Try This: A Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium Protocol

Discussion in 'Alternative Treatments and Research' started by Sharman, Jun 11, 2018.

    1. Sharman

      Sharman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      digoxin
      I stumbled on – for lack of a less obnoxious word – a protocol that is really helping my tinnitus. This is a long narrative, so I’ll break it into several posts. This post will lay out the rules. Next, I’ll describe my tinnitus, and my experience with the protocol, so you can decide if it might help you. Two posts will give some detailed tips. Last, for the hell of it, I offer up speculation on why it works. Five posts in all.

      There are four parts to the Protocol:

      1) Magnesium


      Drench your body in magnesium oil. You want to get lots of magnesium into your system. For many reasons, including the nasty things oral magnesium can do to your digestive tract, transdermal application with magnesium oil (slathering the oil over yourself, you absorb it through your skin) is the only good way to do this. A later post will give tips on using magnesium oil.

      Do magnesium oil treatments as many days as feasible, for 2 - 4 weeks. After that, you can reduce the frequency.

      You won’t overdose, so err on the side of too much. While 20 – 40 minutes is what is officially recommended to get good absorption, I like to do an hour or more. If nothing else, an hour or more gets you a very pleasant warm-and-groggy high. Great for insomnia, I imagine.

      2) Potassium from food

      Moderate your potassium intake from food. “Moderate” meaning, limit your intake of high-potassium foods, but don’t go hog wild. You neither should, nor need to, drastically reduce potassium. More about this in a later post.

      Also, watch that your potassium intake per meal is not large in relation to how much you are eating. In the course of this stumbling, trial-and-error discovery, a lunch of lentil soup, and an over-the-counter stomach drug that consisted of 30 mg of caraway oil taken away from food, both triggered spikes.

      3) Potassium supplements

      This part is bizarre and counter-intuitive. Supplement with potassium pills. Take the pills with food, including fatty food, as potassium is fat-soluble.

      I take 3 100-mg tablets with breakfast and 5 with dinner. Those were arbitrary numbers I started with, it worked, so I stuck with that dosage. You can of course experiment to see what works best for you.

      800 mg per day may seem like a lot, but that’s about one banana’s worth. And you are moderating the potassium in your diet, so it’s probably a wash.

      4) Calcium

      Moderate your intake of calcium. Like potassium, nothing drastic needed, just moderation. See later post.

      For me, this worked right away. (I will elaborate on “worked right away” in the next post.) Having said:

      When I started the experiment, I first did magnesium oil treatments for five days, before challenging myself with foods that trigger me. (My tinnitus is triggered by high salicylate and other foods, see next post.) But, I’ve been using magnesium oil (about once a week) for several years now. I can’t say how many days it will take for you to build up enough magnesium to see results (or know it doesn’t work for you). Try it for at least a week or two.

      I see some posts here by individuals who’ve noticed that they are triggered by foods, and others who have been helped by magnesium (including one individual who keeps trying to tell y’all that you need get your magnesium from magnesium oil, but y’all keep ignoring him). Also, some have reported success with apple cider vinegar. Reading the ACV thread, I see reported a case where a super-high intake of ACV dangerously lowered someone’s potassium levels—again, a link to potassium. That seems an indication that this approach—targeting potassium through magnesium and diet—could work for at least some of you.
       
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    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sharman

      Sharman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      digoxin
      This post will describe my tinnitus situation, and my experience with the protocol.

      I’ve had tinnitus since 2014; in retrospect, I’m pretty sure the cause was taking the heart rhythm drug digoxin. I went off the digoxin last December, but my tinnitus continued the same.

      My tinnitus is triggered by certain foods and drugs. Mostly, it’s high-salicylate foods and soy. I am fortunate that I discovered the food connection early; I’ve never had severe episodes, and I can have long periods of low to zero sound. But I have experienced tinnitus so loud I can understand how awful the condition would be, if I didn’t have a way to manage it.

      (By the way, if you suspect your tinnitus is triggered by food, I’m happy to tell you what I figured out about managing through salicylate etc. avoidance. Let me know. There are lots of foods you have to watch out for.)

      My tinnitus is high-pitched ringing.

      I started this experiment about a month ago. I beefed up my magnesium with five consecutive days of mag oil treatments, then embarked on an orgy of all the foods I’ve been avoiding for the last four years. It worked right away.

      When I say “it worked right away,” the long version of the story is:

      Taking magnesium oil and potassium pills worked right away, for 5 days. Then I had some high tinnitus days. Going back over my diet, I discovered that meals with large amounts of potassium preceded spikes. Thought I, well the ticket must be high magnesium, low potassium--but that did not work. So, I started taking the pills again, continued the low potassium, high magnesium, and once again, it worked.

      By “once again, it worked” I mean, I had many successful days, and when I spiked, I could trace it to a meal with high potassium. (You need to look up every food, it’s amazing how many unlikely places you find high potassium. See later post.) That proceeded for a while, I was mostly successful or could identify high-potassium mistakes.

      Then I had a couple days of unexplainable spikes, went back over my diet and saw high calcium meals. So that became the fourth prong of the protocol, moderating calcium. And with that last in place—it still amazes me—this thing is working for me.

      Now let me get more specific about “this thing is working.” I usually wake up with mild T, it usually goes away during or about an hour after my breakfast with 3 tabs of potassium. [I have done the same breakfast since starting the experiment, a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin and small coffee, cream and sugar. Pre-protocol, that meal would probably have triggered me, from the Canadian bacon (salicylate) and the likely soy in the muffin.]

      Usually, there is some amount of noise going on, but very low to virtually undetectable. I often get some spiking starting late afternoon. It may go back down or remain steady. As a general rule, if things are on track, any afternoon noise will dissipate with dinner (moderate potassium, plus 5 tablets of 100-mg potassium). If the spike continues or gets worse with dinner, then it’s a day where things are off track: what did I eat yesterday? At lunch? (tho I rarely eat lunch.)

      I will get a spike if I lie down mid-day (a good thing to enjoy after your magnesium treatment, which leaves you feeling warm and groggy). If it’s a good day, that spike will go away at least by dinner; if it persists, I can usually find a food mistake the previous day.

      If I do spike, I can usually get back on track in a day or so, so it becomes a “don’t sweat it” day of bearing with.

      And, there many days where it’s pretty good all day.

      Final gloss on “this thing is working.” I have been only partially successful with the protocol allowing me to tolerate a drug I want to try for another medical condition, raw cannabis juice or CBD oil. (The reason I embarked on this experiment in the first place.) With the protocol, I can do the cannabis juice, but not the CBD oil. Previously, both triggered me decisively.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sharman

      Sharman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      digoxin
      This post covers “moderate potassium and calcium from food.”

      First, if you have any condition that might conceivably be affected by potassium, do consult your doctor. Of course. The ones I know about are blood pressure and heart conditions, as well as kidney issues.

      Having said, (1) this is not about severely restricting potassium intake, (2) it is safe to restrict potassium far more than needed for the protocol and (3) with the supplements, it’s probably a wash anyway.

      From a little googling around, the conventional wisdom seems to be that the ideal is 4,000 mg of potassium per day and probably, few people get that much in the standard American diet. Kidney patients who need to significantly restrict their potassium aim for 2,000 mg per day. You don’t need to do anywhere near that much restricting. Between 2,000 and 4,000 mg there’s a lot of room.

      It seems almost every food under the sun has some potassium, in almost all food groups. So, when deciding what protein to have for dinner, what starch, what vegetable, etc., you look for the ones that are low or middle range, and/or pay attention to portion sizes on the high-potassium items, and/or keep the rest of the meal low-P, if some item is high.

      A 3 oz serving of burger is 270 mg. A 3 oz serving of chicken is 220 mg. 3 oz of salmon (wild, Atlantic) is 534 mg. So, if you want salmon, have rice (1 cup 55mg) rather than baked potato (I medium, 926 mg). [Potato is a heart-breaker. 361 mg for 1 oz. of potato chips.] Pesto is delicious on salmon, but adds 170 mg per ¾ cup. Want fish and chocolate for dessert (158 mg/oz), try the sole (3 oz 307 mg).

      I am not saying limit your protein portion to 3 oz, or any absolute limit. I suspect (but haven’t tested) it’s more about the proportion of potassium relative to the rest of the meal. Having said, think twice before super-sizing the fries (411 mg to 892 mg). Or get the onion rings (fast food breaded, 8 – 9 rings, 129 mg).

      And ultimately go by your own experience. Corn is a high potassium starch, 350 mg for one ear on the cob. (That one really hurts.) Yet, the internet swears that polenta is a mere 90 mg per cup. That makes no sense, and indeed, when I tried it, the polenta was the only potential culprit to explain one meal’s spike.

      You have to look everything up, sometime there’s rhyme and reason to it (e.g., most nuts are high P). Often it’s utterly random. Fruit, for example, is all over the place. (By contrast, on the avoid-salicylates diet, you start with the premise that almost every fruit is forbidden. Depressing, but easy to remember.) One of my unsuccessful days was when I reached for pomegranate juice (533 mg/cup), meaning to get cranberry (40 mg).

      Remember also that the amount of potassium in a meal, relative to the volume of other food, also matters. Keep that in mind for smaller meals.

      The same goes for calcium. I don’t avoid it, I just am careful about it. I’ll have cheese on a sandwich, or a small glass of milk with dessert. But I’ll think twice before throwing a fondue party. Dairy is often both potassium and calcium.
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sharman

      Sharman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      digoxin
      This post is about magnesium oil.

      It’s a pain to use, but by far the best way to get lots of magnesium into yourself.

      You absorb the magnesium through your skin. It does not matter so much where you put it (though there are areas you do not want to put it, see below), it circulates throughout your system. What you are looking to do is cover a large area. But ultimately, do what’s practical and comfortable.

      Don’t put any above the neck, or on irritated or sensitive skin. It’s very much like ocean water, it will sting if it gets in a cut, etc.

      Keep it on for at least 20 minutes, try for at least 40. I like to do 50 minutes or more, which gives a warm groggy glow after you shower it off. (Makes for a lovely mid-day nap or liedown, or do it before bedtime if you have sleep issues.)

      You must shower before putting the oil on. Your pores will open to suck up the magnesium, and you don’t want to also suck up whatever dirt or toxins are on your unwashed skin.

      You don’t have to wash it off, but you probably want to, because it’s clammy and a little itchy or stingy. Again, like swimming in the ocean. So plan on a quick shower (rinse only, no soap) after your time is up.

      The oil may sting or itch. It may burn, like a sunburn. You can try diluting with water, or rinse off the areas that are burning. If it burns, do wash it off those areas, the burn is real. I find it varies for me comfort-wise. Most days, I don’t notice it much; other days, it’s annoying; some days, it burns enough that I do rinse off the affected areas.

      Magnesium oil is called “oil” because it feels oily, but it isn’t really oil. It rinses off or out of anything very easily, with water.

      There are many internet sites where you can buy the stuff, and it’s not expensive. The company may include a small spray bottle in the package. I find spraying is messy and ineffective, and use one of those plastic ketchup/mustard bottles. Or just pour a small amount in your hand from the bottle.

      As a side benefit, and a way to tell that you are in fact getting a good buildup in your system, you may see a big difference in your skin and hair: soft skin, silky hair.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sharman

      Sharman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      digoxin
      This last post will hazard a brief and wild guess why this works.

      You know--and I learned from this wonderful forum, thank you so much—that drugs targeting potassium channels have shown promise, but sadly, to date, have unacceptable side effects. Potassium channels are the pores through which potassium enters and exits cells. So presumably the issue is getting potassium into and/or out of the cells that are signaling the brain.

      Magnesium is essential for the body to use the potassium you put into it, so the high magnesium helps. But, not enough to fully overcome the defective potassium channels.

      I could swear I’ve read somewhere that [all or part of] the problem is an imbalance between the potassium inside the cells compared to the potassium in the fluid outside. Perhaps the imbalance (more outside than in) creates an osmotic pressure that makes it hard for the cell to expel potassium, as needed to return the cell to its resting state, resulting in a signal that doesn’t shut off?

      So, my theory, the potassium supplements smooth out the delivery of potassium to the fluids outside your cells, and this helps correct or ameliorate the intra- versus extra-cellular imbalance. (Maybe that’s how the apple cider vinegar works too.)

      However, if you do the supplements and keep your normal potassium intake from diet, that’s too much potassium for your defective channels to handle, you again get too much extracellular potassium and the cells can’t return to resting state. So supplements plus moderation in the diet is the Goldilocks just-right.

      What calcium has to do with all this I have really no guess, other than a vague understanding that calcium is somehow connected to potassium. Also, there are “calcium-gated” potassium channels.

      I hope some of you try it, I’m eager to hear your thoughts and experiences.
       
    6. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      This is very interesting. Thank you. This is also somewhat consistent with me getting spikes after eating dairy foods.
      Are you doing it in an empty bathtub?
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sharman

      Sharman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      digoxin
      I like to throw on a towel or tee shirt, and putter around, clean, make dinner, til the time is up. Or read the computer, etc.
       
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    8. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      What fruits and vegetables would you say would be ok to have, under this protocol?
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sharman

      Sharman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      digoxin
      Like I said, it's best to look everything up, just to be sure, at least at the start.

      I was delighted to be able to eat berries again, which I was avoiding on the low-salicylate diet. But apricots and nectarines are high P. See the example I gave of pomegranate versus cranberry juice.

      Vegetables tend to not have such a wide spread between low and high, but for example, cabbage is on the low end, bok choy is high.

      Once you start googling, you'll see a lot websites that give you lists of high and low in all food groups--some people will be looking for high potassium foods, while there are plenty of sites dedicated to low potassium, for kidney patients.
       
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