MS and Sodium

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MS and Sodium

Postby Absentee » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:10 pm

I've started to strongly suspect that some of my flare-ups are related to sodium intake. It is all circumstantial, but I first noticed this after eating chinese food (MSG of course) and then another time with smoked ribs and then another time with salami. These were all at different times, not all consecutive. There was a clear correlation.

Then this weekend I went a little nuts eating some anchovies and here I am with funky vision and other symptoms heightened.

Anybody want to weigh in on this? My diet is actually quite low in salt usually - very few if any processed foods on a regular basis.
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Postby Bubba » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:50 pm

That maybe...never put the two together. I will pay attention from now on though. When I use salt, I really use it, alot. Like, I am a draft beer drinker. I always salt my mug before almost every sip. I might try cutting that out and see if it has an effect..
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Postby lyndacarol » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:57 pm

I am the person here who suspects that excess insulin is deeply involved with the MS cascade. Not only does a diet rich in carbohydrates cause high blood sugar (glucose) which then triggers the secretion of insulin; but, monosodium glutamate (MSG) also promotes insulin production. Turmeric also promotes insulin.

I do not know of any correlation between sodium intake and MS. Review your diet for a possible increase in sugar -- that seems more likely to me.

Maltose is the sugar in beer -- again, I think the problem is sugar rather than salt.
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Postby msmything » Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:49 pm

I think i read somewhere that Baclofen used for spasticty exerts it's action by being a sodiom channel blocker
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Postby jimmylegs » Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:27 am

i agree sodium intake could be troublesome. especially if your potassium intake is low. potassium intake can be of use in cases of sodium imbalance.

bubba that means fresh fruit and vegetables.. and why the heck do you salt beer of all things 8P ugh! lol

i know my potassium is low when, for example, i do laps in the pool and my feet cramp up and feel like my toes are trying to cross starting from the ankle!

it is difficult to get the right amount of potassium from diet - we're supposed to get 4500mg per day and only 600-800 of that might come from say, a banana (i can't stand bananas!).

here is an animation of interactive awesomeness which really demonstrates well (i think it was about 10 minutes to complete?) the actions of sodium and potassium which are required for messages to travel through nerves to muscles.

you will probably note that a sodium channel blocker might be useful when there is not enough potassium in the picture. ... ential.swf

in this second equally awesome but shorter animation, you can see the need for phosphate and ATP to keep things in balance via the sodium-potassium pump:

<shortened url>

so as for the sodim-potassium pump and its need for ATP... ATP formation requires adequate polyunsaturated fatty acid status (ATP is formed from ADP so if the ratio is lower that seems to indicate that the body would be converting less ADP to ATP).

The effects of a 4-week deficiency in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in isolated rat hepatocytes have been investigated for oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acid, dihydroxyacetone (DHA) or glycerol metabolism. ... The PUFA-deficient group exhibited a significant decrease in the cytosolic ATP/ADP ratio, whereas the mitochondrial ratio was not affected. PUFA deficiency led to a 16% decrease in DHA metabolism owing to a 34% decrease in glycerol kinase activity; the significant decrease in the ATP/ADP ratio was accompanied by an increase in the fractional glycolytic flux...

many of us take omega 3s and the use of these fatty acids is known to improve EDSS. at the same time i have not yet run into research to suggest that ms patients have different fatty acid status than healthy controls (rather the opposite, but i haven't done an in-depth lit review on that topic yet).

but at the root of this i would think if you notice problems with sodium intake, you probably need to address potassium balance. i have a second degree of separation acquaintance with a nurse who provides potassium pills 600 mg to a friend of mine. i haven't looked very hard, but have only ever seen 99mg potassium pills in the stores.

my foot cramped up while i was visiting the other day and i took one of these 600mg K pills and it sorted right out.

also i asked my genius pharmacist how to make the magnesium which had helped my dysphagia so much, work even better, and he said potassium and magnesium go hand in hand.

at the end of the day, sodium channel blockers do sound to me like another example of pharmaceutical ridonkulousness. eat your fruits and veggies! if eating salt gives you problems, it is a straight up indicator that you don't have enough potassium in your system to keep things working properly (with a possible second to fatty acids).

Last edited by jimmylegs on Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby lyndacarol » Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:20 am

Look into using Morton Lite Salt Mixture; it is lower in sodium and supplies 340 mg of potassium per serving.
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Postby jimmylegs » Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:51 pm

oo that sounds like a good call, LC.
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Postby Miss_Feisty » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:49 pm

hmmm good to hear you are questioning the salt.....I keep a low sodium diet and oh man I drive my hubby crazy when I can detect that slight pinch of salt in the cooking!

Chinese food is the hour later my feet start burning. Processed food (frozen dinners) and restaurant food are filled with sodium. Later after drinking a trough of water, I notice the intense swelling and can't put my shoes on the next day. Too much salt is not good for anyone and we really are blind to how much we consume in any processed food product.

I don't know if it's related to ms, but we may be more sensitive to it. I think a higher salt content is reasonable for more active people, but from my own experience I try not to put myself into the position of sweating...salt or no salt. Least to say, there is a lack of activity to release the sodium.

Sodium is not an enemy when consumed reasonably. Good salt has iodine which is also needed for the body. And always remember to throw that pinch over your shoulder when is spills across the counter ;)

MSG, aspartame....all of the little chemicals are very bad for ms'ers. I believe we need to be mindful of a healthy diet and yes, cheat on occasion. Nothing screams good chop suey like feet feeling like they're burnin! :D
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