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Can low Potassium, Phosphorus result in a seizure?

I was diagnosed with simple partials about a year ago (when I was 29 years old)  originating in left temporal lobe, and put on 900 mg/day of Trileptal. I also have had infrequent bouts of heart arrythmia (usually atrial fibrillation) that is currently untreated (at my cardiologists discretion). About a week ago, I began to feel extremelly faint, sweaty, and had a ringing in my years. Next thing I know i'm on the ground, feeling terrible with a pounding headache. EMT's arrive, run an EKG, and reveal no heart rythm issues. At the hospital, blood tests reveal low potassium levels of 2.9 mEq/L (normal is 3.5 - 5.0) and phosphorous of 1.7 (normal is 2.5 - 4.5). They loaded me up on potassium and phosphorous and discharged me. So, question #1 is, can low potassium and phosphorous trigger a seizure? I'm suspicious I had a full tonic-clonic seizure, but unfortunately no one saw it to confirm.  Since then, I've been having frequent simple partials, and my nero has increased the trileptal to 1,200 mg/day. It's only been 4 days since the increase - but there has been no decrease. How long should the dose increase take to have an effect?

 

Comments

Re: Can low Potassium, Phosphorus result in a seizure?

That happened to me, so I think it can. I wasn't sure if it was low potassium or stress that caused my seizures, but I would guess it was the low potassium. I have had epilepsy since I was 2 (31 now) and I have had every type of seizure, been on almost every medication, done the ketogenic diet, and had two lobectomies. After the second surgery, the seizures were under control with medication and I only had a couple seizures due to sleep deprivation and stress during college. When I was going through the positive transition of moving in with my boyfriend, I woke up in the middle of the night and started having absence seizures. The feeling and taste in my mouth kept waking me up. By morning, I was having one every other minute. I was in the ER for 17 hours having seizures before they did my blood work and admitted me. The second they gave me potassium, the seizures quit.

Re: Can low Potassium, Phosphorus result in a seizure?

According to Merk: "The level of any electrolyte in the blood can become too high or too low. The main electrolytes in the blood are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, phosphate, and carbonate. Most commonly, problems occur when the level of sodium, potassium, or calcium is abnormal. Often, electrolyte levels change when water levels in the body change."

And a metobolic imbalance can, in turn, lead to seizures.  Some recommend supplementation with Vitamin D and Calcium.  (And you can get all the potassium and phosphorous you need in Gatorage!)

But before starting any supplementation, I would check with your doc for the amount recommended and whether it will interfere with your current meds. 

Good luck.  Hope you find your answer soon!    Phylis Feiner Johnson www.epilepsytalk.com

 

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