Monday, December 11

Understanding Prader-Willi Syndrome

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Prader-Willi Syndrome is referred to as a genetic disorder that causes life-threatening obesity problems for children and continues into adulthood. According to the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association, the syndrome is caused by an abnormality on the 15th chromosome. Most estimates of the relevance among children is 1 in 15,000 will have this syndrome.

Prader-Willi Syndrome symptoms consist of undeveloped muscle tone; height is short in stature, undeveloped sexually and a chronic feeling of constant hunger. Most children diagnosed with this syndrome have low IQ’s and learning disabilities. As they grow older they could just eat themselves to death literally to fulfill the constant feeling of hunger. Most children diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome have to take growth hormones to combat the limited muscle tone and growth. Parents have to monitor their child’s daily eating because the feeling of being hungry is a constant battle. The constant battle children diagnosed with this disease is that they never feel full. Prader-Willi Syndrome can cause serious health problems for children as they grow into adulthood. Morbid obesity is very common as well as high diabetes, hypertension not to mention the slow development of cognitive skills. 

There’s no cure for Prader-Willi Syndrome at this time, but parents can help control some of the issues associated with the disease such as helping them learn and watch what they eat. Also, it’s critical to have your child see a doctor so that their growth and motor skills can be monitored by a professional.  Parents that have children diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome can reach out to the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association for a wealth of information and support. The organization’s member’s work together to promote and fund research for the disease. 

You can visit their site: 

Here’s a video of a child living with Prader-Willi Syndrome:

Prader-Willi Syndrome sounds like a made up word, but for many families that have a child diagnosed with this disease it changes their outlook on life. Every day is a battle in helping their child overcome obstacles and to hear their child say they’re hungry after they just ate a lot of food. Helping their child develop cognitive skills as normal healthy children have is a constant struggle. Hopefully, one day medical researchers will find a cure to help all the families that are affected by Prader-Willi Syndrome and that those people can live productive healthy lives. 



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