Tetraparesis with Major Hypokalaemia and Rhabdomyolysis Induced by Chronic Liquorice Ingestion
KeywordsHypokalaemia, rhabdomyolysis, liquorice abuse
Chronic ingestion of liquorice induces a syndrome with findings similar to those for primary hyperaldosteronism. This is characterized by hypokalaemia, hypertension, metabolic alkalosis and suppression of the renin-aldosterone system.
We describe a 30-year-old woman who, with a plasma potassium level of 1.5 mmol/l, presented with tetraparesis and severe rhabdomyolysis (CK up to 35,460 U/l). She admitted to a daily consumption of nearly 300 g of liquorice sweets during the previous 6 months. This case emphasizes the importance of a detailed anamnesis, which is essential for diagnosis, avoids unnecessary and expensive investigations and reduces the duration of hospitalization.
Issue: Vol 7 No 4 (view)