No announcement yet.

potassium and muscle spasms/cramps

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • potassium and muscle spasms/cramps

    Hi, folks! I'm hoping someone might have some helpful suggestions. I've been on the IC diet for a year and a half now, and am currently six months pregnant. In the past two weeks, Ihave twice had REALLY painful right side abdominal cramping/spasming, to the point that walking, standing, and driving have been excruciating. I've been to my doc, and they have been able to rule out the typicals--appendix, gas, constipation. It has been suggested to me by a friend who's a nurse that my electrolytes might be out of balance or I might, because of my diet, have a potassium deficiency. Just checked my prenatal vitamins which I assumed had potassium and surprise, surprise, they don't! I would love suggestions on IC-safe foods rich in potassium or supplements that people have been able to take without aggravating their bladders too much. Thank you! KTDID

  • #2
    Here is info from the Patient Handbook's vitamin section:

    Potassium helps transmit nerve impulses, helps muscles contract, and is crucial for maintaining a healthy nervous system. It plays an important role in maintaining normal blood pressure, and works in combination with sodium to control the body's water balance.

    Potassium, in balance with calcium and magnesium, is essential to the maintenance of excitability of muscle tissue, especially the cardiac muscle. Adequate intake of potassium is especially important for people taking medication for high blood pressure.

    A potassium deficiency can result in excess thirst, weakness of muscles, changes in the electrocardiogram, and mental confusion. The herbal product Licorice, when taken for long periods of time with certain other drugs, can cause depletion in the body's potassium supply.

    Dr. Lowell Parsons, a reknown IC researcher at the University of San Diego, has noticed that several foods IC patients regularly avoid (ie., oranges and tomatoes) contain fairly large amounts of potassium. Because some patients' bladders are known to react when potassium salts are instilled in the bladder, Dr. Parsons has suggested that for those patients, high-potassium foods may be a problem. Excess potassium is washed out of the body via the urine, so Dr. Parsons believes that the potassium ions in the urine could possibly "leak" across a faulty bladder lining into the underlying bladder muscle tissue where it would trigger spasms and pain. This may be true for some patients, it may not be true for others, and it most likely isn't the whole story when it comes to our problems with food. When ingesting potassium with food, it doesn't affect our bladders in the same way as instilling it directly into the bladder. Most IC patients can comfortably eat turkey and milk and many can eat bananas without suffering a flare. Yet a serving of roasted turkey meat has more potassium than a whole orange; a banana has almost twice as much potassium as an orange; and a cup of milk has 50% more potassium than an orange.

    IC friendly potassium sources: cereals, honeydew, blueberries, raisins, fish, legumes, potatoes, brown rice, cereals, nuts, chicken, fresh vegetables and most fresh foods

    Diagnosed August 2001

    Current IC meds: Elmiron (since 2001), Levaquin (one pill after intercourse to prevent UTIs), Effexor (for depression & anxiety)

    Past IC meds: Amitriptyline (Elavil), Hydroxyzine (Vistaril), Detrol LA, Lexapro (for depression & anxiety, but also helped my IC) (They all helped, but I was able to discontinue them.)

    I've been virtually symptom free and able to eat & drink whatever I'd like for about 8 years now.


    “We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” ~ Viktor Frankl

    “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” ~ Brian Tracy


    • #3
      Thanks Kim for the info on Potassium! Especially about the foods that are rich in potassium. It is nice to now that on that list there are some foods that I do eat that don't affect my bladder. I certainly don't eat banana anymore
      They make my bladder flare like there was no tomorrow!

      Arcticfox hi


      • #4
        If you suspect you have a potassium deficiency, I suggest you ask your doctor about a blood test. And if it's very low, your doctor will very likely order a supplement for you. It's far less expensive than the over the counter supplements.

        Sending healing thoughts,
        Stay safe

        Elmiron Eye Disease Information Center -
        Elmiron Eye Disease Fact Sheet (Downloadable) -

        Have you checked the ICN Shop?
        Click on ICN Shop at the top of this page. You'll find Bladder Builder and Bladder Rest, both of which we are finding have excellent results.

        Patient Help:


        Diet list:

        AUA Guidelines:

        I am not a medical authority nor do I offer medical advice. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.

        Anyone who says something is foolproof hasn't met a determined fool