Skip to main content

View Diary: * NEW DAY * - Traveling Travails, Your Most Troublesome Trip (206 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  ...I've never heard of this before...studying... (5+ / 0-)

    ...it right now...

    Familial Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis

    Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

    by paradise50 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:36:35 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  ...wow...rapid depolorization of muscle cells... (7+ / 0-)

      ...due to sudden change in potassium and sodium channels in the cells' membrane allowing potassium to stampede.

      This is not good.  It would affect the nerves too, since they conduct impulses the same way as muscle cell do...but the literature I've read so far (must dig deeper) only talks of muscle cells.

      Yikes!...

      Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

      by paradise50 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:42:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have a question for you (4+ / 0-)

        Why do I get a headache when I'm hungry? The first bite of food relieves it fast.

      •  Exactly! (6+ / 0-)

        Yeah, it's strange. Sometimes I'm paralyzed for a bit, because the potassium gets stuck in the muscle cell, and there's no charge across (like a battery that won't fire because the electrolytes are out of balance). I actually have to take potassium bicarbonate or potassium citrate in liquid form to balance it. Strange. I really have to be aware of every dip in my electrolytes, and every shift.

        Very annoying. :) Plus, the calcium, if it shifts the wrong way, makes me very stiff - my hands curl in, my toes curl under, and my arms and legs get very stiff.

        But I've gotten to the point where if I'm in a store doing the "Tin Woodsman" thing, I just keep going and act like everything's normal. Makes people around you a lot more relaxed.

        "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

        by Diogenes2008 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:47:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ...sodium and potassium...are on either side... (6+ / 0-)

          ...of each nerve cell and each muscle cell.  There is a difference in charge of -70 millivolts between the outside of the membrane and the inside of the membrane.

          When stimulated (by many different possible ways), the pores open up in the cell membrane (using ATP) so as to allow a sudden shift in the amount of these two metals, which are electrolytes, on either side of the membrane to occur.

          Potassium is very small in diameter.  Sodium is very large, in comparison.  So when the pores become bigger, sodium can escape to the other side of the cell membrane.  This is what changes the charge at that point in the cell membrane.

          And then a never conducts an impulse because opposite charges attract (in electricity or magnetism).  Since the charge (-70 millivolts...which is the normal resting charge) is suddenly different at that section of the cell membrane (say it becomes -50 millivolts)...there is an attraction from the MORE negatively charged cell membrane (-70 mV) towards the less negatively charged area, which, in comparison is + charged relatively (-5-mV).  This causes an electric surge that then travels the entire length of the nerve.

          Muscle cells do the same thing.

          A change in Calcium levels will cause problems with ATP.  ATP, when used for energy, becomes ADP.  I won't go into great detail anymore in this comment.

          But, if Calcium levels drop inside muscle cells, once the muscle cell has "twitched" as it's called (moved)...without sufficient calcium ions, the two types of proteins that move the muscle cell cannot release.  The muscle cell can't relax after it's worked.

          You would be "paralyzed" in essence.  This is exactly what rigor mortis is...the body is dead so no more ATP gets made...the muscle cells lock up and remain stiff.

          Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

          by paradise50 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:45:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ...sorry for the typos... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Diogenes2008, arizonablue, mimi

            MORE negatively charged cell membrane (-70 mV) towards the less negatively charged area, which, in comparison is + charged relatively (-50-mV).  This causes an electric surge that then travels the entire length of the nerve.

            Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

            by paradise50 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:48:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yep (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            arizonablue, paradise50

            Fortunately for me, it's not an "all-or-nothing" kind of thing, or I'd likely be dead.

            But enough of them misbehave that I get really stiff, or the potassium end of it misbehaves, and I get completely limp.

            I'm an odd duck in the sense that most of us just have issues with potassium. I used to get weak and have flaccid paralysis often. Unfortunately, something seems to have shifted in the last ten years, and I have more problems with calcium (and occasionally sodium).

            So yeah, I have to watch all my electrolytes carefully. I know the warning signs, so as long as I'm paying attention, it's not too horrible.

            I think there was speculation that the "Plus" might even mean that our small group has two ion channel abnormalities, but I don't remember for sure.

            In any case - it's extremely annoying, to say the least.

            Fascinating info you posted, by the way. Thanks! (I've heard some of it at the conferences, but I'll admit a bit of it does go over my head. I do, however, understand the consequences all too well.)

            "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

            by Diogenes2008 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 03:33:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  great couple of comments - love it - (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Diogenes2008

            I would read even more details of it. :)

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site