Progeria – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by

Progeria is the term for a rare genetic condition that makes an individual age prematurely. Even though children with progeria seem healthy, when they turn two years old, they appear much older than their actual age.

There are different types of progeria. The classic type is called Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS). HGPS is caused by a mutation in the lamin A (LMNA) gene. The mutation involves the severe hardening of the arteries while patients are still young.

Children with progeria have an average lifespan of 14 years because there is a great chance that they may develop atherosclerosis. At least 134 children are believed to have progeria in 46 countries all over the globe. The disorder affects at least one in every four million newborns of both sexes and all ethnicities.

Not much was known about progeria three decades ago. However, in 2003, a progeria gene was discovered. Healthcare experts believe that this brings them one step closer to finding a cure for the disorder.

Known side effects of progeria

The side effects of progeria usually include:

  • Early signs of skin aging (e.g., thin skin, etc.)
  • Generalized atherosclerosis (may cause cardiovascular and heart disease)
  • Hair loss (including eyebrows and eyelashes)
  • A head that is large compared with the body
  • A high-pitched voice
  • Lack of body fat and muscle
  • Limited growth and short stature
  • Limited range of motion and possible hip dislocation
  • Narrow, wrinkled, or shrunken face
  • Slow and abnormal tooth development
  • A small jaw bone
  • Stiffness in the joints
  • Stroke
  • Visible veins

The risk factors of progeria are currently unknown. The disorder is very rare. If parents have had one child with progeria, there is a two to three percent chance of having a second child with the disorder.

Body systems harmed by progeria

Progeria may cause the following complications:

  • Atherosclerosis — Atherosclerosis is the severe hardening of arteries. This makes the blood vessels stiffen and thicken, which restricts blood flow.
  • Congestive heart failure, heart, or stroke — These complications may occur if there is inadequate blood flow to the heart or to the brain.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent progeria

While there are no known methods that can prevent progeria, the following foods or nutrients can help address the side effects of the disorder:

  • Niacin — Niacin is a B-complex vitamin found in various foods like dried beans, fish, liver, nuts, and poultry. It is crucial for nervous system and gastrointestinal tract function. Niacin can help decrease blood levels of cholesterol and lipoprotein, and this can minimize the risk of atherosclerosis.
  • Water — Patients with progeria must stay hydrated. Make sure children drink enough water when they’re sick or during hot weather.

Treatments, management plans for progeria

There is no treatment that can cure progeria, but occupational and physical therapy can help a child with the disorder stay mobile if their joints are stiff.

Routine therapy for congestive heart failure may be necessary for patients with the disorder. Some patients with progeria may require cardiac surgery to delay the progression of heart disease.

Individuals with progeria must follow a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. Regular exercise is also important for mobility.

Lifestyle changes can include consuming different foods when the lipid, or fat, profile of a patient starts to change. Individuals with the disorder can also eat small meals regularly to maximize calorie intake.

Putting padding in shoes can help prevent the discomfort caused by a lack of fat padding on the body of patients with progeria.

Where to learn more

Summary

Progeria is the term for a rare genetic condition that makes an individual age prematurely.

The side effects of progeria usually include early signs of skin aging, generalized atherosclerosis, and a high-pitched voice.

Progeria may cause complications like atherosclerosis and congestive heart failure, heart, or stroke.

While there are no known methods that can prevent progeria, niacin and water can help address the side effects of the disorder.

There is no treatment that can cure progeria, but occupational and physical therapy can help a child with the disorder stay mobile if their joints are stiff.

Sources include:

MedicalNewsToday.com

Drugs.com

DoveMed.com

SimplyGoodNaturalFoods.com

IndiaDiets.com



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