Emotional Aspects of Na & K
A Quick reflection on Sodium and Potassium and the nervous system
Increased Sodium, Potassium and Phosphorus
Disturbances in sodium and potassium metabolism are commonly seen in psychiatric patients. Even minor disturbances can contribute to emotional changes, which may be reflected clinically as depression, phobias, withdrawal, repression and indecision; depending on each individual mineral pattern and other factors such as chronicity, inherited inclination, etc.
Aggressive behaviour, hyperactivity and anxiety are all associated with low tissue calcium and magnesium relative to sodium and potassium. Decreased tissue calcium is associated with neuromuscular hyper-excitability. Many symptoms of anxiety neurosis are identical to those seen in patients with hypo-calcemia.
Excessive serum lactate levels are often seen in patients suffering from anxiety neurosis. Calcium supplementation can relieve such symptoms.
We have reason to believe that the mechanism behind anxiety neurosis is overactivity of the central nervous system and adrenals. Both of these can increase calcium and magnesium loss from the body and increase tissue retention of sodium, potassium and phosphorus. These excitatory minerals will speed up the nervous system and with no help from the sedative minerals Calcium and Magnesium the calming processes fail, resulting in anxiety.
Decreased Sodium and Potassium
Symptomatic manifestations of sodium and potassium deficiency may include severe depression, apathy and schizophrenic syndromes.
A good example of this is shown in post-operative patients – a psychosis can occur as a consequence of administration of Sodium Chloride solutions or low Potassium dextrose. Normalisation of the balance between these electrolytes can reverse these psychiatric symptoms rather quickly.
The endocrine and nervous systems’ response to stress, either physical or emotional, is well known and has been described in the “fight or flight” mechanism.
David L. Watts, Ph.D., F.A.C.E.P. (1990) Trace Elements and Neuropsychological Problems as Reflected in Tissue Mineral Analysis (TMA) Patterns. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 5, No. 3, 1990
Webb, W. L., & Gehi, M. (1981). Electrolyte and fluid imbalance: Neuropsychiatric manifestations. Psychosomatics, 22(3), 199–203. doi:10.1016/s0033-3182(81)73532-1
Mrug, S., Orihuela, C., Mrug, M., & Sanders, P. W. (2019). Sodium and potassium excretion predict increased depression in urban adolescents. Physiological Reports, 7(16). doi:10.14814/phy2.14213
Młyniec, K., Davies, C. L., de Agüero Sánchez, I. G., Pytka, K., Budziszewska, B., & Nowak, G. (2014). Essential elements in depression and anxiety. Part I. Pharmacological Reports, 66(4), 534–544. doi:10.1016/j.pharep.2014.03.001
Carman JS, et al: (1981) Electrolyte changes associated with shifts in affective states. Electrolytes and Neuropsychiatric Disorders. Alexander, P.E., Ed., Spectrum Pub. N.Y.
Rimland, B., & Larson, G. E. (1983). Hair Mineral Analysis and Behavior. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 16(5), 279–285. doi:10.1177/002221948301600507