Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for January 14, 2007

I really feel like I’m making some good progress here:


Studies show that potassium becomes very deficient in the hyperthyroid state. It can become so deficient that hypokalemic paralysis results. This is a condition in which the whole body becomes rigid because of potassium deficiency. There are reports in the literature of people found in a state of hypokalemic paralysis in the street. When they are taken to the hospital and revived with potassium infusions, they are often found to have hyperthyroidism. For an unknown reason this occurs at a higher rate among Asians. It may be genetic or dietetic (high sodium intake from soy sauce, perhaps??). There are indications that potassium deficiency may also be involved in hyperthyroidism and the rapid weight gain of hypos may be the result of potassium deficiency.

The four minerals, sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium are next to each other in the Periodic Table and form a square on the left side. There are strong interactions between these four minerals. The balances between these four minerals seems to be critical to health and are probably very critical for thyroid health. Excess amounts or deficiencies of any one of the four may severely disrupt thyroid function. Additionally there seem to be interactions between these four minerals and copper and zinc, which are two metallic minerals with critical thyroid functions. It seems that a copper deficiency interferes with the proper functioning of both potassium and magnesium, and zinc seems more related to sodium and calcium metabolism. Also all of these minerals seem involved in either the production, degradation, or cellular response to thyroid hormone.

Potassium, sodium, and lithium are alkaline minerals which are involved in the cellular pumps which regulate the transport of water and nutrients through the cell walls. There is evidence that a potassium deficiency can cause the cells to fill with water leading to an overall edema in the body. It’s possible that edema of the brain cells from potassium deficiency may be involved in chronic headaches. It’s also possible that potassium deficiency is responsible for the rapid increase in body weight seen in thyroid patients. This increase in body weight seems to occur despite calorie restriction and may be the result of swelling of all the body’s cells with water.

Indications of potassium deficiency include symptoms such as muscle weakness, which is a condition reported by many thyroid patients.

You will also see below that eating licorice can deplete potassium with possible fatal consequences. I would strongly urge anyone with thyroid disease to not eat licorice.

For these reasons I think studying potassium is critically important to understanding thyroid physiology.


From the book, “Healthy Healing” by Linda Rector Page:

“Potassium–an electrolyte mineral located in body fluids. Potassium balances the acid/alkaline system, transmits electrical signals between cells and nerves, and enhances athletic performance. It works with sodium to regulate the body’s water balance, and is necessary for heart health against hypertension and stroke, (people who take high blood pressure medication are vulnerable to potassium deficiency), muscle function, energy storage, nerve stability, and enzyme and hormone production.”

“Potassium helps oxygenate the brain for clear thinking and controls allergic reactions. Stress, hypoglycemia, diarrhea and acute anxiety or depression generally result in potassium deficiency. A potassium broth from vegetables is one of the greatest natural healing tools available for cleansing and restoring body energy. Good food and herb sources are fresh fruits, especially kiwis and bananas, potatoes, sea vegetables, spices like coriander, cumin, basil, parsley, ginger, hot peppers, dill weed, tarragon, paprika, and tumeric, lean poultry and fish, dairy foods, legumes, seeds, and whole grains.”

From the Nutrition Almanac by Kirschmann (excerpts): “…Potassium constitutes 5% of the total mineral content of the body…Potassium and sodium help regulate water balance within the body (potassium crosses over more easily); that is, they help regulate the distribution of fluids on either side of the cell walls and preserve proper alkalinity of the body fluids. Potassium also regulates the transfer of nutrients to the cells. …”

“Potassium is necessary for normal growth enzymatic reactions. It unites with phosphorus to send oxygen to the brain and also functions with calcium in the regulation of neuromuscular activity. The synthesis of muscle protein and protein from amino acids in the blood requires potassium, as does the synthesis of nucleic acids. It aids in keeping skin healthy and in keeping a stable blood pressure.”

“Potassium assists in the conversion of glucose to the form in which this substance can be stored in the liver as glycogen, and then to its useful form to do the body’s work. Protein and carbohydrate metabolism are dependent upon potassium. It stimulates the kidneys to eliminate poisonous body wastes. Potassium works with sodium to help normalize the heartbeat.”

January 15, 2007 - Posted by | Health | ,

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