potassium deficiency

  1. Talking yourself to sleep

    Insomnia has a way of taking control of your life quickly.

    There's nothing like a few nights in a row with no sleep to instantly change someone's personality.

    And I guess that's why so many people turn to powerful prescription meds so quickly – because they're looking for a quick fix and a chance to finally get some much-needed sleep.

    But if you're not getting enough sleep, don't be so quick to reach for that pill bottle.

    Not only are drugs not the only solution, they're not even the best or most effective solution.

    The latest study to confirm this compared a popular sleep med to simple talk therapy. And guess what? Talk therapy works every bit as well as these powerful and expensive meds.

    But like they say in those late-night infomercials, "Wait! There's more!" Because that's not even the best part of this study, which was published in May in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    The study also found that over the long term, talk therapy was even better than drugs. Folks who got talk therapy refreshers during a six-month follow-up period slept better than those who were allowed to take meds whenever they felt they needed them.

    If you're not sleeping well, you should get to the bottom of it. Chronic sleeplessness has been linked to hypertension, depression and increased suicidal thoughts, even in people who are not otherwise depressed.

    But as this study shows, there's no need to turn your condition into a payday for Big Pharma.

    I often write these messages late at night, not because I suffer from insomnia but because it's the only time of day I'm not busy with patients, studying medical reports or raising my boys.

    If, like me, you're up at that hour you've probably noticed all those commercials for sleep drugs that show up after midnight. I can't help but laugh when I see them, because it seems like the longest part of these commercials is the part where they mention all the side effects.

    Depression, unusual thoughts, risky behavior, decreased inhibitions, anxiety, aggression, hallucinations, confusion, blurred vision, lack of coordination, amnesia, nausea, constipation and headaches are some of the possible side effects. I say "some" because I can't possibly list them all.

    There have even been reports of people walking, making phone calls, eating and driving – yes, driving! – while supposedly asleep on these drugs.

    While talk therapy is a great alternative to prescription meds, I've found that many people who suffer from chronic sleeplessness or fatigue are often quietly battling a potassium deficiency.

    Fortunately, there's a simple and inexpensive solution that your own doctor probably is not aware of.

    For more details, be sure to check out June issue of Health Revelations. I'll show you how to diagnose and treat yourself in the comfort of your own home, and explain why your own doctor can't properly check your potassium levels.

    Then, I'll help you make sure your body has everything it needs to function well all day – and sleep well at night.

  2. Soda: still no good

    Ounce for ounce, there are few things in your home as bad for your body as soda.

    And new research is starting to show it's even worse than we thought.

    Soda has already been linked to a host of health problems, from obesity and diabetes to tooth decay and osteoporosis. And now, it's also being blamed for a horrible condition involving muscle weakness, cramps, palpitations and vomiting.

    This condition is called hypokalemia, and it's caused by a potassium deficiency.

    Excess soda appears to cause blood potassium levels to fall to dangerously low levels, according to a study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice.

    Researchers looked at people who drank large amounts of soda – between two and nine liters per day – and discovered this connection. In at least two cases, soda-drinking patients who experienced hypokalemia were hospitalized when their potassium levels fell dangerously.

    Potassium is one of our most overlooked nutrients. I've found that most people not only misunderstand its importance, but they don't know how to get it in the proper amount.

    That's because the amount of potassium you need is also related to your sodium intake. Our potassium-to-sodium ratio should be 7-to-1, but for most of us that ratio is reversed as we eat salt-laden processed foods at the expense of this vital nutrient.

    Soda can also throw potassium levels out of whack. And when those servings are big enough, you've got a recipe for hypokalemia.

    But don't think you're in the clear just because you drink less soda. To me, even a teaspoon of this junk is way too much. So I'm absolutely horrified when I walk into a convenience store and see giant two-liter cups of sugary poison, meant for gulping down with an extra-wide straw.

    Remember, one of the key ingredients in most sodas is phosphoric acid, which has been linked to bone and kidney problems. Not only that, but industrial grade phosphoric acid is used to remove rust – that alone should tell you everything you need to know about it.

    I've tried, and I can't think of a single good reason why anyone should ever drink soda – even diet soda. They're not just empty calories, but empty calories that add up quicker than most people realize.

    If you're one of the millions of Americans who drink soda regularly, it's time to make some changes – and it's not as difficult as you might think. Even the most hardcore soda junkies are surprised at how quickly they lose the taste for it once they stop drinking it.

    For my money, nothing beats clear, cold water – but I find that when I just have to have that fizz, carbonated water beats cola any day of the week.

  3. Daytime sleepiness isn't normal at any age

    If you find yourself getting tired in the middle of the day, it's time to stop accepting it as part of aging and get to the cause.
  4. Low-carb bad for the heart? Don't swallow this one

    Is a low-fat diet better for your heart? You can bet your ticker it's not – but you won't learn the truth by reading the latest study to hit the mainstream media.

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