Effects of living with Gitelman Syndrome

The symptoms of Gitleman Syndrome can affect everyone differently, and range in severity. But mostly it may make you feel very exhausted and tired, which can affect you in daily activities. It is often best to pace yourself and rest throughout the day if possible. You may experience joint and muscle pain and cramps and these may make exercise and some activities very difficult.

Some people with Gitelman Syndrome could be at risk of developing cardiac arrhythmias (when the heart does not beat in an effective way). Those who have hypokalaemia (low potassium) are more susceptible to these cardiac arrhythmias, which can be potentially life-threatening when joined with severe hypomagnesemia (low magnesium) and alkalosis (the blood is too alkaline).

Chondrocalcinosis also known as Calcium PyroPhosphate Deposition (CPPD) Disease, is a condition in which calcium pyrophosphate crystals build up in the joints and ligaments. These deposits cause irritation that lead to inflammation and cartilage damage. The symptoms can be similar to gout and other types of arthritis. This will have a major impact on life, dealing with pain on a day-to-day basis. You may often need to seek help by physiotherapy, pain management services and rheumotology.

When your potassium and/or magnesium goes low, without knowing it, you may experience headaches (migraines), mood changes, shortness of breath, brain fog, confusion, and sometimes slurred speech. Your stomach can become upset, you may have chronic constipation, stomach cramping and bloating and you may feel nauseous (like you are going to be sick) and find you don’t want to eat.

Climate is also a major factor in controlling potassium and magnesium and the electrolytes in your body. In the summer you may sweat more, causing you to lose your precious electrolytes. Keeping hydrated is vital and this can be helped with isotonic sports drinks, high potassium coconut water, and high salt foods.