The Sodium/Potassium (Na/K) ratio is a critical mineral ratio revealed in a hair tissue mineral analysis report (HTMA). The Na/K ratio is especially important for the functioning of the kidney, liver, and adrenal glands, and is so important that it is often referred to as the life-death ratio.
This ratio is related to the sodium pump mechanism, and the electrical potential of cells which is regulated by sodium and potassium levels. Sodium is extracellular in the body, while potassium is intracellular, and an imbalance between the two can indicate physiological problems. Sodium is associated with strength and power, whereas potassium is associated with strength quality. An imbalanced Na/K ratio can cause heart, kidney, liver, and immune deficiency problems.
The sodium/potassium ratio is closely linked to adrenal gland function, reflecting the balance between aldosterone (mineralocorticoid) and cortisone (glucocorticoid) secretion. A high ratio indicates adrenal strength and a low ratio indicating adrenal weakness. Dr. Paul C. Eck’s ranges for high, low, and ideal Na/K ratios are:
- Above 6 – Severe elevation, inflammation, adrenal imbalance – can be related to symptoms of asthma, allergies, kidney and liver problems
- Between 4 and 6 – Moderate elevation, Inflammation
- Between 2.5 and 4 – Mild elevation, good adrenal function
- 2.5 – Mild inversion, kidney and liver dysfunctions, allergies, arthritis, digestive problems, adrenal exhaustion, hydrochloric acid deficiency
- Below 1 – Severe inversion, tendency to heart attack, arthritis, cancer, kidney and liver diseases
Causes of a high Na/K ratio include:
- Presence of toxic metals such as copper, cadmium, mercury
- Excessive aldosterone secretion
- Stress or anger
- Zinc and magnesium deficiency
Causes of a low Na/K ratio include:
- Improper diet
- Sugar/carbs intolerance
- Weak adrenal glands
- Use of medications and other drugs
Symptoms become more severe as the ratio decreases. While on a nutritional balancing program, it is common to see the Na/K fluctuate. This can occur as a result of the removal of toxic metals, the retracing of an infection, or the retracing of trauma. This is completely normal, and when it occurs, the program is modified by switching the supplement taken from Limcomin to zinc, or vice versa. In this case, if the wrong supplement is taken, symptoms such as fatigue, depression, anger, and/or pain may occur. A hair analysis test can be invaluable in tracking mineral and ratio imbalances in the body, including the critical Sodium/Potassium ratio.