Posted 1/22/2010 11:08 AM (GMT -7)
Cramping is the number one sign of low potassium,,,,charley horses is what we called it when we were young. A good way to gauge your hydration status is how much you are urinating, not pooping, also, if you lay your hand flat on a table and pull up the skin on the back of your hand it should go down right away. If it stands up, we in the medical profession call this tenting. Tenting of more than 4 seconds is pretty bad hydration and needs to be improved as soon as possible. Everyone is right in telling you to use an electrolyte drink. Hydration for Crohnnies is different than hydration for your normal joe. we don't absorb fluids and electrolytes like your normal counterpart, so we need to do more to help our bodies out. Salt chemically helps draw fluid toward it so if you add salt to your body, it will pull fluid into your body and keep you hydrated. But you have to be careful not to use too much salt, theres a balance that our bodies need. Plain water will go right through us, that's why people who drink a lot of water can still become dehydrated. Also, be careful of water intoxication,,,,,you can drink too much water and shake up your electrolyte balance.
I've been having problems with low potassium also, a good sign of it is charley horses/muscle cramps. try eating foods high in potassium, bananas, dark green leafy vegetables, potatoes, but if you are anything like me, you cant keep up with it all and I'm intolerant to a lot of foods right now. Electrolyte drinks sound like a good idea to me,,,,,one to two a day is what i might try. I am also getting my labs checked more frequently and I figure if the insurance company has a problem with this I'll remind them they aren't paying for an ER visit or hospital stay.
Remember, our intestines were designed to absorb nutrients from our food and to absorb fluids from our drinks. With our condition, they don't do as good of a job so we have to tweek it and help it along. I can't take supplements because my body won't tolerate them, they come out just like they go in....
I'm still getting usedto all this and I'm a nurse, so hang in there and be diligent.....it's a lot of work, but I'm realizing that being able to stay home is much better than being in the hospital!!!
meds-pentasa 4000mg daily, zegerid-40/1100mg 2 times a day, humira 40mg every 2 weeks, celexa 40mg daily, requip 1 mg daily, phenergan, vicodin, miralax as needed