A Thought in Regards to Soda and Bananas…

20130118-040429.jpgIn an article I read awhile back, the author brought attention to the fact that a review of people who drank between two to nine liters of cola a day are susceptible to the disease known as Hypokalemia. Nowhere in that article did it state what Hypokalemia is. Now, you may know what that is, but I didn’t and so, I went researching.

Hypokalemia is a condition where there is a low concentration of potassium in the blood. People with this condition have vital muscle malfunctions when there is a drop in the levels of their blood potassium. Mild weakness to paralysis are in the range of symptoms.
Researchers in Greece conducted the review. They had two patients in their review group who they admitted to the hospital. Both were pregnant and showing low potassium levels. Both drank anywhere from one to seven liters of soda a day. That’s a lot of soda. One was suffering from a heart blockage and low potassium levels while the other was suffering from muscular weakness. (My first reaction was, what in the world is a pregnant woman doing consuming any caffeine product at all, not to mention in those quantities?! Have they not heard what caffeine does to an unborn child?!?)

Upon giving up their soda habits, both recovered. It is noted they also were given oral or intravenous potassium. It was stated that glucose, fructose and caffeine could contribute to the condition. These three ingredients are the most common found in cola.

Okay, so you may ask, what does this have to do with Parkinson’s?

Maybe nothing. Maybe something.

Cola-induced hypokalemia is said to not have been determined as of yet. In the review, however, it was thought to have extreme impact, due to the caffeine and fructose levels.
While mild hypokalemia usually has no symptoms, moderate hypokalemia symptoms might include constipation, muscle weakness, cramps during exercise, thirst, fatigue, and/or leg discomfort. Since severe symptoms are dangerous, it is important to talk to your doctor if you think you may have low potassium levels. You can replace potassium lost during heavy exercise by drinking sports drinks that contain electrolytes.

Potassium-rich foods include sweet potatoes and baked potatoes, as well as tomato paste, tomato juice and tomato sauce. Beans, soybeans, lentils, yogurt and low-fat milk, tuna, halibut, rockfish, cod, bananas, peaches, prunes, apricots, cantaloupe, and spinach are also high in potassium. A healthy diet will include these foods and the need for supplements will not be necessary.

My thought is this: If cola could potentially have this effect on a review of people in Greece, I wonder what significance it could have in PD patients who are already susceptible to leg cramps, restless leg syndrome, other muscular aches and pains. It may be worth cutting out the soda habit for a month or so and replacing it with bananas, high in potassium, and see if the muscle fatigue and pain decrease. Might be worth a shot.

Quotes from the WPC (World Parkinson’s Congress)

Tom Issacs from Great Britain, speaker
Tom Issacs from Great Britain, speaker

I love quotes. Good, meaningful, and/or funny quotes. So, going through my notes from the WPC conference we attended this past week, here are some you fellow Parkies may enjoy…

  • When the dance class is in session, there are no longer any patients. There are only dancers. — Anonymous via David Leventhal
  • DBS does not help your thinking, your talking or your walking. – Michael Okun
  • Your brain controls everything about you and we control your brain. -Michael Okun
  • When you have expectations, you set yourself up for disappointment. -Ryan Reynolds
  • Rest is a weapon. – Jason Bourne
  • DBS is like a get out of jail free card in the game Monopoly. The game isn’t over. You’ve still got to roll the dice and keep playing. – Andy McDowell
  • Vitamin D is showing possible protection of cognitive decline. – Anonymous
  • PD registries are needed.
  • PD increases risk of melanoma cancer, breast cancer, and other cancers.
  • Knowledge leads to action. – Jason Karlawish
  • Knowledge is power and you’ve got to want it but you’ve got to know what you’re going to do with that power once you get it. – Karlawish
  • Beware of what you’re learning and what you already know and what you’re going to do with that information.  – Karlawish
  • If you’ve met one person with PD you’ve met one pers on with PD. – Anonymous
  • We need to see PD as a humanitarian problem, not as a disease. – Anonymous
  • This is me walking through life with PD, not PD leading me through life. – Anonymous
  • Live your best – Tim Hague
  • Stay with the race – Tim Hague
  • There’s a win waiting for you somewhere – Tim Hague
  • Accept what your best is on each day – Tim Hague
  • Contentment is an emotional state of satisfaction from being at ease in one’s situation. Learn the art of living your best by practicing the art of contentment. – Tim Hague
  • I will have a beautiful life despite PD – Tim Hague
  • When you’ve got PD, you find out what you’re made of.  – Andy McDowell
  • I need to be bigger than I was when I was big – Andy McDowell
  • You cannot hide and be healthy – Andy McDowell
  • The best medicine is HOPE. – Tom Issacs