Glycogen storage disease has eight kinds designated as Type I to VIII; Type I being the most ordinary as it accounts to almost 90% of cases of the mentioned ailment. Sometimes, they are classified by names. Some of which include Von Gierke for Type 1, Pompe’s disease for Type II and Cori’s for the third type. Some other names are Andersen, McArdle, Hers and Tauri; named after the researchers who studied them. They are caused by a fault in genes that are taken over from the father and mother. This usually triggers too much glycogen accumulation in the body tissues.
Glycogen is a type of sugar that is essential for energy production but it is not used up unless it is needed. When they are unexploited, they would stay in the liver and some other body muscles. Excessive increase in the production of this would have a harmful effect on the liver and muscles. Some types affect only these two, but the others also target almost all the organs especially the heart. As glycogen storage disease is hereditary, one of the main factors of obtaining it is having a member of your family who has it.
There can be a number of symptoms of glycogen storage disease depending on the disease. Some of which are enlarged liver, low blood sugar, cramps in muscles, soaring uric acid levels, lack of bone density which could lead to osteoporosis, frequent infections and ulcers and slow growth. In addition, people who have this disease may experience chronic liver cirrhosis that is most likely to lead to liver failure. Tremendous fatigue also is one of the warning signs of this ailment. Anemia, discoloration of urine and a high risk of heart failure especially if the one affected is a kid below 18 months.
The treatment of glycogen storage disease relies on the type and the symptoms that the patient experiences. Glucose’s nasogastric infusion is applicable for kids below 2 years old. An alternative cure is to make necessary dietary changes. For instance, uncooked starch can be given to them every four to six hours. Foods that are rich in lactose ought to be eliminated. Appropriate medications that reduce uric acid levels can be taken upon the prescription of the doctor. For a particular type of the disease, liver transplantation is considered. For the types that affect the muscles, the patient can undergo exercises that lessen the cramps.
Some other types cannot be treated. However, you can easily be in charge of it by curing the warning signs that you are experiencing. There is no way to prevent glycogen storage disease as it is hereditary. However, one must not lose heart. Rather, everyone must be on the offensive and take the initiative for its early detection. Determine if there are members of your family who have the disease. If you have it, it will be best to consult a genetic counselor when you are planning to have children. This way, you will have an idea whether your potential kid would have glycogen storage disease.
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