Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis Diet VS Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis Diet

Diet can be your greatest ally in controlling Primary Periodic Paralysis and limiting episodes. Knowing which type of Primary Periodic Paralysis you have is important to know which foods to stay away from.

HypoPP Foods to Avoid

The best-known cause of Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis symptoms is a meal that contains a large number of carbohydrates

The presence of sugar in a drink or food can cause many problems, including blood glucose fluctuations, or spikes. With large amounts of sugar, you may also experience rapid insulin release which causes cells to take up the sugars and potassium in your blood. 

Salt: The salt trigger is less well-known than the carbohydrate trigger, and many articles on Periodic Paralysis don’t talk about it at all. Many foods contain huge amounts of salt- especially snacks and tomato sauce.

Restaurants, movie theaters, and some grocery stores may add large amounts of salt to many foods- most notably pizza, nacho, and snacks like popcorn. Carbonated soda drinks can have a high sodium content as well.

Recommendation: A diet low in carbohydrates and sodium is recommended for those with HypoPP according to medical studies.

These foods are stealthily high in carbohydrates:

HyperPP Foods to Avoid

According to recent studies, in order to prevent suffering from an episode, it is advised that individuals with HyperPP syndrome should avoid consuming a lot of potassium-rich foods.  

Recommendation: Fasting and eating foods high in potassium are commonly reported as triggers of attacks in HyperPP. One study based on medical records found that missing a meal or going without for long periods of time can lead to weakness in around a third of people with genetic HyperPP.

Based on recent medical studies, healthcare professionals recommend eating carb-rich foods, spacing out your meals, and avoiding certain trigger factors to prevent attacks of HyperPP.

It has also been found that eating carbohydrate-rich snacks every two to three hours and three to five medium- to smaller-sized meals a day.

Disclaimer: Remember to consult your physician if you live with a PPP-related condition to help you plan a diet 100% based on your needs and help you improve your quality of life.

The role of carbohydrates in the different types of Periodic Paralysis

An individual with Hypokalemic Paralysis wants to avoid carbohydrates because this has been proven to lead to an attack. Each person who has this disorder has to figure out over time which foods are triggers for them and which foods are not. 

Watch this video where Dr. Cannon answers some common questions about eating carbs.

Cienna’s Tip:

“For eating healthy I will swap noodles out for different types of vegetable noodles instead and spiralize them myself to make it more affordable. Or places like Trader Joe’s have cauliflower gnocchi when I’m wanting that, but don’t want to trigger something. I’ll do mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes and load it up with cheese to make it have a higher protein count. I also recently found protein waffles and have been loving those for breakfast!”

Cienna is a PPA board member, activist, and patient on her own journey with PPP. She has built a strong social media presence, using her platform to raise awareness for chronic conditions and disability, and build representation of disability in fashion. We're grateful for her insights! Follow her Instagram: @chronicallyperservering