Triggers that knocks me of my feet,
- One of the most important ones for me personal is when I don’t eat for more than three hours, like at night. I do not have a colon anymore so what I eat is much faster on the exit, if you know what I mean. When I get “empty” my liver kicks in and releases glucose in my blood what causes an attack. This makes me unable to walk, sit or move in any way in just minutes. Talking will be difficult because of the muscles in my face and breathing gets a little difficult too. That’s why I set an alarm every night at 03:00 and 06:00 to eat something and take 20 mmol potassium citrate.
- The second one is a carbohydrate rich meal, this takes a while. When I eat something like spaghetti what I do like in the evening I can’t get out of bed in the morning. This can cause such a heavy attack that I need help right away to get some potassium. But it can also be when I go out of bed the first thing that I notice is I move slow and miss strength and coordination. The next minute I can’t look up because I can’t move my head and I can not get anything that is stored to high. When that’s the case I know I get paralysed during the next few minutes so I have time to get back in bed.
- The third one is stress as you can read at the “A typical HYPOPP day” page. That one kicks in the next day also, just like the one triggered by a carbohydrate rich meal. I am always trying to take potassium in advantage and that helps a little but I never could manage it completely. The attack comes for sure and then I can take care of the attack with 60 to 80 mmol potassium citrate.
- The fourth one is temperature, this is the most odd one. It happened to me when I was walking about 100 mtr on the beach on a cold day together with my wife and our dog. I made it almost to the sea but than suddenly the wind cooled me down. Within minutes I couldn’t walk anymore, inch by inch my wife pushed me back to our car. Because no one understood what was going on and no doctor could tell me what was wrong with me I had to wait until it was over (3 days). Then it happened to me once standing on the roof of the barn in our backyard. In the first place I couldn’t get on the ladder to climb down and once on the ladder I had no strength to get back on the ground. Luckily the roof was very low at the point where the ladder stood only 5 feet but it took a long time before I was back on the ground again and back home (20 mtr).
When I am to long in the sun and I get to warm the weakness comes slowly I have time to get in bed and cool down, drink and take potassium but it still takes a couple hours to get back on my feet again.
- The fifth is exercise in every way:
– like walking to far, about 150 mtr
– stand still and like talking to someone for 15 minutes
– Sit upright on a uncomfortable (wheel)chair for 20 minutes
– Get groceries and get in a line for the checkout
– Pick up something heavy to help someone
- The sixth one is stay still to long, like when I am real tired and sleep all night long I can’t get out of bed in the morning because I can hardly move and have no strength or coordination. But also when I lie still at an doctors office or MRI, after 10 to 20 minutes it’s getting very difficult to get up again.
Before I knew I suffer from Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis attacks as I described here above could easily last for days or weeks and sometimes months. It’s most likely I got from one attack in another. The last 3 or 4 years my muscles got stiff and weaker and that causes faster triggers.
Luckily I know now that potassium citrate helps me to shorten the duration of an attack to 6 to 12 hours, this changed my life.
Knowing al these triggers is important because I am able now to recognize them and take potassium in advantage and afterwards and rest at the right moment. This strategy helps me to avoid hitting one of the triggers I mentioned above….