Periodic paralysis comprises a group of rare genetic diseases that cause symptoms such as muscle weakness, muscle stiffness, and complete paralysis.
Types of Periodic Paralysis
While there more than 30 different strains of periodic paralysis have been identified, the most common include:
- Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis— Caused by reductions in potassium levels, causing the patient to experience weakness and paralysis after eating certain foods or strenuous exercise.
- Thyrotoxic Periodic Paralysis— Associated with an overactive thyroid gland.
- Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis— Weakness, paralysis, and stiffness is experienced after fasting or exercise.
- Paramyotonia Congenita— Causes muscle stiffness or weakness as a result of cold temperatures, activity, or low potassium.
- Potassium Aggravated Myotonia— Causes muscle stiffness as a result of ingesting potassium.
- Malignant Hyperthermia—Caused by a reaction to drugs used in general anaesthetics.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Partial Paralysis
While diagnosis of partial paralysis can be extremely difficult, research is offering some new developments. Incidents of partial paralysis can be avoided by staying away from certain hormones, foods, and medications.