Hyperkalemic PP

How is periodic paralysis diagnosed?

Do you suspect that you might have periodic paralysis? The periodic paralyses are a rare group of disorders and there are many conditions which cause an imbalance in serum potassium. So how does the doctor tell the difference between paralysis or weakness caused by an ion channelopathy and any of the other numerous disorders, conditions and reactions which might produce the same symptoms?

Emergency Treatment of the HyperKPP and/or PMC Attack

Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis and Paramyotonia Congenita can occur singly or in combination. 

While most attacks of Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis are brief and do not require emergency intervention, occasionally the serum potassium level will be high enough to cause cardiac distress, or muscle stiffness may interfere with respiration.  Attacks of weakness in Paramytonia Congenita are usually mild to moderate in severity, but myotonia of chest, diaphragm and throat muscles can be life-threatening under some circumstances. 

Talk to your physician 

Pursuing a Diagnosis of Periodic Paralysis:

A free workbook to download for those who are in the diagnostic process, contains information on each type of PP, diagnostic testing, available therapies, how to determine episode triggers and  work out a management plan. download here

Emergency Treatment of the HyperKPP and/or PMC Attack

First Actions:


  • Respiratory and cardiac arrest are possible.
  • Call for Cardiac Monitoring/EKG
  • Draw electrolytes to determine serum K+
  • Provide 02 as thimble may not reflect 02 saturation 
  • Lie patient in coma position to avoid aspiration.

Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis and Paramyotonia Congenita can occur singly or in combination. 

Role of Potassium in Maintaining Health

by Elson M. Haas, M.D.

Diet for Patients with HyperKPP and PMC

This information is based on diet recommendations found in many medical journal and textbook articles about Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis. (HyperKPP). According to physicians and dieticians those with HyperKPP should follow a diet which is high in carbohydrates and low in potassium. Because muscle tissue is stressed in the periodic paralyses it is also essential that patients obtain liberal amounts of high-quality protein.

Meal Plan Template

When I'm in the middle of an abortive attack meal planning goes right out the window. I can look at a fridge and pantry full of food and not be able to figure out what to do with any of it.

The only way to avoid feeding the family cheese on toast and a glass of tap water for dinner again is advance planning.

I can follow clear and simple directions. So if I plan exactly what we will eat for each meal I can;

1) avoid wasting food,

2) feed us something other than crud on rice (which is going to make me weak anyway) and

Hospital Management Guideline Form - HyperKPP

Hospital Management Guidelines for Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis Patients

Patient's Name:

Birthdate: ________Height: _______Weight: _______


Primary Physician:

Emergency contact:  Your emergency contact should be someone who can speak for you when you cannot advocate for yourself.
Name:                                                                               Relationship:
home phone#                                         cell #                            FAX:

Tracking Triggers - Food and Beverage Chart

Use this chart to help determine patterns to your food triggers. Blanks have been left for you to individualize the chart to your needs. Check food labels for sodium content, etc. This chart is intended to be utilized as an adjunct to a food journal.

Chart Comparing Periodic Paralyses

This chart allows comparison of the forms of primary periodic paralysis, symptoms, clinical and cardiac signs, effect of potassium, triggers and therapies. 



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