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Thread: Mineral Problems? Help!

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  1. #1
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    Mineral Problems? Help!

    Hey people,

    I was wondering if you could help. I'm pretty sure I have some form of mineral deficiency... So, originally I was doing a VLC diet (ketosis) and was having dehydration problems, I managed to offset the majority of the problems but upping my salt intake (Himalayan pink salt) and supplementing potassium & magnesium. Then I found this site and started looking in to a Primal lifestyle (which seems to fit me much better), and now my carb intake is much higher (though probably still a bit shy of 100g) but I still seem to be having problems.

    I'll get cramps every now and then, or pain in my calves (sometimes at night - I also seem to be waking up a few times throughout the night, the worst time was about 12 times in a 10 hour period, but is currently averaging about 5 times). But the main problem is craving chocolate and almonds... from what I can find this is generally related to magnesium problems, but from my diet I should be getting adequate amounts, plus I'm supplementing 200mg at the moment to no avail (still waking up slightly dehydrated - dried out lips slightly peeling, and sometimes difficulty swallowing early in the morning).

    My general diet is:
    Breakfast:
    3 egg omlette (with turmeric & salt, fried in coconut oil), (pastured chicken eggs)
    2 beef patties (organic, grass fed beef)
    40g lindt 85% chocolate

    Lunch:
    250g mixed lettuce / spinach
    150g cold chicken pieces (grilled a few days prior, includes breast, thigh & wing meat)
    1-2 tbsp EVOO

    Dinner:
    250g spinnach
    400g mixed broccoli, carrot & cauliflower
    1 tbsp EVOO
    200g porterhouse steak (again organic grass fed beef)
    1 glass or red wine

    Other then that, I drink water (around 1.5 litres per day, with a pinch of salt in every 600g). I also supplement with fish oil, some vitamin D (to top up my levels if it was a low-sun day), potassium, magnesium & probiotics (recently stopped taking a low dose anti-biotic, so the probiotics are to try and undo the damage).

    I generally eat pretty similar food on a daily basis (don't get bored), but I sometimes find myself craving chocolate around lunch time and sometimes when I get home I have a small handful of almonds, and keep going back (I end up eating up to a few ounces while waiting for my vegetables to cook), if not the almonds, then I might want some chocolate.

    Please, if you have any suggestions, let me know. I'd really like to figure out what is going on.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyro_349 View Post
    Hey people,

    I was wondering if you could help. I'm pretty sure I have some form of mineral deficiency... So, originally I was doing a VLC diet (ketosis) and was having dehydration problems, I managed to offset the majority of the problems but upping my salt intake (Himalayan pink salt) and supplementing potassium & magnesium. Then I found this site and started looking in to a Primal lifestyle (which seems to fit me much better), and now my carb intake is much higher (though probably still a bit shy of 100g) but I still seem to be having problems.

    I'll get cramps every now and then, or pain in my calves (sometimes at night - I also seem to be waking up a few times throughout the night, the worst time was about 12 times in a 10 hour period, but is currently averaging about 5 times). But the main problem is craving chocolate and almonds... from what I can find this is generally related to magnesium problems, but from my diet I should be getting adequate amounts, plus I'm supplementing 200mg at the moment to no avail (still waking up slightly dehydrated - dried out lips slightly peeling, and sometimes difficulty swallowing early in the morning).

    My general diet is:
    Breakfast:
    3 egg omlette (with turmeric & salt, fried in coconut oil), (pastured chicken eggs)
    2 beef patties (organic, grass fed beef)
    40g lindt 85% chocolate

    Lunch:
    250g mixed lettuce / spinach
    150g cold chicken pieces (grilled a few days prior, includes breast, thigh & wing meat)
    1-2 tbsp EVOO

    Dinner:
    250g spinnach
    400g mixed broccoli, carrot & cauliflower
    1 tbsp EVOO
    200g porterhouse steak (again organic grass fed beef)
    1 glass or red wine

    Other then that, I drink water (around 1.5 litres per day, with a pinch of salt in every 600g). I also supplement with fish oil, some vitamin D (to top up my levels if it was a low-sun day), potassium, magnesium & probiotics (recently stopped taking a low dose anti-biotic, so the probiotics are to try and undo the damage).

    I generally eat pretty similar food on a daily basis (don't get bored), but I sometimes find myself craving chocolate around lunch time and sometimes when I get home I have a small handful of almonds, and keep going back (I end up eating up to a few ounces while waiting for my vegetables to cook), if not the almonds, then I might want some chocolate.

    Please, if you have any suggestions, let me know. I'd really like to figure out what is going on.
    Cramps are most often from magnesium deficiencies and rarely potassium deficiency.

    Magnesium works by antagonizing calcium, which causes muscles to contract. But calcium associated cramping is not always due to a deficiency of balancing magnesium. High serum calcium, which can occur from problems such as excess vitamin D, hyperparathyroidism, etc. as well. Therefore, it would be wise to get a full blood workup just to make sure there is not a contributing factor.

    If supplementing with magnesium I recommend using an acidified form of magnesium such as magnesium malate, or magnesium citrate (my second choice). The acidified forms of magnesium are absorbed much better than other forms and provide an additional benefit by further increasing cellular ATP levels.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2012
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    Sydney, Australia
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    Thanks for the reply.

    The magnesium supplement I'm taking is Mega Magnesium | Ethical Nutrients (should I consider replacing this with a magnesium malate or citrate supplement?). From what I can tell, my calcium intake is actually a little low (around 850mg), but I'm only supplementing 3,000 IU of Vitamin D, could that really be a problem?

    I had blood work down a little over a week ago and my doctor didn't notice anything strange.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyro_349 View Post
    Thanks for the reply.

    The magnesium supplement I'm taking is Mega Magnesium | Ethical Nutrients (should I consider replacing this with a magnesium malate or citrate supplement?).
    I would. Chelates are absorbed as well, but the acidified forms are still more effective in raising ATP since both malic and citric acids are part of the ATP cycle.


    Quote Originally Posted by cyro_349 View Post
    From what I can tell, my calcium intake is actually a little low (around 850mg), but I'm only supplementing 3,000 IU of Vitamin D, could that really be a problem?

    I had blood work down a little over a week ago and my doctor didn't notice anything strange.
    The 1200mg recommended daily calcium intake is based on the poorly absorbed calcium carbonate. If using an acidified form of calcium the amount required is not as high.

    But serum calcium can increase for other reasons other than simply taking calcium supplements or vitamin D.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2011
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    Dallas/Fort Worth Texas
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    If you are waking up that dehydrated (dry lips, difficulty swallowing) while drinking 1.5 liters daily, I would up your water! Go up two glasses every day, until you find a level that leaves you waking in a normal state. 1.5 liters seems very low, even not knowing your height/weight/sex/activity level. Dehydration might also explain your cramps.

    Cheap, easy to try.

    You might consider lemon juice in your water, in addition to the salt, also.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabine View Post
    Cheap, easy to try.

    You might consider lemon juice in your water, in addition to the salt, also.
    I just realized - wouldn't adding lemon juice to my water erode my teeth in the long run? (assuming I was adding lemon juice to the majority of the water I'm drinking). Would love an answer on this one

  7. #7
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    If you are waking up that dehydrated (dry lips, difficulty swallowing) while drinking 1.5 liters daily, I would up your water! Go up two glasses every day, until you find a level that leaves you waking in a normal state. 1.5 liters seems very low, even not knowing your height/weight/sex/activity level. Dehydration might also explain your cramps.
    I tried upping the water for a while, it actually made me more dehydrated (though I was in ketosis at the time), due to the low carb, I was l losing most of my minerals along with my water (it was going straight through me) - now I'm drinking either when I'm thirsty, or just every now and then.

    I'm 22, about 70kg (155 lbs) and 5ft 11in - (doing Primal for the lifestyle, not weight loss - was doing ketosis for the same reason, until I realized I could get the same benefits from Primal will less detrimental effects). I walk to and from work (20min, 1.8km), a couple of times a week I'm doing a "boot camp" workout session, which is an accumulated 30min (over 1 hour) of varied exercises (push ups, sit ups, squats, short runs, boxing). At the moment that's pretty much it, other then inconsistent additional walking and the odd game of football.

    The 1200mg recommended daily calcium intake is based on the poorly absorbed calcium carbonate. If using an acidified form of calcium the amount required is not as high.
    I'm not actually supplementing my calcium, mainly due to this: Calcium supplements with or without vitamin D and risk of cardiovascular events: reanalysis of the Women and Vascular events in healthy older women receiving calcium... [BMJ. 2008] - PubMed - NCBI (Though, at the time I didn't realize the study was done solely on women). My 800mg intake of calcium is from dietary sources - should I still consider supplementing my calcium?

    You might consider lemon juice in your water, in addition to the salt, also.
    Just a question, why add lemon juice? Considering the minimal amounts I would be adding, I don't really see the nutritional benefits (unless I'm reading something wrong).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyro_349 View Post
    Just a question, why add lemon juice? Considering the minimal amounts I would be adding, I don't really see the nutritional benefits (unless I'm reading something wrong).
    Never mind, some quick googling answered my question, will start adding lemon juice to see the effects.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyro_349 View Post
    I tried upping the water for a while, it actually made me more dehydrated (though I was in ketosis at the time), due to the low carb, I was l losing most of my minerals along with my water (it was going straight through me) - now I'm drinking either when I'm thirsty, or just every now and then.
    This jumped out at me- when I drink coconut water, which is pretty high in potassium, I have to go to the bathroom a lot. Drinking water, or other beverages (coffee, etc) doesn't affect me this way nearly as much if I cut out the coconut water. Now I only drink it after hard workouts, and limited quantities.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyro_349 View Post
    I tried upping the water for a while, it actually made me more dehydrated (though I was in ketosis at the time), due to the low carb, I was l losing most of my minerals along with my water (it was going straight through me) - now I'm drinking either when I'm thirsty, or just every now and then.
    Make sure that the water you are drinking is mineralized, such as spring water that has not been distilled or subjected to reverse osmosis (R/O). Purified waters such as distilled and R/O can increase dehydration. Although drinking water leading to dehydration may sound contradictory there is a simple basis for it. Purified waters are more rapidly absorbed, but this creates a stress on the cells. So the body works overtime trying to rid itself of this sudden influx of water leading to a rebound dehydration.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyro_349 View Post
    I'm not actually supplementing my calcium, mainly due to this: Calcium supplements with or without vitamin D and risk of cardiovascular events: reanalysis of the Women and Vascular events in healthy older women receiving calcium... [BMJ. 2008] - PubMed - NCBI (Though, at the time I didn't realize the study was done solely on women). My 800mg intake of calcium is from dietary sources - should I still consider supplementing my calcium?
    There is a lot more to that story. They were merely looking at the effects of calcium and vitamin D, which increases calcium absorption. And yes, high serum calcium not balanced by magnesium can increase the risk of cardiovascular events. This is not a recent discovery, but rather has been known for a very long time. This all goes back to what I was saying earlier about calcium being a muscle contractor and magnesium a muscle relaxant. Blood vessels are also muscles and are contracted by calcium reducing blood flow. Again this is why calcium channel blockers are so commonly used to treat high blood pressure. Magnesium on the other hand is the counter to calcium and relaxes the blood vessels reducing the risk of cardiovascular events. When they did the study they created an imbalance between the calcium and magnesium, which increases the risk of cardiovascular events by the constriction of blood vessels leading to a decrease of blood flow to the heart and brain. In my opinion it s best to keep magnesium intake about the same or in some cases higher than calcium for safety.

    Do you need to supplement? You can again if you keep the calcium balanced with magnesium in particular. But we also have to keep in mind that there is so much more to healthy bones than simply calcium and magnesium. Silica for example is the most important nutrient needed for bone health. And without it bone cannot even mineralize. And there are numerous other nutrients needed to create bone and keep it healthy. There is so much hype behind calcium being needed for strong bones, but that is like saying that we only need oxygen to live.

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