The Sodium/Potassium Ratio: Vitally Important!

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The Sodium/Potassium ratio (henceforth known as the na/k ratio) is the absolute most important ratio on the HTMA. The Na/K shows us our overall vitality, adrenal health, liver and kidney function, digestion, and how our body is reacting to stress.

This is one of the hardest ratios to fix because both sodium and potassium have to be in a specific balance. Finding that balance can be difficult because everyone has their own tolerance when it comes to certain nutrients.

For example, when sodium, potassium, and magnesium are all low it is VERY hard for someone to raise all 3 at once. They all have to be in balance because too much of one can bump another around. I try to tell people to take note of their symptoms: low sodium signs include dizziness, low blood pressure, muscle weakness or a very rapid heartbeat. Low potassium signs include a hard, thumping heartbeat; thirst; insomnia; or muscle cramps. Low magnesium signs include muscle pain/stiffness, headaches, and skipped heartbeats.

A high Na/k ratio shows a possibility of:

  • inflammation
  • adrenal imbalance (usually an acute stress situation, and the beginning stages of adrenal fatigue)
  • asthma
  • allergies
  • More common with fast oxidizers
  • kidney and liver stress
  • A high sodium/potassium ratio is considered preferable to a low sodium/potassium ratio.

A low Na/K ratio shows a possibility of:

  • kidney and liver dysfunction
  • allergies
  • arthritis
  • tissue breakdown
  • low immune system
  • adrenal exhaustion/burnout (usually because of chronic stress)
  • digestive problems (especially deficiency of hydrochloric acid)
  • Very low ratios can be a warning for heart attacks, diabetes, cancer
  • Very common in slow oxidizers
  • Low na/k ratios that are hard to budge can be due to a history of trauma. Child abuse victims tend to have very low na/k ratios

Fixing this Ratio:

The approach will be different for those with a high na/k vs a low na/k. The basics include calming down the stress response and focusing on adrenal health, focusing on LOW levels of both sodium and potassium, healing from underlying trauma (easier said than done, I know! but it is important), and working on stress management.


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6 Replies to “The Sodium/Potassium Ratio: Vitally Important!”

  1. Hi Kristin,

    I’m confused by “focusing on LOW levels of both sodium and potassium” as a treatment approach–does this only apply if the levels of each is sufficient (but not in balance with the other in this case)? If the level of Na or K is lower than the body needs for proper balance, how would its level be increased?


    1. If the levels are low then they have to be addressed first, especially if mag is also low. Most people with low na and K cannot tolerate mag until they raise na and k first. Everyone is different- but this is the general path that is working for most, especially after being drowned in mag for awhile.

  2. Kristin, my sodium was higher than my potassium — in fact, my sodium raised up 3 points from last HTMA and my potassium dropped 4 points. Do you think I’m taking in too much sea salt? I increased it in the months prior to the 2nd HTMA due to adding magnesium and having adrenal issues. But, I’m wondering if I need to take it a little easy on the sea salt now and focus on raising potassium?? Thoughts?

    1. Salt is one that usually goes by taste for most. If you are craving it and it tastes good, that is a good gauge on how much to use. But if potassium is very much lower, then yes usually that is the main one to focus more on.

  3. Hi Kristin, Great read! What are your thoughts on EFT? I had one practitioner recommend it but I believe that it is really expensive. Would yoga or meditation have the same benefits?

    1. Hi Kim! EFT is good, but I do think it works better with a practitioner. But I’ve noticed even the emotional healing techniques are bio-individual. Everyone seems to do best with something different, so finding what you feel best with is what I’d recommend.

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