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What is galactosemia?
Galactosemia is a disease in which the body is unable to absorb the sugar galactose, causing an excess of galactose in the blood, which is very harmful to health. This is a simple sugar, one of the components of lactose, found in all products made from butter and milk.
When entering the body, the lactose in milk will be broken down by enzymes, forming galactose and glucose. Therefore, if you have galactosemia, you will not be able to use milk from humans or animals.
Galactosemia is a rare disease, divided into 3 types: GLAK, GLAT, GLAE.
When infants have galactosemia, drinking milk will cause galactose accumulation, which not only harms the liver, kidneys, brain … but can also cause death, if not detected and treated promptly.
Why do I get galactosemia?
Galactosemia is a genetic disease. Therefore, they are inherited from parent to child.
If both parents carry the disease-causing gene, the chance that the child will be born with this disease is 25%, and the child’s chance of not having galactosemia will be 50%. However, they will also carry disease-causing genes.
Signs that your baby has galactosemia
Usually, when a baby is born, there will be no obvious signs. However, after a few days of breastfeeding, the baby will have symptoms such as jaundice, vomiting or diarrhea …
In addition, children also have symptoms such as frequent crying, refusal to breastfeed and very slow weight gain.
In addition, convulsions and lethargy are also signs of children with this disease.
Possible complications of galactosemia
When we have galactosemia, we can experience complications such as cataracts, slurred speech and mental instability due to the affected brain.
In addition, people with this disease may also have cirrhosis of the liver, irregular menstrual periods, and are prone to blood infections.
In addition, if too much galactose accumulates in the blood, and is not detected and treated in time, the disease can lead to death.
What should parents do to help their children detect this disease early?
For people with the disease, before they want to have children, they should go to the hospital, to be consulted by specialists about the heritability of the disease.
Besides, parents with the disease, need to carry out screening tests during pregnancy, to know if the baby has galactosemia or not.
In addition, newborns, within 1 week, should have diagnostic tests for this disease, as a screening for galactosemia.
Notes in nutrition when suffering from galactosemia
Galactosemia is a rare disease, however, currently there is no specific treatment for this disease. Therefore, patients need to have a suitable diet, to avoid unfortunate complications.
Patients should not consume all types of milk and foods containing lactose and galactose.
Do not eat sweets, processed foods, or fruits and vegetables that contain lactose and galactose.
Patients can use soy milk, cereals, and other diverse foods, as long as the ingredients do not contain this type of sugar.
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Mothers can also find lactose- and galactose-free formulas for babies to use and should be fortified with calcium, to be best for the body.
This is an incurable disease with dangerous complications. However, you do not need to worry, because with the continuous advancement of medicine, patients with galactosemia, can live a healthy and normal life.
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