Category Archives : hypokalemia

Effer-K does NOT contain sugar

We recently received a message from a patient who was leery about trying flavored Effer-K due to (unnecessary) concerns about the sugar content in flavored varieties of Effer-K and how the sugar might decrease potassium levels.  While this concern is unfounded, as there is NO SUGAR in any variety of Effer-K, we were still interested in why sugar could counteract the effect of potassium repletion.

Here’s what the patient said.

I am using 20 mEq unflavored. I would like to try a flavor but  the glucose/insulin triggers K+ shift

My response… huh?? Here’s what our medical director explained.

Based on his comment, I surmise that this patient is under the impression that the flavored tablets have sugar in them, and is concerned that this would result in decreased serum potassium levels. That is: when you ingest sugar, this triggers an insulin surge in the body. Insulin causes glucose to be taken up by tissues in the body. One component of insulin’s mechanism of action is to activate a sodium/potassium pump in the cell membrane, the net effect of which is to shift potassium into the cells.

This is actually a first line treatment in patients with hyperkalemia: to give insulin + glucose.

Since Effer-K contains no glucose, then I would think the whole concern/issue is moot – a non-issue.

Who knew? Another day, another benefit discovered in repleting potassium with Effer-K.

Effer-K helps patients recover from hypokalemic periodic paralysis attacks

A few months ago we heard from Wade, who raved about how effective Effer-K has been in managing his HKPP, Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis,  symptoms. In his correspondence with us, he explained how much easier  Effer-K is to take than other potassium solutions and how much faster it helps him recover from an attack.  Read Wade’s testimonial.    Learn more about Wade on his blog.

We didn’t know much about HKPP, before meeting Wade. However, his correspondence brought the condition to our attention and has led us to many other people associated with HKPP who were also interested in trying Effer-K.  For example, a few months after meeting Wade, we came into contact with Jacob Levitt, M.D., F.A.A.D., President and Medical Director of the Periodic Paralysis Association.

The Periodic Paralysis Association is a Non-profit Charitable Corporation founded to foster awareness of the periodic paralyses, promote science-based information regarding this class of disorder, and champion the interests of the Periodic Paralysis Community.

Not only is Dr. Levitt the president of the PPA, he also suffers from HKPP.  Dr. Levitt requested samples of Effer-K for himself as well as his patients. To enhance understanding of horrific a HKPP attack can be, Dr. Levitt posted a video of him having a self induced attack on the PPA website. While going through the attack he is dictating what is going on and how difficult basics things would be. This video/awareness to this condition was a real eye opener.

We are so pleased to be able to offer a product that helps HKPP patients avoid and recover from such an attack.

http://www.periodicparalysis.org/english/view.asp?x=555&mid=181

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