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  • Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis


    Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP, HyperKPP) is an inherited autosomal dominant disorder that affects sodium channels in muscle cells and the ability to regulate potassium levels in the blood. It is characterized by muscle hyperexcitability or weakness which, exacerbated by potassium, heat or cold, can lead to uncontrolled shaking followed by paralysis. Onset usually occurs in early childhood, but it still occurs with adults. The mutation which causes this disorder is dominant on SCN4A with linkage to the sodium channel expressed in muscle. The mutation causes single amino acid changes in parts of the channel which are important for inactivation. In the presence of high potassium levels, including those induced by diet, sodium channels fail to inactivate properly.

  • Kidney failure


    Kidney failure, also known as end-stage kidney disease, is a medical condition in which the kidneys no longer function. It is divided into acute kidney failure (cases that develop rapidly) and chronic kidney failure (those that are long term). Symptoms may include leg swelling, feeling tired, vomiting, loss of appetite, or confusion. Complications of acute disease may include uremia, high blood potassium, or volume overload. Complications of chronic disease may include heart disease, high blood pressure, or anemia. Causes of acute kidney failure include low blood pressure, blockage of the urinary tract, certain medications, muscle breakdown, and hemolytic uremic syndrome. Causes of chronic kidney failure include diabetes, high blood pressure, nephrotic syndrome, and polycystic kidney disease. Diagnosis of acute disease is often based on a combination of factors such as decrease urine production or increased serum creatinine. Diagnosis of chronic disease is typically based on a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of less than 15 or the need for renal replacement therapy. It is also equivalent to stage 5 chronic kidney disease. Treatment of acute disease typically depends on the underlying cause. Treatment of chronic disease may include hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, or a kidney transplant. Hemodialysis uses a machine to filter the blood outside the body. In peritoneal dialysis specific fluid is placed into the abdominal cavity and then drained, with this process being repeated multiple times per day. Kidney transplantation involves surgically placing a kidney from someone else and then taking immunosuppressant medication to prevent rejection. Other recommended measures from chronic disease include staying active and specific dietary changes. In the United States acute disease affects about 3 per 1,000 people a year. Chronic disease affects about 1 in 1,000 people with 3 per 10,000 people newly develop the condition each year. Acute disease is often reversible while chronic disease often is not. With appropriate treatment many with chronic disease can continue working.

  • Hyperkalemia


    Hyperkalemia, also spelled hyperkalaemia, is an elevated level of potassium (K+) in the blood serum. Normal potassium levels are between 3.5 and 5.0 mmol/L (3.5 and 5.0 mEq/L) with levels above 5.5 mmol/L defined as hyperkalemia. Typically this results in no symptoms. Occasionally when severe it results in palpitations, muscle pain, muscle weakness, or numbness. An abnormal heart rate can occur which can result in cardiac arrest and death. Common causes include kidney failure, hypoaldosteronism, and rhabdomyolysis. A number of medications can also cause high blood potassium including spironolactone, NSAIDs, and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors. The severity is divided into mild (5.5–5.9 mmol/L), moderate (6.0–6.4 mmol/L), and severe (>6.5 mmol/L). High levels can also be detected on an electrocardiogram (ECG). Pseudohyperkalemia, due to breakdown of cells during or after taking the blood sample, should be ruled out. Initial treatment in those with ECG changes is calcium gluconate. Medications that might worsen the condition should be stopped and a low potassium diet should be recommended. Other medications used include dextrose with insulin, salbutamol, and sodium bicarbonate. Measures to remove potassium from the body include furosemide, polystyrene sulfonate, and hemodialysis. Hemodialysis is the most effective method. The use of polystyrene sulfonate, while common, is poorly supported by evidence. Hyperkalemia is rare among those who are otherwise healthy. Among those who are in hospital, rates are between 1% and 2.5%. It increases the overall risk of death by at least ten times. The word "hyperkalemia" is from hyper- meaning high; kalium meaning potassium; and -emia, meaning "in the blood".

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