Serene Forest

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Identify And Eliminate The Triggers Of Periodic Paralysis: Part Two

Hello All,

As I wrote in Part One, nearly everyday, new members join our PPN Support, Education and Advocacy Group. Their most important concerns are about getting treatment to stop or manage their symptoms/paralysis and/or getting a diagnosis. I have already written articles about how to find a good doctor and how to get a diagnosis, which may take many years, but to this point have not written about how to identify and eliminate the triggers that set off our symptoms and paralysis.

As I have written before, there is no magic drug or cure for Periodic Paralysis. There is an off-label drug that only works for a few mutations and even then, there are and can be, serious side effects, long term side effects and most individuals continue to experience paralysis and symptoms. So despite having a diagnosis and possibly taking the off-label drug, most individuals need to know how to manage their symptoms and episodes of paralysis, because most triggers continue to set these things into motion.

For those still waiting for a diagnosis and hoping for drugs/treatment from a “specialist” the diagnosis will probably not bring a successful treatment. So, while waiting for a diagnosis, or if one has a diagnosis and is on the off-label drug and still experiencing symptoms or if someone has a diagnosis but cannot tolerate the off-label drug; the best way to manage the symptoms and paralytic episodes to is identify the causes or triggers for those symptoms and episodes.

This is part two of a Blog Article about how to identify and eliminate triggers.

From our book: The Periodic Paralysis Guide and Workbook:

Identify And Eliminate Triggers
AVOID - CHART - JOURNAL - MONITOR


  • Record symptoms and possible causes
  • Monitor symptoms
  • Keep a journal
The charts and how to use them:





Trigger Chart

Fill in the date.

  • Begin recording your activities, food, drink and medications in the top section. Start at the time you wake up. Include all food eaten in a meal. Record what you are doing, for instance sitting, eating, reading, exercising, walking, cooking, shopping or more.
  • Record how you are feeling, for instance, good, very thirsty, constipated, confusion, sleepy, unsteady, legs are weak, total paralysis or more.
  • Put a check mark in, (or fill in) the box that best describes your condition, for instance normal, weak, more weak, partial paralysis, more partial paralysis, or total paralysis.
  • Continue this through your day, it is not necessary to do it at night, but you may want to include paralysis, numbness, or more, if it is happening at night.
  • The bottom of the chart will become a graph and it will aid in seeing the times of symptoms.

In the completed chart below, we can see that two and one half to three hours after eating breakfast and taking septra, an antibiotic and a calcium tablet, the patient begins to experience weakness and then paralysis. It is a good chance that the medication or something eaten at breakfast was the cause.

If this person eats the same thing everyday and takes the calcium every morning, and the only new thing is the septra it would be safe to assume the antibiotic caused the episode. By four pm the episode has stopped. At five pm muscle weakness begins after an hour of being up and preparing dinner. This may be from exercise intolerance or due to something eaten at lunch.

If someone eats the same lunch everyday but does not always help with dinner, it could be safe to assume the exercise caused the weakness. The same could be true in reverse. At seven pm, overall weakness takes hold for the remainder of the evening. This may be from the food eaten at dinner or a continuation of the weakness from the earlier activity. During the night there are three episodes of total paralysis. Since sleep is a trigger, it may be impossible to stop the episodes throughout the night.



Evaluating the Data

When looking at your completed charts, it is best to first check the periods of paralysis. Then check the activity, medications taken or food eaten two to three hours before that time. Was anything new? Was any activity out of the ordinary?

  • Check period of paralysis or weakness:
    • Check two to three hours before.
      • New medication?
      • New food, drink?
      • New activity?
        • More than usual?
        • Longer than usual?
  • If answer is not clear: Continue to chart for a few days. If there seems to be a pattern:
    • Change only one thing at that time:
      • Remove sugar or
      • Cut medication dose or
      • Stop or reduce the activity
        • Less than usual
        • Shorter than usual
  • Check again after a day or two. If the symptoms of paralysis are reduced or better, you may have found the trigger. If not, add the thing you removed or reduced back into the meal, etc. Then repeat and change something else: 
  • Change only one thing at that time:
    • Remove sugar or
    • Cut medication dose or
    • Stop or reduce the activity
      • Less than usual
      • Shorter than usual
  • Repeat until you find the trigger or triggers.

Some suggestions for how to avoid the triggers once they are found:

  • On feet too long? : Break the activity in several shorter periods on feet.
  • Cannot eat sugar? : Stop and try sweeteners, honey, stevia, etc.
  • Cannot eat certain food? : Find replacement or do without.
  • Cannot take medication? : Cut dosage, stop taking or get a replacement (under supervision of medical professional).
  • Sitting too long? : Get up every hour or less and move around.
  • Sitting too long? : Exercise in chair.
  • Dehydrated? : Drink more water, set timer.
  • Hungry? : Eat several smaller meals.
  • Too hot? : Wear looser, cooler clothes, use neck cooler.
  • Too cold? : Add clothing layers, use a blanket, drink hot drinks.
  • Cannot drink caffeine: Drink decaffeinated drinks.

As the triggers are discovered and eliminated the attacks of paralysis and other associated symptoms will begin to decline. The quality of life will improve. The information will be recorded and can be shared with the doctors and used as a tool during the diagnosing process. Use the following blank page to record your own triggers as you discover them.


Monitoring the Triggers and Symptoms

Once many of the triggers have been established and a diagnosis has been obtained (or not), it will be necessary to continue to observe and monitor the symptoms and the triggers. As we have discovered from my our experience and that of others with Periodic Paralysis, the triggers may change over time or what may have seemed to be the cause, may not actually be the cause. It is important to keep track continually in order to regulate and control the symptoms.

For instance, at first it may appear that sugar eaten in a cookie is the culprit causing attacks of muscle weakness or paralysis. Later it may be discovered that it was actually the white flour or the chocolate in a cookie that may have caused the episode. Accidentally, it may be figured out that a person might be able to eat small amounts of sugar in a gluten-free cookie. Then after eating the gluten free cookie everyday for three days, a paralytic episode occurs. This may be that too much was eaten. So, it may be that small amounts of sugar may be eaten occasionally, just not everyday.

It is a fine line that an individual with Periodic Paralysis must walk everyday. We must move through life as if we are walking a tightrope. It has been said that when we figure out what our triggers are, we must treat them as if they are allergies, something we must avoid. However, it becomes a problem when those things are important elements needed in the body such as salt or sugar.

In discussion with other individuals, we also have discovered that surprising things may actually cause an attack. We may believe we are doing everything correctly and avoiding all triggers and then we suddenly slip into full body paralysis. This happened to me recently. I tripped on my oxygen cord and landed on my knees. I scraped up one of them, but otherwise felt fine. Three hours later I was in full body paralysis.

After discussing this with a friend and wondering what had caused this attack, he reminded me that adrenaline is released when the body is stressed or experiences some trauma. I realized that although I did not notice much when I fell except a small scrape to my knee, my body had recognized it as trauma, released adrenaline and three hours later I was paralyzed and for the following several days.

Now I will remember that if I fall again, no matter how small or uneventful it may seem, I must prepare for the possibility of slipping into paralysis. I will be sure to rest and hope it will neither happen again nor be as serious as the last time. Better yet, I need to be more careful, now that I know if I fall, I will go into paralysis (or break a bone knowing I have severe osteoporosis).

Monitoring or keeping track of triggers is important because it seems as if they are always changing and maybe they are or maybe it is the amount of something we are using, but also it may be that we have misinterpreted one trigger for another. We must use the charts to keep track of symptoms and possible triggers and put them together in a journal. The information in the charts and journal will be recorded and can be shared with the doctors and used as a tool during the diagnosing process or for treatment options.


Until later...




Identify And Eliminate The Triggers Of Periodic Paralysis: Part One



Hello All,

Nearly everyday, new members join our PPN Support, Education and Advocacy Group. Their most important concerns are about getting treatment to stop or manage their symptoms/paralysis and/or getting a diagnosis. I have already written articles about how to find a good doctor and how to get a diagnosis, which may take many years, but to this point have not written about how to identify and eliminate the triggers that set off our symptoms and paralysis.

As I have written previously, there is no magic drug or cure for Periodic Paralysis. There is a type of drug that only works for a few mutations and even then, there are and can be, serious side effects, long term side effects and most individuals continue to experience paralysis and symptoms. So despite having a diagnosis and possibly taking the drug, most individuals need to know how to manage their symptoms and episodes of paralysis, because most triggers continue to set these things into motion.

For those still waiting for a diagnosis and hoping for drugs/treatment from a “specialist” the diagnosis will probably not bring a successful treatment. So, while waiting for a diagnosis, or if one has a diagnosis and is on the off-label drug and still experiencing symptoms or if someone has a diagnosis but cannot tolerate the off-label drug; the best way to manage the symptoms and paralytic episodes to is identify the causes or triggers for those symptoms and episodes.

This is part one of a Blog Article about how to identify and eliminate triggers.


From our book: The Periodic Paralysis Guide and Workbook:


Identify And Eliminate Triggers
AVOID - CHART - JOURNAL - MONITOR

  • Record symptoms and possible causes
  • Monitor symptoms
  • Keep a journal

This Blog Article...will discuss the elements or experiences, which trigger or activate the potassium to shift causing the attacks of periodic paralysis and how to identify them. There are some common triggers among those with the different forms of Periodic Paralysis and there are some triggers, which are unique for each individual. Triggers can be certain medications, foods, activities, stress or even sleep. It is important to know one’s triggers in order to avoid having episodes or attacks of paralysis due to permanent damage, which may occur to organs in the body.

One of the most important things a person with Periodic Paralysis can do, no matter which type they have, is to discover what causes, starts or triggers our episodes of muscle weakness or paralysis. There are many triggers that set into motion the partial and total paralysis and other symptoms. It is important to discover these triggers because we need to stop the episodes or attacks, if possible, in order to regain the quality of our lives and to prevent the damage being done to our organs as the potassium shifts and depletes or increases in our bodies.

Potassium shifting can cause a myriad of conditions and the symptoms that accompany them, including permanent tightness of the calf muscles or muscle wasting of arm and leg muscles, restless leg syndrome or even osteoporosis. The breathing and swallowing muscles can weaken over time and be affected during attacks. If this happens it is an extremely serious and emergency situation. Dangerous arrhythmia of the heart can also occur when an individual is in an episode or attack. In the case of people with Andersen-Tawil Syndrome, the paralysis leads to tachycardia and serious arrhythmia, including long QT intervals, which can lead to cardiac arrest. Other complications can include respiratory arrest causing death or aspiration pneumonia after an attack, causing death. Though rare, these can occur with Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis. Complications of Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis include bi-directional heart arrhythmia causing sudden death and permanent weakness of the muscles. Between attacks, the muscles usually return to normal or strengthen, but over time with repeated episodes of paralysis, progressive and permanent weakness of the muscles which can be severe is possible. This includes the heart and breathing muscles. This can lead to heart failure and respiratory failure, thus eventual death. Avoiding paralysis is absolutely necessary, due to these life-threatening effects.

The easiest way to decide what caused an episode or symptoms would be to look at anything new or different; a new type of bread, a new antibiotic, a new activity, a new shampoo, stressful event (good or bad), or a chilled or over heated room. Discovering our triggers requires a little bit of time to follow a simple plan. In a matter of a few days or weeks, it may be possible to draw some useful conclusions about the possible triggers of a paralytic event and the symptom, which can accompany them.

In the fields of medicine and education, it is said, “If you did not write it down, it did not happen.” This can be applied to our method for discovering our triggers. The first thing we must do is to write everything down. Creating a journal is a good way to make sure this is done. I have created a chart, which can be added to a journal to make the process easier (This will be added to part two of this article).

Several necessary components are included on this chart:

A 24-hour time frame
A section to write possible triggers
A section to write down symptoms and vitals one may be experiencing
A section to record the muscle weakness and paralysis
This section becomes a graph of the periods of weakness or paralysis

Once the information has been gathered for a few weeks, it will be easy to see trends or connections of a particular food, medication or activity to muscle weakness or paralysis.

The following are lists of the common possible symptoms of Periodic Paralysis one may experience as well as the paralysis and muscle weakness and the triggers, which may set them into motion.

Understanding and becoming familiar with the symptoms is another important part of completing the chart. As much information that can be added will be helpful. In this section anything may be included from “feeling well,” or “none,” to some of the known symptoms for hyperkalemia and hypokalemia in the following charts.

The following are at-a-glance lists of typical symptoms and triggers for the different forms of Periodic Paralysis and vitals needed to complete the charts.

The Symptoms Typical Of Low Potassium:

  • Episodic muscle weakness
  • Episodic partial paralysis
  • Episodic total paralysis
  • Episodic flaccid paralysis (limp muscles, without tone)
  • Muscle weakness after exercise
  • Muscle weakness
  • 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)
  • Irritability
  • Severe thirst
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Excessive urination
  • Sweating
  • Tachycardia
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Breathing problems (barely breathing)
  • Hypo-ventilation
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Irritability

Vitals To Add To The Chart As Symptoms:

  • Potassium level
  • pH level (saliva)
  • pH level (urine)
  • Glucose (sugar) level
  • Temperature
  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • Arrhythmia
  • Oxygen

The Symptoms Typical Of High Potassium:


  • Episodic muscle weakness
  • Episodic partial paralysis
  • Episodic total paralysis
  • Muscle contraction or rigidity during an attack
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Fasciculation (muscle twitching)
  • Pins and needles sensation
  • Cramping pain
  • Reduced reflexes
  • Muscle contraction involving tongue
  • Slurring of words
  • Tightness in legs
  • Strange feeling in legs
  • Tingling sensations
  • Pulse issues  (absent, slow, or weak)
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Heart palpitations
  • Breathing problems (wheezing, shortness of breath, fast breathing)
  • Mild hyperventilation
  • Decrease in blood pressure 
  •  Nausea
  • Feeling hot
  • Sleepiness  

More Possible Symptoms For The Chart:
 
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Numbness
  • Unable to walk
  • Agitation
  • Shallow breathing
  • Pain in calves
  • Cramps in legs
  • Restless legs
  • Burning in feet
  • Hyperventilation
  • Feeling cold
  • Clammy
  • Dizzy
  • Shaky
  • Unsteady
  • Rubbery legs
  • Hunger
  • Jerking
  • Awake
  • Confusion
  • Strange feeling in legs
  • Brain fog
  • Sleeplessness
  • Memory problem
  • Depression
  • Weakness
  • Constipation
  • Foot drop
  • Dry mouth
  • Choking
  • Angry



Triggers
(The following are not "set in stone" and can cross over among the different forms of Periodic Paralysis. These are just as a general rule....)

The Common Triggers Of Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis

The triggers usually responsible for causing potassium to shift in Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis are:

  • Eating a large amount of carbohydrates in a meal
  • Eating a meal with too much salt
  • Stress (good or bad)
  • Vigorous exercise
  • Resting after exercise
  • After lengthy periods of inactivity (traveling in a car)
  • Cold
  • Infections
  • Epinephrine/adrenaline
  • Insulin
  • Pregnancy
  • Surgery
  • Anesthesia
  • Glucose (Dextrose) IV
  • Saline (Sodium) IV
  • Steroids

The Common Triggers Of Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis

The triggers usually responsible for causing potassium to shift in Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis are:

  • Ingesting too much potassium in food, supplements or medications
  • Stress (good or bad)
  • Rest after exercise
  • Fatigue
  • Fasting
  • Possibly low blood sugar 
  • Alcohol
  • Pregnancy
  • Contaminated air such as smoking
  • Weather changes
  • Cholinesterase inhibitors 
  • Depolarizing muscle relaxants

The Common Triggers Of Paramyotonia Congenita

The triggers usually responsible for causing potassium to shift in Paramyotonia Congenita are:

  • Exercise
  • Exertion
  • Repetitious movement
  • Cold
  • Sleeping in
  • Possibly all triggers for Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis


Other Triggers For Periodic Paralysis

Triggers can include:

Diet: Diet can be one of the biggest contributors to episodes of paralysis. The following are some of my offenders or those that have been reported to me or I have found in the research:
  • Simple carbohydrates: sugar, white flour and more
  • Complex carbohydrates: some grains, wheat, rye and more
  • Meat: mostly red meats
  • Salt
  • Caffeine
  • MSG
  • Alcohol
  • Large meals
  • Gluten
  • Processed  foods
  • Food dyes
  • Food additives 
  • Meat or dairy products with hormones, and antibiotics
  • Fruits and vegetables with pesticides
  • Drinking water with hormones, antibiotics, pesticides or traces of any drugs (most drinking water, even bottled water)

Sleep:
All aspects of sleep may set episodes into motion:
  • Falling asleep 
  •  During sleep
  • Waking up

Other:
  • Dehydration
  • Fasting
  • Sitting too long
  • Changes in the weather
  • Fatigue
  • Heat
  • Cold
  • Electromagnetic Force (EMF’s)
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Pregnancy
  • Surgery
  • Infections, viruses 
  • Immunizations, vaccinations
  • Sudden or strobing lights, sounds, movements (touch, sound or vision)
  • Chemicals (sensitivity)

Exercise:
Some individuals have no problem with exercise but others may not be able to tolerate any type of exercise or very little exercise. This is called “exercise intolerance.” Episodes may develop soon after or the next day.

Rest after exercise: may set an episode into motion.

Unknown: One can follow all the rules and still have episodes for unknown reasons.

Over-the-counter medications:
Most over the counter medications, can set muscle weakness or paralysis into motion for people with Periodic Paralysis. The following is a list of some known offenders.

  • Eye drops
  • Glycerin enemas
  • NSAID’s
  • Cough syrups 
Compounds or Chemicals:
If the following ingredients are in any products you use…you should stop using them until you are sure they are not causing symptoms:
  • Sodium Hydroxide 
  •  Edetate Disodium
  • Stearic Acid

They may be in any of the following:
Lotions, oils, hair dyes or colors, antiperspirants, enemas, suppositories, soaps, shampoos, shaving creams, foams, toothpastes, deodorants, beauty products, skincare products, cosmetic products, bath salts, emollients, ointments, creams, hair sprays, perfumes, colognes, powders, hair gels, oils, tonics, mousse

Drugs:
Many, many drugs can set muscle weakness or paralysis into motion for people with Periodic Paralysis.

If one must take a drug, it is better to begin with ¼ of a normal dose to make sure it will work for you.

  • Saline drips, glucose infusion: If an IV is needed, mannitol can be used(or diluted solutions in extreme cases) (excluding HyperKPP)
  • Oral or Intravenous Corticosteroids
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Beta blockers
  • Tranquilizers
  • Pain killers (analgesics)
  • Antihistamines (except HyperKPP)
  • Puffers for asthma
  • Antibiotics
  • Cough syrups
  • Eye drops to dilate eyes
  • Contrast dye for MRI’s
  • Lidocaine 
  •  Anesthetics
  • Epinephrine (Can sometimes help symptoms of Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis)
  • Adrenaline (Can sometimes help symptoms of Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis)

For more information about the medications or drugs which can cause muscle weakness, muscle paralysis, long QT interval hearts beats (ATS) and torsades de pointes (ATS), please go to:
http://www.periodicparalysisnetwork.com/pdf/What%20are%20the%20Periodic%20Paralysis%20Triggers.pdf

 

https://www.openanesthesia.org/hyperkal_periodic_paralysis_triggers/
https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/hyperkalemic-periodic-paralysis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperkalemic_periodic_paralysis
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1338/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3700163/



Until later...

Friday, June 19, 2015

Trying To Balance My Life-Periodic Paralysis! Guest Blog Article from Julie Nielsen Cabitto


Hello All,

One of our members wrote the following post and blog. I wanted to share it and Julie graciously gave her permission for it to be posted on our PPNI Blog. Thank you Julie for the kind words  and for sharing your story with you. We are so happy that we have been able to help you and your family.

Guest Blog Article from Julie Nielsen Cabitto

I wrote a blog post about my story w/ PP if anyone is interested. It is also a thank you to Susan Q Knittle Hunter for helping me understand better. I have worked on two family history blogs for awhile. A lot of friends asked me to start a blog about how I deal with day to day stuff with me & my kids having health problems. I recently started that blog. (Note: I do feel amateur) My health slowed me down from posting as often as I wished. No adds, just me sharing what people ask me a lot about. I will write a review on Amazon very soon for Susan's books. Here's the longer version to my friends, family & any of you wanting to see. (post today: 17 Jun 2015)


Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Trying to balance my life-Periodic Paralysis!

Throughout the last 2 years, whenever I had really bad days, I went to read stories or books about people with mobility handicaps. Especially paraplegics, because I often test paralyzed from the waist down. I don't read them to feel sorry for myself, or to convince myself it could be worse. I have only one motive: to look for ideas on how they adapted to life, to see how they accomplish day to day stuff. About 2 months ago on one of my really bad days, I saw a book about periodic paralysis, written by Susan Q. Knittle-Hunter and her husband Calvin Hunter. I was intrigued because my neurologist said 15 years ago my body looked and acted like Periodic Paralysis. It was the first thing my doctor suspected. He was very surprised when my potassium levels and EMG test were normal. So it was dismissed that I didn't have that. But I figured since my body was so similar to it, I might get some ideas. I downloaded the sample onto my kindle. I was so amazed, I knew I wanted to buy a copy! Usually I get my books on Kindle, but this time I wanted a paperback book to write in, notate and easily show my family. The first thing that amazed me, was Susan said many people have normal EMG's and normal potassium levels in between episodes. That was the only two reasons I wasn't diagnosed with it!

I spent a few days reading all I could in the book, on the website, and other websites. I watched videos of people having episodes. Their episodes all looked like mine! I decided I needed to compile some evidence to convince doctors. This is really rare, estimated 1 in 100,000, according to NIH. I thought of 8 ER/hospital visits that my potassium could have been really low, based on symptoms I was now realizing were related to severe K+ (potassium) deficiencies. I got back lab reports on 24 visits. The crazy thing is, my potassium was only checked during 2 hospital visits! My neurologist told me that because I'm considered a "neuro patient" with my complicated migraines, spasticity, mobility issues, had a TIA and probably have petite seizures, that my K+ should always be checked as a standard hospital lab. I created a chart with the date of all labs I had records for, the reason they were asked for, if they checked K+, and the K+ results. Out of 29 labs (during abt 15 years), my potassium was only checked 8 times! Three times by a doctor which K+ was a routine lab for him.  Of the 8 labs, half were low enough to be called hypokalemia (low potassium, 3.5 or lower). I also discovered that the DNA tests from places like Ancestry.com and 23andme have shown genetic mutations on a few known chromosomes for Periodic Paralysis. I ordered a test and recently got my results, showing I do have those same DNA markings. There is a 500$ genetic test, just for Periodic Paralysis, but I wasn't ready for that cost. (not covered by insurance)

My next bit of evidence was to do tracking. I charted how I felt for a month, and which neuro things were affected. I got some liquid ionic potassium, a bunch of avocados and sweet potatoes. (Which are quite high in K+.) The first day tracking, it was my second day of a bad migraine. That migraine caused me felt so sick with vertigo, nausea, my eyes were affected and my whole body ached as if I had the flu.  I saw a post on Susan's face book group. Someone posted the question "how much potassium do you take to fight migraines?" I could not believe this possibility even existed! I immediately ate a whole avocado (abt 975mg) and took 99mg of ionic potassium. Within 10 minutes I could feel my migraine stopping better and faster than any migraine med I'd ever tried! Twice more the symptoms started back up, so twice more I took 99 mg of potassium and ate potassium rich foods. The next morning after I woke up and stretched, my fingers and legs had twice the strength of the day before. Over the next month of testing, going by my feeling of symptoms, I found I averaged 500-600mg of liquid ionic K+, plus an avocado daily (raw, nothing on it, abt 975mg K+), and my neuro stuff stayed away. I could feel stuff start to flare 3-4 times a day, every day. But the symptoms always stopped within minutes of taking the K+. (A recent lab showed I was not taking too much K+, but rather I was finally getting balanced.)

Most of my life I've had severe allergies to many things. Since I was a teenager, if I tried to stop Allegra for more than 2 weeks I got a respiratory infection. I found that the two meds I took lowered K+ levels. I had just spoken to my doctor about stopping them because they didn't seem to be working anymore. He agreed it was safe to stop, so I did. I've also had severe vitamin deficiencies since I was young. I've been taking 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily but could not get above 25! I got several labs over the last 4 years to make sure I wasn't taking too much D.  I just kept showing up deficient in D as well as several other vitamins and minerals. I saw a gastro doctor who specialized in nutrition. She said my vitamin issues were much more than being celiac. Especially because I never cheated, and it's been over 5 years of no gluten in my system. She apologized for not being able to find the source of the absorption problem.

I recently saw my neurologist. I showed my lab summary sheet. He was amazed at my drastic improvement in only one month, that I stayed so well for a month and I went a whole month without migraines, a record for me! He ordered a slew of labs. He wanted to double check I was staying in safe range for K+ and not going high. My K+ was normal, and for the first time ever all my labs showed normal range, no deficiencies except B12! I was only taking magnesium, D and K+ at the time of the lab. (No other meds or supplements, taken for one month.) So for now it is believed by my doctor and I that I do have this. I meet all the criteria for it. My doctor said if I continue for another 6 months like this, and/or my DNA rest shows mutations for it, then I will have an official diagnosis. I'm feeling better than I have in over 20 years! My muscle weakness is almost completely gone. My finger tips have feeling in them again so I can get back to learning to play the violin. Pollens that normally do me in are out with a vengeance but my body doesn't seem to notice. My neuro vision problems are gone. All my neuro stuff has stopped. All my health problems have stopped for a month and a half now. (Except I know I am still celiac and can't eat a few foods for the rest of my life, and I'm good with that.) I never expected to feel this great! I don't feel handicapped anymore. And I am ready for adventures!

Periodic Paralysis is genetic. I think it just started with me. No one else in my family has had my crazy stuff. It's an ionic chanelopothy. My body does not process K+ correctly. When the potassium shifts, my muscles weaken or go paralyzed along with other neuro problems. When the K+ levels in my body gets corrected, (by supplying more K+) then the symptoms/problems stop. There are several variations of Periodic Paralysis. Some versions are symptoms with K+ getting too high. I've told my doctors for 15 years it's like a light switch being flipped on and off. One minute I can walk and the next I cannot. A lot of doctors have tested me and been amazed that one minute I have reflexes and the next I do not, until that episode ends. Now I know that "light switch" is potassium. I do feel the chemical shifts in my body when I get the right amount of potassium. It feels weird. I read that I have 50% chance of passing this on to my kids. I started symptoms when I was 18, with two episodes as a teenager. I'll be 40 in 2 months.  I'm glad I know now, to prevent my children from going through what I did.

I'm really thankful I found Susan's book! She has a book and workbook. I bought both and have been thrilled with how much I am learning from them. I'm thankful she has taken her experiences and tries to create awareness for this problem.  Yes I did the work, but I got the idea to ask for a re-evaluation from reading what Susan has written/writes. I am writing this post in case it helps to add awareness, because so little info is out there, even for specialists. Here is the book I bought, and the website with it that helped improve my life a lot! 


Julie’s Blog:
http://juliesimplifieslife.blogspot.com/2015/06/trying-to-balance-my-life-periodic.html



Until later…


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Periodic Paralysis and Depression



One of our members asked about the possible connection between Periodic Paralysis and depression. This comes up occasionally, so I thought I would write a blog article about it.

My reply:

There are five possible answers or issues to consider about Periodic Paralysis and depression...... 

First:
We know that (low potassium) can/may create mental issues including depression (and possibly psychosis, hallucinations and delirium).

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/psychological-effects-low...

http://www.livestrong.com/.../468486-brain-fog-and-a.../

Second:
There are mental issues which can accompany Andersen-Tawil Syndrome, a form of Periodic Paralysis:

"Disease characteristics.

Andersen-Tawil syndrome (referred to as ATS in this entry) is characterized by a triad of episodic flaccid muscle weakness (i.e., periodic paralysis), ventricular arrhythmias and prolonged QT interval, and anomalies such as low-set ears, ocular hypertelorism, small mandible, fifth-digit clinodactyly, syndactyly, short stature, and scoliosis. Affected individuals present in the first or second decade with either cardiac symptoms (palpitations and/or syncope) or weakness that occurs spontaneously following prolonged rest or following rest after exertion. Mild permanent weakness is common. Mild learning difficulties and a distinct neurocognitive phenotype (i.e., deficits in executive function and abstract reasoning) have been described.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20301441 "

"Executive Functioning (EF) Disorder
Relates to difficulty in self regulation, organizing, integration, or high order reasoning skills. "Executive Function disorder, is a disability of not being able to show what you know" Executive Function disorder is associated with many disabilities: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), Learning Disabilities (LD), Tourette Syndrome (TS), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Autism, Depression, Bipolar, etc."
http://concordspedpac.org/ExecutiveFunctions.html

Third:
Co-morbidity: We can all have more than one medical issue co-existing with our Periodic Paralysis.

From our book:
The Periodic Paralysis Guide And Workbook:
Be The Best You Can Be Naturally (pages 35 and 36)


"Co-Existing Conditions

The term ‘co-existing conditions’ also known as ‘co-morbidity’ means having more than one medical condition, illness or disease at the same time. Last year we prepared and executed a comprehensive four-part informal survey of the members of our Periodic Paralysis Network Support Group and received a great deal of important and surprising information. We discovered that most of our members had more than just the common symptoms of Periodic Paralysis. Many of them, whether they were diagnosed with a form of Periodic Paralysis or not, had at least one more other diagnosed condition. Most had several, and a few had as many as fifteen other diagnosed diseases, conditions or types of medical dysfunction. The following is the list of conditions reported:

Cyclic vomiting syndrome, high cholesterol, diabetes type 2, peripheral polyneuropathy, arachnoids cysts in the brain, loss of peripheral vision, poly cystic ovarian disease, migraines, osteoporosis (bone crush stage in spine and hips), spina bifida oculta, small brain ischemia, intolerance to most medications, paradoxical effect to most medications, hypoglycemia, intolerance to anesthesia, cataracts, costochondritis, gluten intolerance, fibrocystic disease, esophageal reflux, esophageal hernia, diverticulitis, hearing loss, lactic acidosis, metabolic acidosis, hypoxemia, (low blood oxygen), restless leg syndrome, stress fracture of the foot, neuroma (nerve tumor) in both feet, painful and tight calf muscles, fibroid tumor (uterus), ovarian cysts, chronic bladder infections, extremely dry skin, GERD, weak eye muscles, fasciculation, temporomandibular disorders, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, cervical and uterine cancer, uterine and ovarian cysts, vertigo, high clotting, blood clots, asthma, low set, hyper mobile joints, gastritis, syncope, muscle spasms, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, memory loss (short term), chronic fatigue, edema, unnamed lumps in breasts, herpes simplex A (lips-cold sores), gastro paresis, myalgia, myositis, osteoarthritis, myoclonic jerks, dysphagia (trouble swallowing), lumbar spinal stenosis, many cysts, fatty tumors, hyperthyroid, clotting disorder, memory deficit, compressed pituitary, kidney cyst, allergies, goiter, hardening of the arteries in legs, trouble climbing stairs, low platelet count, mastectomy and hysterectomy, straight spine, vertigo, tinnitus, atrial septal defect, complete heart block, scoliosis, pitting edema, thyroid hormone resistance disease, seizures, cluster headaches, severe sleep apnea, rectocele, pulmonary hypertension, candida, acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, poorly distended bladder, Barrett’s esophagus, heart attack, gall bladder issues, carpal tunnel, exercise intolerance, kidney stones, degenerative disk disease, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, Sjogrens Syndrome, LUPUS, Charcot-Marie Tooth.

Fourth:
Who would not be depressed when you are sick, ill, in pain, and/or too weak to do anything and not being believed?

Fifth: Any drugs being given for the depression, may/could be aggravating the issue if an individual has PP...


I hope this is helpful!!!


Until later...

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Over 400 Members!!!!!



Congratulations to us all at the Periodic Paralysis Network Support, Education and Advocacy Group!!! We now have over 400 members!!!!!!!! Thank you all for your support!!!

Our PPN Forum:

The following are the services and features of our PPN forum:

PPN Support, Education and Advocacy Group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/periodicparalysisnetworksupportgroup/

PPN Website: www.periodicparalysisnetwork.com

PPN Books: "Living With Periodic Paralysis: The Mystery Unraveled" and "The Periodic Paralysis Guide And Workbook: Be The Best You Can Be Naturally"
(Found on our website http://www.periodicparalysisnetwork.com/books.htm)

PPN Blog: http://livingwithperiodicparalysis.blogspot.com/

PPN Book Discussion Group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/periodicparalysisnetwork/

The PPN Learning Center and Workshop:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1416848568618404/

PPN Genealogy-Genetic Discussion Group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/580168915344191/

PPN Website Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/PeriodicParalysisNetwork

PPN Author's Page:
https://www.facebook.com/SusanQKnittleHunterauthor

Email: periodicparalysisnetwork@gmail.com

Please check out our PPN Members World Map: http://www.multiplottr.com/?map_id=55083