As each day has passed since New Year's Eve, I have gained strength and am doing better, but there is still an underlying weakness and an "on-the-edge" feeling that is almost always present. I also have a "brain-fog" issue and that makes writing and other activities with a great deal of concentration, difficult at times. I may not write a blog every day due to this problem. I am now playing "catch-up," as I begin to feel a little better.
I have chosen to write about Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis also know an Familial Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis. I wrote about Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis several weeks ago and had such a large response, I decided I must give equal time to the opposite form.
What is Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis?
Potassium levels below 2.5 mEq/L affect many functions of the body including the muscles, digestion, kidneys, electrolyte balance, the liver and the heart.
Muscles: fatigue, pain in the joints, muscle weakness, muscle weakness after exercise, muscle stiffness, muscle aches, muscle cramps, muscle contractions, muscle spasms, muscle tenderness, pins and needles sensation, eyelid myotonia (cannot open eyelid after opening and then closing them).
Digestion: Upset stomach, loss of appetite, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, bloating of the stomach and full feeling in the stomach, blockage in the intestines called paralytic ileus.
Heart: Anxiousness, irregular and rapid heartbeat, angina, prominent U waves, inverted or flattened T waves, ST depression, elongated PR interval.
Kidneys: Severe thirst, increased urination, difficulty breathing, too slow or shallow breathing, lack of oxygen in the blood, sweating, increased blood pressure, metabolic acidosis.
Liver: The brain function becomes affected: Irritability, decrease in concentration, lack of clear thinking, confusion, slurring of speech, seizures.
Paralysis: Episodic muscle weakness, episodic partial paralysis, episodic total paralysis episodic flaccid paralysis (limp muscles, without tone).
Laboratory blood changes: Increased number of neutrophils in blood, increased number of white blood cells in the blood, reduced number of eosinophils in blood, increased number of lymphocytes in blood, low blood sodium, low blood potassium, elevated Serum CPK (creatine).
Laboratory urine changes: excess protein in urine, excess sugar in the urine, excessive acetone in urine, and presence of renal casts in urine.
An individual with Periodic Paralysis may have his or her own individual levels of potassium at which symptoms or paralysis occurs. What may be normal ranges for someone may be high for another. Using a potassium reader to discover one's high, normal and low ranges is suggested, for better treatment.