Monday, March 12, 2012

No, dear, I will not eat more bananas.

Oh, if only I had a few bucks every time someone said "just eat more bananas", I might be able to afford the fifteen pills I have to take every day thanks to this disease.

Bananas are high in carbohydrates and quickly cancel out the minute amount of potassium that bananas contain. Any carb, regardless of its potassium content, can be detrimental to someone with Familial Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis, as carbs are one of many triggers of weakness and paralytic episodes. In fact, if the carb overload results in a serious episode, we could die.

This condition is a muscle channel defect that usually requires large amounts of potassium as well as other medications and special restrictions. It is a progressive disease that falls under the umbrella of muscular dystrophy, and there is no cure. Even if bananas did not contain carbs, some of us would have to eat two to four dozen per day to equal the amount of potassium that we have to take on a daily basis just to be able to move our muscles at all. I have talked to a few people with HKPP who do eat them, but they are doing so at their own risk.

Edit Note: 10/16/13 - Details concerning bananas and their carb load can be found at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2374768.

I hope this helps the public understand that bananas are not a solution for this condition.

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