cramp.
                          Female, age 51, 5' 9"
                          SW - 183 (Jan 22, 2012), CW - 159, GW - healthy.

                          Met my 2012 goals by losing 24 pounds.
                          2013 goals are to get fit and strong!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jojohaligo View Post
                            He's not actually "supplementing" with baking soda, but using it as an immediate treatment for existing cramping. He's looking for prevention, I think, to avoid the non-natural treatment of taking baking soda to get rid of the cramp.
                            utter semantics. you must be bored. he is taking baking soda. a substance that doesn't naturally occur in food. so he is medicating himself with baking soda (better, wiseass?) the point is, it seems like an insane idea. it also seems like by adding unnatural amounts of sodium, potassium, magnesium, and baking soda to his diet, he might be screwing up his natural balance. and unless he has a medical issue, he should be achieving this balance throuh eating foods rich in those substances. he also might just need to drink more water.

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                            • #15
                              When I get a muscle cramp, it's always when I've not been taking magnesium. As soon as I pop a spoonful of mag citrate (I use the NOW brand in powder form), it goes away.

                              Do you by any chance consume a lot of calcium, either in food or supplement form? You wrote that you do take VERY high doses of potassium, which reminded me of an article I read from the Weston Price website:

                              Magnesium absorption is impeded with the use of supplemental iron. If you take calcium supplements, your need for magnesium increases, and in fact calcium will not be properly absorbed or metabolized if adequate magnesium is missing, and will mostly end up dangerously deposited in soft tissues. Magnesium is responsible for converting vitamin D to the active form that allows calcium to be absorbed, and also regulates calcium’s transport to hard tissues where it belongs. Lactose is another inhibitor of magnesium absorption (and milk is not a good source of the mineral to begin with), along with excess potassium, phosphorus and sodium.

                              Magnificent Magnesium - Weston A Price Foundation

                              I would try supplementing with magnesium to see if there's any improvement.

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