Living with A Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorder
Fatty acid oxidation disorders or FAODs can range from mild to severe. While some infants may die from these disorders within the first few days of their lives, other people can go on to live relatively normal lives with the proper treatment and management of symptoms. For example, many people with SCAD deficiency have little to no specific symptoms. On the other hand, when early screenings do not detect some of these disorders, the consequences can be fatal.
How to Manage Living with An FAOD
If you have been diagnosed with a fatty acid oxidation disorder, it is likely that your life hasn’t been exactly normal. Especially when you were an infant, you may have had multiple visits to the hospital until doctors could determine what exactly was wrong and how to treat it properly. The good news is that now that you have a set plan with your doctor, living with a fatty acid oxidation disorder doesn’t have to mean not living. At INFORM Network, we are sharing some important guidelines to follow to ensure that you can go on living as normal a life as possible.
Follow your doctor’s orders
Because of FAODs, your body does not function as well as it should. You need to ensure that you follow all of your doctor’s recommendations to avoid the possibility of serious health problems. This includes attending regular check-ins with your doctor and full disclosure of any symptoms.
Keep a strict diet & eating schedule
People with fatty acid oxidation disorders struggle to break down fat. Because of this problem, a special fatty acid oxidation disorder diet is often required. You should also avoid fasting by following a recommended eating schedule. While it may be tempting to cheat here or there, doing so could lead to serious consequences such as a trip to the hospital.
Monitor your blood sugar
When the body burns through its stores of sugar for energy, it will turn to fats next for energy. Because people with FAODs are unable to metabolize fats, they need to avoid letting themselves get into this situation. One of the best ways to do this is to monitor blood sugar. Those with FAODs need to have stable blood sugar levels as low blood sugar or hypoglycemia could become life-threatening.
Be mindful of having children
FAODs are genetic so there is a chance that you could pass this disorder on to a child. Before you start thinking about having children, it is best to ask a doctor about this possibility.
People with these disorders have a lot more to worry about than the average person. Because of these added stresses, it is not uncommon to feel lost, depressed, or even angry. The best way to deal with these problems is to find support. There are numerous types of support out there that you can turn to. Find a psychologist, talk to a trusted friend or family member, join a support group, or find support online. At INFORM Network, you can even ask the fatty oxidation disorder experts a question.
Be mindful, but don’t let it control you.
Yes, because you have a fatty acid oxidation disorder, your life may be more difficult than your peers at times. It is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations but not let this disorder control your life. While there is no cure yet, with new fatty acid oxidation research every day, there is hope for the future.
If you are living with a fatty acid oxidation disorder, we want to help. We work with people with this disorder as well as family members of people with fatty acid oxidation disorders to give these families their great chance of leading normal and happy lives.