What is the difference between hypokalemia and hypokalemia periodic paralysis?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hypokalemia = Low levels of potassium in the blood--for WHATEVER reason (usually a kidney or thyroid problem).

    Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis = HKPP = A rare genetic disorder that causes potassium to shift into the cells (not out of the body).

    Surprise! With HKPP, the potassium level doesn't HAVE to shift out of the normal range to cause weakness or paralysis--it is the relative downward SHIFT that causes the muscle cell membranes to depolarize. I have HKPP and have been virtually paralyzed (very weak, unable to walk, hard to breath) by a drop from 4.2 to 3.6 (with low normal at 3.5).

    There is a fairly good test for HKPP called a CMAP or Compound Muscle Amplitude Potential test. It is very safe and about 90% accurate. Do NOT let anyone give you an insulin/glucose challenge to test for HKPP. If you actually DO Have HKPP, the insulin/glucose challenge could KILL YOU! Trust me on this one, your doctor will NOT be prepared for the type of nasty paralysis this test can cause. Don't risk it when the CMAP is easier, safer and more accurate.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hypokalemia is a lower-than-normal amount of potassium in the blood. It may result from a number of conditions.

    Hypokalemia is serum K concentration < 3.5 mEq/L caused by a deficit in total body K stores or abnormal movement of K into cells. The most common causes are excess losses from the kidneys or GI tract. Clinical features include muscle weakness and polyuria; cardiac hyperexcitability may occur with severe hypokalemia. Diagnosis is by serum measurement. Treatment is administration of K and addressing the cause.

    Hypokalemic periodic paralysis is an inherited disorder that causes occasional episodes of muscle weakness.

    It is one of a group of genetic disorders that includes hyperkalemic periodic paralysis and thyrotoxic periodic paralysis.

    Familial periodic paralysis is a rare autosomal condition characterized by episodes of flaccid paralysis with loss of deep tendon reflexes and failure of muscle to respond to electrical stimulation. There are 3 forms: hyperkalemic, hypokalemic, and normokalemic. Diagnosis is indicated by history and confirmed by provoking an episode (by administering glucose and insulin to produce hypokalemia or KCl to produce hyperkalemia). Treatment depends on the form.

  • 1 decade ago

    the paralysis part.

    Source(s): see people w/hypokalemia at work all the time.......many times severe and i have never seen on with paralysis so i would think that that is a rare condition.....
  • Chrys
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago


    www.google.com and ask

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.