“Taurine can potentially improve calcium homeostasis. It reduces intracellular levels of calcium. It also regulates mitochondrial calcium homeostasis.”

Message from my one autistic friend in our WhatsApp group, as another autistic friend in the group is going in and out of hypokalaemic periodic paralysis in a state hospital in another country.

The phlebotomist had arrived unannounced to draw blood for a general electrolyte count and some other thing. We are not assuming that they understand that

  • the high sodium high starch hospital meals can do this to a person with a genetic predisposition to this condition, and
  • that extracellular electrolyte values don’t accurately reflect intracellular potassium.

We sent her Dr. Breu’s thread too, to help them, because doctors and nurses don’t always believe that patients may know something about molecular and cell biology.

Oh, and if you’re wondering how I got from hypokalaemia (potassium deficiency) to regulating intracellular calcium: it’s the calcium channels that are typically the problem in hypokalaemic periodic paralysis, but the result of that is not enough potassium ends up in the right places, as the electrolytes have jealous dances with each other. The same principle (with different nuances) is at play in sensory overstimulation.