PWS Awareness Month Day #2 : A Little Background on Prader-Willi Syndrome (taken from http://www.fpwr.org)
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic disorder that occurs in approximately one out of every 15,000 births. PWS affects males and females with equal frequency and affects all races and ethnicities. PWS is recognized as the most common genetic cause of life-threatening childhood obesity.
There are two generally recognized stages of the symptoms associated with PWS, but today I want to focus on the second stage as this is the most life threatening. An unregulated appetite characterizes this stage of PWS and most commonly begins between ages 2 and 8 years old. Individuals with PWS lack normal hunger and satiety cues. They usually are not able to control their food intake and will overeat if not closely monitored. Food seeking behaviors are very common. In addition, the metabolic rate of persons with PWS is lower than normal. Left untreated, this combination of problems leads to morbid obesity and its many complications.
Because of this children and adults with PWS are usually on much stricter diets than their peers. During PWS Awareness Month, many families and friends have decided to commit themselves to a healthier lifestyle… whether this be to give up an unhealthy food or start an exercise program. So Andrew Schoenberger & I have joined this effort. Andy will be foregoing chips, desserts and all alcohol until June 1st!! I have decided to give up cheese (eek!) and liquor and to try to be overall healthier with food choices, as well as to get more active! If you would like to join us, comment and post what you are doing 🙂 We will keep you posted on our progress!!!