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Macromineral Deficiencies and Acid-Base Disorders
Macromineral Deficiencies and Acid-Base Disorders
Referred to as the "real silent killer" by some. "A tactic that is sometimes used, to break a person down psychologically and physically, is to induce as much stress as possible for a long period of time". This tactic is often used to cause macromineral deficiencies and acid-base disorders in the victim.
The deficiency of Macrominerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium due to stress can cause serious disorders. Some psychological and neurological disorders are depression, emotional disturbances, personality changes, hallucinations, confusion, loss of memory, seizures, and coma. Some physical symptoms (disorders) are muscle pain, muscle cramps, muscle spasms, tremors, and complications of the heart such as cardiac arrest or heart failure. Deficiencies in Macrominerals can also cause or lead to Acid-Base disorders.
Six macrominerals are required in large quantities for the body. Four (sodium (Na), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg)) are cations; two (chlorine (Cl) and phosphorus (P)) are accompanying anions. Brain, muscle, heart, and bone function depend on these minerals and are vital for the body’s cells. Consuming too little or too much of certain minerals can cause serious disorders.
Macrominerals are very important as electrolytes and the body uses electrolytes to maintain acid-base balance, fluid balance (homeostasis), and for normal neurological, myocardial, nerve, and muscle function. Neurons and muscle are activated by electrolyte activity occurring between the extracellular (or interstitial fluid) and intracellular fluid. During periods of stress and exercise electrolytes such as potassium are lost. Fluid balance is maintained by the concentration of electrolytes in cells, the space outside cells, and in the blood. If the concentration is low, fluid moves out, if the concentration is high, fluid moves in. The body can move electrolytes in and out of cells and the right concentration, electrolyte balance, is important for maintaining fluid balance. The kidneys help regulate the concentrations of electrolytes in the blood by excreting excess into the urine. If the balance of electrolytes is disturbed, such as a deficiency, serious disorders can result.
Potassium is very important and involved in electrolyte balance. A low potassium level has many causes but one common cause is adrenal gland disorder (eg, Cushing's syndrome). An over active adrenal gland caused by high levels of stress can release a hormone called aldosterone into the blood stream causing large quantities of potassium to be excreted into the urine. Aldosterone also causes the excretion of magnesium into the urine. High levels of thyroid hormones also increases excretion of magnesium by the kidneys into the urine. Alcohol also increases the excretion of magnesium.
“In many adrenal disorders, such as Cushing’s syndrome (see Adrenal Gland Disorders: Cushing’s Syndrome), the adrenal glands produce too much aldosterone, a hormone that causes the kidneys to excrete large amounts of potassium.” “the term Cushing’s syndrome denotes the clinical picture resulting from cortisol excess from any cause”. Cortisol is often referred to as the stress hormone.
Calcium and Magnesium are necessary for the brain, neurological function, the formation of bone and teeth, normal nerve and muscle function, normal functioning of many enzymes, and normal heart function and rhythm. Too much calcium can also cause a depletion in magnesium. A deficiency in magnesium can cause immune suppression.
Acid-Base disorders, caused by high levels of stress and sleep deprivation, leads to osteoporosis or bone loss.
Cushing’s Syndrome, caused by high levels of stress and sleep deprivation, leads to muscle loss or muscle wasting.
Sleep deprivation prevents the growth hormone, which builds muscle and bone, from being released in the sleep cycle.
Stress -> Cortisol-> Glucose-> Hyperglycemia-> Ketoacidosis (Acidosis)
Sleep Deprivation and Stress a Deadly Combination
Potassium is necessary for the normal functioning of cells, neurons (brain), nerves, and muscles. A potassium level that is too high or too low can have serious consequences such as an abnormal heart rhythm and can even stop the heart (cardiac arrest).
Hypokalemia is when the level of potassium in blood is too low.
Potassium levels become low when too much is lost from the digestive tract or excreted in urine. other causes include adrenal disorders (induced by stress such as Cushing's syndrome). hypomagnesemia (low magnesium), vomiting, diarrhea, aldosteronism due to a tumor in the adrenal glands, Gitelman's syndrome, Liddle syndrome, Bartter syndrome, Fanconi syndrome, the use of diuretics, an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), and Insulin.
Symptoms: A decrease in potassium can cause fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle cramps, muscle aches and pains, twitches (tetany), secures, complications of the heart and abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias).
Hyperkalemia is when the level of potassium in blood is too high.
Kidney disorders and drugs that affect kidney function can cause hyperkalemia. Adrenal disorders caused by stress such as Addison’s disease, under active adrenal glands, can also cause hyperkalemia.
Hyperkalemia can develop after a large amount of potassium is released from the cells. The rapid movement of potassium from cells into blood can overwhelm the kidneys and result in life-threatening hyperkalemia.
“the body moves calcium out of bones into blood as needed to maintain a steady level of calcium in the blood. If people do not consume enough calcium, too much calcium is mobilized from the bones, weakening them. Osteoporosis can result.”
Hypocalcemia is when the calcium level in blood is too low.
Hypocalcemia most commonly results when too much calcium is lost in urine. (corticosteroids)
A low calcium level may result from malnutrition, kidney disorders, parathyroid glands, certain drugs, hypomagnesemia (low magnesium) which reduces the activity of parathyroid hormone, vitamin D deficiency, disorders that decrease calcium absorption, and corticosteroids (synthetically prepared to have the same action as cortisol (cortisone)).
Hypercalcemia is when the calcium level in blood is too high.
People can develop hypercalcemia if they take calcium-containing antacids or very high daily doses of vitamin D that increases calcium absorption.
Symptoms: Hypocalcemia and Hypercalcemia can affect the brain and may cause neurologic and psychological symptoms, such as confusion, memory loss, emotional disturbances, depression, delirium, hallucinations, constipation, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, seizures, coma, kidney stones, muscle weakness, muscles aches and pain, muscle spasms (tetany), heart complications and abnormal rhythms, and possibly result in death.
Hypomagnesemia is when the level of magnesium in blood is too low.
Hypomagnesemia may result from malnutrition, kidneys or intestine excrete too much magnesium, consuming large amounts of alcohol, diarrhea, high levels of aldosterone (stress and adrenal gland disorders), antidiuretic or thyroid hormones, diuretics, and breastfeeding (some women experience depression after birth).
Symptoms: Hypomagnesemia can affect the brain and may cause neurologic and psychological symptoms, such as confusion, sleepiness, memory loss, emotional disturbances, depression, delirium, hallucinations, seizures (especially in children), nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, muscles aches and pain, muscle spasms and tremors (tetany), abnormal heart rhythms, and possibly result in death.
Hypermagnesemia is when the level of magnesium in blood is too high.
Hypermagnesemia usually develops only when people with kidney failure are given magnesium salts or take drugs that contain magnesium such as some antacids or laxatives.
Symptoms: Hypermagnesemia may cause weakness, low blood pressure, and impaired breathing. When hypermagnesemia is severe, the heart can stop beating.
A pH of 7.0 is neutral. Blood is normally slightly basic with a pH range of 7.35 to 7.45. Below < 7.35 the blood is considered acidic. Above > 7.45 the blood is considered alkaline.
An important property of blood is its degree of acidity or alkalinity. The body's balance between acidity and alkalinity is referred to as acid-base balance. An imbalanced pH can cause low energy levels, cause weight gain, premature aging, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and many other health problems. "If pH becomes too acid or too alkaline, cells become poisoned by their own toxic waste and die". Body acidity increases when the level of acidic compounds in the body rises due to the increased intake, production, or decreased elimination of acid compounds or when the level of basic (alkaline) compounds in the body falls due to decreased intake, production, or increased elimination of alkaline compounds. Body alkalinity increases with the opposite processes. Even a minor deviation from the normal range of acid-base balance can severely affect many organs.
The body’s pH buffer systems are combinations of the body's own naturally occurring weak acids and weak bases. The pH buffer systems work chemically to minimize changes in the pH of the body and to adjusting the proportion of acid and base.
The body regulates the acidity of the blood by four buffering mechanisms:
Bicarbonate buffering system.
Intracellar buffering by absorption of hydrogen atoms by various molecules such as proteins, phosphates, and carbonate in bone.
There are two abnormalities of acid-base balance.
Acidosis, the blood has too much acid or too little base resulting in a decrease in blood pH.
Alkalosis, the blood has too much base or too little acid resulting in an increase in blood pH.
Acidosis and alkalosis are not diseases but rather are the result of a wide variety of disorders.
Acidosis is excessive blood acidity caused by an overabundance of acid in the blood or a loss of base (bicarbonate) from the blood (metabolic acidosis). Some bicarbonate compounds include potassium carbonate and calcium carbonate. Another cause of acidosis is the buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood that results from poor lung function or slow breathing (respiratory acidosis).
Metabolic acidosis can occur as a result of abnormal metabolism. Some causes include the accumulation of ketones and lactic acid, diabetic ketoacidosis (buildup of ketones). The loss of bases such as bicarbonate. The most common causes of metabolic acidosis are ketoacidosis, lactic acidosis, renal failure, and toxic ingestions.
Ketoacidosis is a common complication of type 1 diabetes mellitus, and can also be caused by diabetes, chronic alcoholism, malnutrition, and fasting.
Lactic acidosis (physiologic processes and exogenous toxins) can be caused by the buildup of lactic acid such as happens in shock, primary hypoxia due to lung disorders, seizures, carbon monoxide, cyanide, iron.
Toxins metabolized to acids can be caused by alcohol, methanol, ethylene glycol, paraldehyde, and salicylates.
Kidney failure or renal tubular acidosis (a form of kidney malfunction).
Other causes are hypoaldosteronism, hyperkalemia (high potassium), Toluene.
Ketoacidosis is caused by high concentrations of ketone bodies acetoacetic and B-hydroxybutyrate. In ketoacidosis, the body fails to adequately regulate ketone production causing such a severe accumulation of keto acids that the pH of the blood is substantially decreased (acidic). The presence of high blood sugar levels, hyperglycemia, can lead to further acidity in the blood. Ketoacidosis is a common complication of type 1 diabetes mellitus, but it also occurs with chronic alcoholism, malnutrition, and, to a lesser degree, fasting. In these conditions, the body converts from glucose to free fatty acid (FFA) metabolism; FFAs are converted by the liver into ketoacids, acetoacetic acid, and β-hydroxybutyrate (all unmeasured anions). Ketoacidosis is also a rare manifestation of congenital isovaleric and methylmalonic acidemia.
(Stress -> Cortisol-> Glucose-> Hyperglycemia-> Ketoacidosis (Acidosis))
Lactic acidosis is a condition caused by the buildup of lactic acid in the body. The cells produce lactic acid when they use glucose for energy in the absence of adequate oxygen. Lactic acidosis may be caused by diabetic ketoacidosis, liver disease, kidney disease, or drugs such as anti-diabetic drugs. Lactic acidosis results from overproduction, decreased metabolism, or both, of lactate. Lactate accumulation results from a combination of excess formation and decreased utilization of lactate. Excess lactate production occurs during states of anaerobic metabolism. The most serious form occurs during the various types of shock. Decreased utilization generally occurs with hepatocellular dysfunction from decreased liver perfusion or as a part of generalized shock. Lactate is a normal byproduct of glucose and amino acid metabolism. The most serious form of lactic acidosis, type A, occurs when lactic acid is overproduced in ischemic tissue to generate ATP during O2 deficit. Overproduction typically occurs during tissue hypoperfusion in hypovolemic, cardiac, or septic shock and is worsened by decreased lactate metabolism in the poorly perfused liver. It may also occur with primary hypoxia from lung disease and with various hemoglobinopathies. Excess lactate can be caused by anaerobic metabolism occurring in muscle cells during strenuous exercise.
Symptoms: People with metabolic acidosis may have nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, palpitations, chest pain, cardiac complications, arrhythmias, muscle pain, bone pain, osteoporosis, drowsiness, psychological symptoms such as confusion, deeper and faster breathing, low blood pressure, shock, neurological complications, coma, and death.
Lung disorders, such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, severe asthma, pneumonia, or pulmonary edema. Sleep-disordered breathing (sleep apnea). Diseases of the nerves or muscles of the chest that impair breathing, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Overdose of drugs such as alcohol, oversedation from opioids (narcotics) or strong drugs that induce sleep (sedatives).
Symptoms: People with respiratory acidosis may have slow breathing, headaches, psychological symptoms such as confusion, drowsiness that can lead to stupor and coma.
Alkalosis is excessive blood alkalinity caused by an overabundance of bicarbonate in the blood or a loss of acid from the blood (metabolic alkalosis), or by a low level of carbon dioxide in the blood that results from rapid or deep breathing (respiratory alkalosis).
An overactive adrenal gland or adrenal gland disorders caused by stress such as Cushing's syndrome, the loss of acid from vomiting or drainage of the stomach, the use of diuretics (thiazides, furosemide, ethacrynic acid). Other common causes include hypovolemia and hypokalemia (low potassium).
“loss of potassium sufficient to cause metabolic alkalosis may result from an overactive adrenal gland.” “metabolic alkalosis can develop when excessive loss of potassium affects the kidney’s ability to control the blood’s acid-base balance.”
Treatment: Doctors usually treat metabolic alkalosis by replacing water and electrolytes (potassium) while treating the cause.
Some common causes of respiratory alkalosis are anxiety, fever, pain, and low levels of oxygen in the blood.
Respiratory alkalosis develops when rapid, deep breathing (hyperventilation) causes too much carbon dioxide to be expelled from the bloodstream. The most common cause of hyperventilation, and thus respiratory alkalosis, is anxiety.
Metabolic alkalosis develops when the body loses too much acid from vomiting or when stomach acids are removed. Metabolic alkalosis can develop when excessive loss of sodium or potassium affects the kidneys' ability to control the blood's acid-base balance. For instance, loss of potassium sufficient to cause metabolic alkalosis may result from an overactive adrenal gland.
Some causes are gastric acid loss, congenital chloridorrhea, villous adenoma, primary hyperaldosteronism , secondary hyperaldosteronism, bartter syndrome, gitelman's syndrome, diuretics, hypokalemia (low potassium) and hypomagnesemia (low magnesium), posthypercapnic, postorganic acidosis, milk-alkali syndrome (calcium antacids), carbohydrate refeeding after starvation, sweat loss in cystic fibrosis, laxative abuse, and some antibiotics.
Symptoms Alkalosis: Alkalosis may cause fatigue, irritability, muscle twitching, muscle cramps, muscle spasms (tetany), muscle weakness, seizures, hypocalcemia (low calcium) and subsequent headache, and neuromuscular excitability, psychological symptoms such as confusion and delirium, anginal symptoms and arrhythmias.
“In Cushing’s syndrome, the level of corticosteroids is excessive, usually from overproduction by the adrenal glands.”
“Cushing’s syndrome is a constellation of clinical abnormalities caused by chronic high blood levels of cortisol or related corticosteroids.”
“the term Cushing’s syndrome denotes the clinical picture resulting from cortisol excess from any cause”
High corticosteroid levels over time raise the blood pressure (hypertension), weaken bones (osteoporosis), and diminish resistance to infections (immune suppression). The risk of developing kidney stones, glucose intolerance, diabetes, mental disorders, depression, and hallucinations. When Cushing’s syndrome is suspected, Doctors measure the levels of cortisol, the main corticosteroid in the blood.
Sleep Deprivation and Stress
Stress -> Cortisol-> Glucose-> Hyperglycemia-> Ketoacidosis (Acidosis)
Hyperglycemia is When blood glucose levels keep rising to dangerous levels. Sleep deprivation causes the central nervous system to become more active and this inhibits the pancreas from producing adequate insulin, the hormone used to control glucose levels in the blood. In one research study, the study subjects sleeping hours were restricted to 4 hours a night "In healthy young men with no risk factor, in one week, we had them in a pre-diabetic state," says researcher Van Cauter. The young and healthy males had glucose levels that were no longer normal and showed a rapid deterioration of the body's functions which reduced the bodies ability to manage glucose. Some studies have concluded that sleep deprivation can slow glucose metabolism by as much as 30 to 40%. Sleep deprivation alone can also cause a high increase in cortisol levels, which can lead to hardening of the arteries, which can lead to or cause a heart attack. High levels of cortisol can also cause hypertension, muscle loss, increase fat storage, bone loss (osteoporosis), memory loss, depression, insulin resistance, and lowers the growth hormone (tissue repair), testosterone levels, and glycogen synthesis. Sleep deprivation also causes the depletion of neurotransmitters in the brain resulting in irritability, mood swings, or a lack of control on emotions.
High levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol and epinephrine, which raise the glucose levels in the blood, can cause ketoacidosis. One of the early symptoms is fatigue or feeling tired. One of the treatments for ketoacidosis is that the electrolytes imbalance needs to be corrected. When blood glucose continues to increase the body goes into an energy crisis and starts to break down fat as an alternate energy source. As the fat is burned ketones are produced in the blood and as the ketones levels rise the blood becomes more acidic (ketoacidosis). A diet high in sugar can also contribute to acidic blood. High levels of glucose in the blood can also slow down the cholesterol LDLs and make them sticky which makes them build up much faster on the blood vessel walls.
High levels of stress and sleep deprivation can be a deadly combination.