A member asked:

Why would a high carbohydrate diet trigger weakness or paralysis on hypokalemia periodic paralysis? please explain. thank you.

4 doctors weighed in across 2 answers
Dr. Ibrahim Moussa answered

Specializes in Internal Medicine - Cardiology

High glucose low K+: When eat a high carb diet your serum glucose rises, this in turn has to enter your cells to get used a fuel, as each molecule of glucose enters the muscle it takes an ion of potassium (k+) with it, lowering the amount of potassium in the blood serum. As serum potassium drops the muscles become weak.

Answered 7/15/2017

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Low potassium: When one eats carbohydrates, one's pancreas secretes Insulin to lower the elevated glucose level. Insulin makes glucose go out of the blood and into the cells of the body and when glucose enters the cell it is linked to potassium, which is why a high carbohydrate load will lower potassium blood levels.

Answered 4/7/2018

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