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During a bout of severe diarrhea, the substance cortisol conserves potassium by transporting it into cells when cortisone levels decline. Potassium deficiency results in reduced cortisol levels which leads to many of the symptoms observed in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. Also, when cortisol levels decline, the copper enzymes are blocked leading to increased copper excretion and reduced action of lysyl oxidase. These two factors are factors in most deaths from aneurysms and infections that occur in rheumatoid arthritis patients. This whole process of cortisol reduction which may occur in severe diarrhea which may predispose people to developing rheumatoid arthritis. Thus it is possible that there is a link between potassium deficiency and rheumatoid arthritis. Potassium supplementation may help prevent the development of the condition but to date no research has been done to see if this is so. Also, copper supplementation has the potential to alleviate symptoms of the condition but no research has been done in this field either. Potassium supplementation is a gentle way to increase cortisol levels. Potassium deficiency could be caused by diarrhea, psychic stress stimulation of aldosterone, stress stimulation of cortisol, diuretics, licorice, grapefruit, intense perspiration, excess vomiting, sodium bicarbonate, hyperventilation, laxatives, enemas, shock, high or low sodium intake and high consumption of processed foods, grains and fatty foods.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Medical News Today
About: Potassium deficiency may be linked to rheumatoid arthritis
Date: 5 December 2004
Source: Medical News Today
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