Is hypokalaemia lurking in your fridge


The Good Life Letter 
21st August 2010

  • If you're still drinking cola after this, I'd be
  • The hidden danger of disco dancing

There are some things you know just aren't right
for you...
Processed foods, foods with loads of additives,
You just sense, instinctively, that all these things
will do you no good. And if you have too much of
any of them, they could actually do you harm.
All right, maybe Westlife wouldn't do you harm.
But too much of them and you could end up
throwing your CD player out of the window, then
watch as it falls two stories and hits someone on the
head, causing THEM harm.
So, indirectly, Westlife could be dangerous.
But fake foods and the like... you just KNOW
they're bad.
Well last week I read something really startling
about one of the biggest culprits of all fizzy
Cola in particular.
I mean, I knew the stuff was bad. I've written about
cola in these pages before, outlining the dangers of
But what I read last week really surprised even a
wizened old natural health newsletter writer like me
(warning: NEVER try saying that with your mouth

If you're still drinking cola after this, I'd be
So, our good old friend cola is under our
microscope again...
... and this time it's serious.
Because a recent study has revealed that too much
cola can cause paralysis and even fatal heart
That's a far cry from the way most colas advertise
their product isn't it? I mean, I don't think I've seen
an ad yet where a group of smiling, young people
pass around a bottle of cola, run laughing to the top
of a hill, then clutch their hearts and drop dead.
Maybe they're saving that one for a big budget
Christmas release.
Anyhow, back to the problem...
Drinking cola in large quantities can flush
potassium out of your bloodstream, which can lead
to a whole heap of problems.
Take one lady who drank three litres of cola a day
(THREE LITRES! I'm surprised her whole head
hadn't rotted through)...
Anyway, due to this level of cola intake, this
woman suffered a heart blockage. But when she
stopped drinking cola (and, it has to be said, took
supplements, which weren't mentioned by name
but I assume were potassium), she recovered.
Not looking good for cola is it?
And that's not the half of it.
According to Dr Moses Elisaf, large quantities of
cola can cause paralysis, which is called cola-
induced hypokalaemia.
'Although most patients recover when they stop
drinking cola and take potassium, it can make them
more susceptible to potentially fatal complications
such as an irregular heartbeart.'
Now, I have to be fair to poor old much-maligned
People are only at risk when they drink more than
two litres a day. So that probably rules you and me
But there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of
people out there who have replaced water with
cola, and drink it at every possible moment.
So this is a real threat to many, many people.
Maybe cola companies should print a warning on
the label... something that warns people off
drinking too much a day.
I know that would cut into their profits, but surely
they'd swap a little bottom line for the sake of our
Hmmm, maybe. And maybe I'll play centre
forward for Manchester United next season.
Of course, a spokeswoman for the British Soft
Drinks Association pointed out that the examples
quoted above are all very extreme cases.
But still, it can't be good if a soft drink has the
ability to cause paralysis can it? If we were talking
about drinking 100 litres in one sitting to bring on
the condition, then it wouldn't be a problem.
Obviously ANYTHING eaten or drunk to such
extremes would cause a problem.
But we're talking about two litres a day here... an
amount that a lot of people can easily manage.
For me, this is just another nail in the coffin of
fizzy drinks.
There are so many nicer, healthier, safer drinks
available, that I personally would never go near
cola. But that's my choice, and I'd never nag you to
do the same.
Each to his own and all that.
Anyway, talking of potassium...

The hidden danger of disco dancing
I call this the hidden danger, because some of the
dangers associated with dancing are obvious:
The acute embarrassment of wanting your legs to
do one thing while they do another...
The giggles you have to put up with for the next
two days whenever you walk into the same room as
a member of your so-called loving family...
The heartache you feel when you THINK you're
doing ok, then catch the confused look on
someone's face as they watch you.
But the hidden danger occurs the next morning,
when you wake up, try and get out of bed, and
realise that all of your muscles have gone on strike.
This happen to me last weekend after a wedding,
and here are a few ways you can iron out those
- Get eating bananas! Bananas are rich in
potassium, and large amounts of potassium
seem to have helped some sufferers. Exactly
why potassium helps is one of life's little
mysteries, but if it works, why ask questions!
Try loading up on potassium rich foods such as
bananas, oranges and potatoes.
- Create your own hydrotherapy centre! Agatha
Thrash, M.D., a medical pathologist and co-
founder and co-director of Uchee Pines Institute
in Alabama, suggests that a simple shallow bath
can work wonders on the pain - but you MUST
use a certain sequence.
Fill your bathtub with enough warm water to
cover the lower part of your back, then soak for
20 minutes. After the bath, get in the shower
and douse yourself with the warm temperature
water, gradually turning it cool. The muscles in
your lower body will expand and contract and
the nerve could loosen up.
- Try a cup of nettle tea. Nettle has been used for
centuries to treat dozens of ailments, including
sciatica - because active compounds in the
leaves reduce inflammation.
- Rub the pain away! Lie on your back, with
your lower back supported by pillows. Lift up
your leg and massage along the nerve from the
back of the knee round to the hip. Then repeat
going downwards. Work back and forth across
the nerve. Repeat three times.
- St. John's Wort Oil is said to be an effective
massage oil for relief of sciatica, arthritis and
back pain, so perhaps you can try it with the
above tip!




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