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?
There are ways to sort out the problem but they involve needles, blood, urine, some rather unpleasant tests and a certain amount of determination and patience on the part of both patient and doctor. In other words the diagnosis does not generally come easily.
For this reason we’ve put together a manual of sorts, a how-to-book which leads the reader through the process of diagnosis. It’s a complex read for anyone unfamiliar with the concepts, but understanding the complexity of the problem is a good beginning. It encourages some compassion for the physician’s challenge. We cannot and do not diagnose patients. But what we can do is share knowledge, so you know what you need to do to begin the process with your physician.