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What is eosinophilia myalgia syndrome?

Q: Does eosinophilia myalgia syndrome affect potassium levels?

A:Eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome is a condition characterised by high levels of eosinophils in blood (>1000/ml going up to 10,000/mcl or more), severe muscle pain and absence of any evidence of infection or other condition (like a neoplasm) which could account for this. No definite cause has been found though contaminated nutritional supplements have been implicated in the US and Japan. The acute symptoms of disease like severe muscle pain, cramps, fever, skin rash, tiredness, breathlessness usually settle down in about 6 months time but there may be persistence of symptoms involving muscles, nerves and skin for up to several years. The laboratory features include very high levels of eosinophils in blood with marked increase in eosinophilic precursors in the bone marrow, raised white cell count, raised ESR, presence of anti-nuclear antibodies, abnormal liver function tests and elevated levels of creatine kinase and aldolase. Serum potassium levels are unaffected. Nerve conduction and electromyographic studies show abnormal pattern. The treatment is symptomatic. Strenuous exercise may sometimes worsen the condition and is best avoided. Patients are also advised to refrain from taking any herbal supplements or nutraceuticals.


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