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Begging For Help - Mil Can't Absorb Potassium

3 posts in this topic


I am so hoping that someone can help me.

My beloved mother-in-law has been celiac for many years and was very recently diagnosed with cancer of the lymph nodes. She had her first chemo treatment a week ago and had severe side effects that has necessiatated her hospitalization.

One of the major problems is that her body cannot seem to hold onto potassium and right now the doctors can't figure out why or how to counteract it. They are currently trying to figure things out but cannot proceed with further chemo treatments for her cancer until her potassium count is at a normal level and will stay there.

This is not a ? of her not getting the potasssium - she has been taking a supplement and is currently on a drip - it's a ? of why her body refuses to hold onto it.

Any and all insights are gratefully accepted - we are sick with worry.

Thanks in advance,



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Well, whatever you find out, it might be difficult to convince the doctors of it. Since they don't already know the answer, that suggests it isn't in the medical literature, so I'd suggest gathering a lot of data and evidence to present to them.

The first thing which comes to mind is that deficiencies in other nutrients may be causing the loss of potassium. Magnesium is one such possibility. Also, the type of potassium supplement may also need to be changed.

Here are some articles on potassium, which will hopefully help you:

Take note of what this says about Angiotension Converting Enzyme:

I hope this helps. Please ask any questions you may have, and let us know what happens!


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Potassium is tricky, because it's not a typical vitamin/mineral where you can just add more. From what I understand, sodium and potassium are the two main electrolytes that control the flow of water in and out of your cells (osmosis). If your potassium is low, then your sodium is probably high (and vice versa). One of the symptoms of Addison's disease, for example, is high levels of potassium... which is why people with that condition tend to crave salt. One of the "treatments" for Addison's is purposefully adding extra salt to your diet, which forces the potassium back into balance.

I'm sorry your MIL is having such a difficult time! Obviously, cancer and cancer treatment is very stressful on the body... could she be having a problem with her adrenal glands?


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