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    ryanmercer's Avatar
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    Should have died, time to change

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    Hi, I'm Ryan.

    Woke up Monday November 5th with 0 strength, I'm talking paralyzed 90-95%. Managed to get to edge of bed and fell out. I literally couldn't move. Took 6 firefighters to get me off floor. I have muscle strength back now after a ton of potassium orally and via IV, my potassium level was 2.2 and normal is like 4.4, my heart should have stopped beating. Kept me all day Monday and until about 5pm Tuesday, wasn't allowed to get up at all. They took blood 17 times and want me to come back for more over the following weeks "profound weakness with severe hypokalemia suspected due to hypokalemic periodic paralysis". Well that's some rare genetic mutation that just didn't fit considering it presents itself in childhood usually and not when you are 27 years old... people with it also experience attacks weekly, if not every single day.

    So, I went and got myself my first primary care physician as a doctor. Unlike the hospital that just took blood sample after blood sample after blood sample, she spent a solid 3 hours in the examination room with me asking me question after question and looking over the bulk of my body. She decided it was actually my sodium intake, especially in the 2 days leading up to the event.

    Ryan got a Striiv last week and has been striving to do 10k steps a day (since he sits at a desk 10-16 hours a day for income) as well as getting back to the gym, a place he used to be at regularly years ago until his training partner moved from Indianapolis to San Francisco leaving him with no motivation whatsoever to go to the gym.

    Not sure paleo is right for me (I have a lot of issues with vegetables... textures mostly trigger my gag reflex... I can manage tomatoes, jalapenos and potatos, carots if they are boiled and very soft but I'm working on it trying to force myself to get past the gag factor on some others) but it fits my meat intake just not my plant intake so here I am!

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    namelesswonder's Avatar
    namelesswonder is offline Moderator
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    Hey Ryan,

    Welcome! Question for you: how were you eating when this paralysis occurred? Were you trying out primal/paleo eating at the time? Or are you trying this out to see if it helps with your sodium issues?

    I've read that supplementing zinc can help with some vegetable aversion issues. If you had issues with potassium and sodium, you may not be getting enough trace minerals. You can get mixes of trace minerals to add to purified water to make sure you are getting enough. It should be fairly tasteless.
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    welcome aboard, ryan. that must have been a horrible experience, but it's good that you're choosing to make a change.

    i have/had a similar problem with a lot of vegetables (i still can't eat raw carrots without something else, usually creamy, to help with the texture). i found that with a little experimentation you can figure out a way to eat and love them. maybe that means a piece of broccoli has to be combined with a couple of spinach leaves in a salad, or roasted with olive oil (and well seasoned) to soften to eat by itself. play around with it and you'll figure out what works for you.

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    ryanmercer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by namelesswonder View Post
    Hey Ryan,

    Welcome! Question for you: how were you eating when this paralysis occurred? Were you trying out primal/paleo eating at the time? Or are you trying this out to see if it helps with your sodium issues?

    I've read that supplementing zinc can help with some vegetable aversion issues. If you had issues with potassium and sodium, you may not be getting enough trace minerals. You can get mixes of trace minerals to add to purified water to make sure you are getting enough. It should be fairly tasteless.
    I basically took in... oh... 30k mg of sodium in a 36 hour window. Which was only about 30-40% higher than my typical intake. I'm not trying paleo for anything, I've been well aware of paleo for years but absolutely can't stand gagging my food back up when I eat plants. Well, now I don't really have much of a choice because just meat gets old real quick when I'm trying to stay away from processed foods packed full of sodium.

    It's not the taste of vegetables and fruits that I have an version too, it's the second I take a bite or two my gag reflexes goes into "OMG SPIT THIS UNHOLY TEXTURE OUT" mode, which started when I was probably 7 or 8, before that I'd eat ANY fruit/veggie and couldn't get enough.

    The reason I had issues with the potassium was because of the excessive sodium, my body was soaking up all available potassium in my body to try and maintain normal cell function from the ridiculous amount of sodium in my body. So, while I see a lot of people don't worry about sodium with PB, they should just remember they should still try to watch their sodium levels. Sure, I was taking in 10-15 days worth in less than 2 days and had chronically been consuming 10k-15k mg a day for years to trigger hypokalemia, but trust me you don't ever want to experience that. All in all I was paralyzed about 6 hours AWAKE and after about 20 minutes I was absolutely terrified although I was trying to keep my cool, not being able to move sounds scary but you just don't know until you wake up and can barely wiggle your foot and barely move your fingers. Took 6 firefighters to lift me up and get me out of the house (and I'm only 6'0 260)... I was of no help to them whatsoever. Once they gave me a crapton of potassium to counteract the sodium (oral and IV, it was bad enough they didn't even give me anything with the IV which... holy crap is the most painful experience I've ever had) I had function back 100%.

    Paleo... just doing paleo because well I'm mostly just a meat person anyway and need to add in some veggies. I've read that it takes 20+ times of eating something to "aquire a taste" for it. So I've been trying to find stuff close to the texture of tomatoes (as well as currently eating a tomato or so a day just because I could always eat some diced tomatoes fine in salsa or on pizza, but getting a whole tomato down mixed with some scrambled eggs still taxes me towards the last few bites) to try and ease into with nibbles here and there to get used to the textures and try and eliminate the gag reflex nibble by nibble. So PB just works for me, once I can get more veggies I can tolerate.

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    Fortunately most of the vegetables you like are high in Potassium. You might try some juicing, if the flavors without the texture appeal to you then maybe you can move onto the whole vegetable. Also I like making soups using an immersion blender. You can take most any vegetable, boil it in chicken stock, blend with the immersion blender and add cream or half and half to taste.
    A favorite with my family is to use red potatoes or yukon golds and leeks, trim the darkest part of the green from the leeks, cook til soft and proceed as above.

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    There is also some evidence of high carbohydrate diets causing hypokalemia via the actions of insulin. So avoid simple carbs, that don't add minerals to your diet.

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    Hi there and welcome.

    Sounds like the gag reflex could be a psychological response developed in childhood. Have you tried something like hypnosis to overcome it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by spuggygirl View Post
    Hi there and welcome.

    Sounds like the gag reflex could be a psychological response developed in childhood. Have you tried something like hypnosis to overcome it?
    I'm not big on pseudo-science. I barely have money to pay my bills, can't afford to give a quack my money to use alleged power of suggestion to get me to be able to eat plants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spuggygirl View Post
    Hi there and welcome.

    Sounds like the gag reflex could be a psychological response developed in childhood. Have you tried something like hypnosis to overcome it?
    Eh, not really into the whole pseudo-science thing. Not a lot of evidence for hypnosis.

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    Oh and yeah I'm the same as the OP. OP account had an error that admin couldn't rectify that was causing every post of mine to require approval, even after they 'fixed' it. So made a second account so I can actually reply with less than a 24 hour delay between the time I post a comment and the time it shows up

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