Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis is a genetic condition that causes periods of extreme muscle weakness or paralysis. This condition usually observed during infancy or early childhood. Symptoms are:
• Violent muscle twitching
• Substantial muscle weakness or trembling
• Prolapse of the eyelid
• Generalized weakness
HOW IS HYPERKALEMIC PERIODIC PARALYSIS DIAGNOSED?
The health care practitioner will ask for details of medical and family history to diagnose the condition. Tests that may be done include:
• Electrocardiogram (ECG), which may be abnormal during attacks
• Electromyography (EMG), which is usually normal between attacks and abnormal during attacks
• Muscle biopsy, which may show abnormalities
• Potassium test
HOW IS HYPERKALEMIC PERIODIC PARALYSIS TREATED?
The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and prevent further attacks. Glucose or other carbohydrates (sugars) given during an attack may reduce the severity of the symptoms. Calcium or diuretics (water pills) may need to be given through a vein to stop sudden attacks.
DID YOU KNOW?
Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis can occur in humans as well as in horses.