Beckie Takacs postulates that premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the result of a mild to moderate potassium deficiency undetectable by normal laboratory tests. PMS is a common condition among women of childbearing age. Exhaustion, depression, abdominal bloating, acne, headaches, and irritability are just a few of the symptoms. Ms. Takacs suffered from PMS after taking a course of steroids and eliminated the problem by supplementing with potassium for several months. Several of her friends observed similar improvements after increasing their potassium intake and eventually Ms. Takacs organized a clinical trial with the cooperation of a medical doctor in a nearby university hospital. The seven women involved charted their symptoms for two menstrual cycles before commencing supplementation with 400 mg of potassium per day as gluconate and 200 mg/day as chloride. After two cycles on this regimen only the gluconate form was used. All women were completely free of PMS symptoms after the fourth cycle. She recommends the use of 600 mg/day of potassium in the gluconate form (as long as the diet contains a little salt). She cautions that the supplement must be taken every day and that phosphorous-free calcium supplements should not be used during the first few months of therapy. Note: An increased potassium intake is contraindicated in several conditions such as kidney failure and Addison's disease, and while taking potassium-sparing medications (diuretics). Readers should check with their health care provider first before embarking on potassium supplementation therapy.
Takacs, Beckie E. Potassium: A new treatment for premenstrual syndrome. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, Vol. 13, No. 4, Fourth Quarter 1998, pp. 215-22