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gitelman syndrome


Are you limited in any way by your kidney issues? Can you travel overseas? Get tattoos? ETCETERA!

I think that relative to other medical conditions I got off pretty easy with Gitelman Syndrome, and I try not to be a complainer because by and large my life is relatively unaffected. 

That said, I am limited in some small ways, Tattoos and travel are both fine – I just make sure I have excellent travel medical insurance before I set foot out of Canada.

I can’t drink too much alcohol, coffee, or eat too much black licorice because the first two deplete magnesium, and last depletes potassium. Potassium deficiency would eventually stop my heart if I didn’t have access to medication, and magnesium deficiency causes muscle weakness, and tension – my back, neck and jaw are constantly tight. 

I most notice the effects of magnesium deficiency in my energy level and my mood. I am constantly fatigued, because I am running on less than half the electrolytes as a normal person ( breastfeeding is keeping my potassium up, but not my magnesium)

Tons of studies have linked low magnesium levels to depression, stress, lack of motivation, “sulkiness” (oh haiiii), and moodiness in general. I can always tell that I am low mag when I am emotional and irrational, problems seem overwhelming and I start obsessing or fixating on things. 

People in my life (Adam) are usually pretty good about reminding me to take Magnesium when they see these signs cropping up, but it’s sometimes tough to recognize on my own when I’m in the middle of it. It really bothers me that my moods are so susceptible to outside forces, even though really, everyone’s are (many speculate that rising depression rates are caused by food being grown in mineral-depleted soils, and that much of North America’s population is magnesium deficient.)

But, all in all, I take a few pills and spend a few hours hooked up to an IV every year or so. I think that’s pretty liveable 🙂