In case of MCAD deficiency, prevention is better than cure. Often the disease is not diagnosed until there is some serious damage to the body. Once the disease is diagnosed, it must be effectively coped with, as the symptoms vary from mild to lethal.
Coping Methods For MCAD Deficiency
The patient of the MCAD deficiency is normal in between the periods of symptoms which occur due to particular situations. The best method to cope is to avoid those conditions which trigger the symptoms of MCAD deficiency. Further various coping methods are suggested in the literature through which this condition can be effectively managed:
Frequent Diets: As the ability of the body for using fats as alternative source of energy is largely reduced, the body has to use glucose as its alternate source. If the glucose is not available, hypoglycemia is resulted which is a dangerous condition. Thus, to avoid the situation of hypoglycemia, the patient should eat every 4 hours so as to provide continuous supply of glucose.
Avoid Fasting Or Skipping Meals: The patient of MCAD deficiency should avoid skipping meals and should not do fasting as this may result in lowering the glucose level in blood and the patient may feel extremely tired and may experience dizziness.
Avoid Energy Demanding Situations: As the energy demanding situations such as playing, or stress uses the limited glucose available in the body, it may lead to hypoglycemia. Thus, such conditions should be avoided.
Follow Diet Chart: The diet chart is prepared by the doctor or the dietician indicating which food should be eaten by the patient with MCAD deficiency. The patient should strictly adhere to the diet chart and eat accordingly. The diet should contain high carbohydrate low fat diet which will help maintain the glucose depot.
Support From Family And Relatives: The support of family members is critical in overall care of the patient. The family members and relatives should be informed about the condition of the patient and the environment should be healthy so as to avoid any stress, which is an energy demanding system. Further, the information should also be shared with school management for further care.
Immediately Managing Illness: The illness such as viral infections or bacterial infections should be immediately managed so as to conserve the energy of the body.
Organizing Information: The information of the patient should be organized in a manner which can be referred by the physician in the next visit. As the MCAD deficiency may lead to delay in development process and attention deficit disorder, the development pace should also be entered in the notebook.
Treating Normally: As the condition between the symptomatic periods is absolutely normal for the patient and thus the patient should be treated normally. Further, do not sympathize the patient for not able to eat certain type of foods such as food high in fats.
Carnitine And Vitamin Supplementation: Carnitine and vitamin supplementation also help in managing he symptoms of MCAD deficiency. Carnitine has dual role to play. It assists mitochondria in increasing the generation of energy. It also helps in removing the waste material from the body. Vitamins act as cofactors in various chemical reactions that produce energy.
MCAD Deficiency Prognosis
If the condition of the patient remains normal and the symptoms are effectively and immediately managed, the condition has an excellent prognosis. The condition is different in genotype as well as phenotype characteristics. This means that even if the genotype represents the disease, the phenotype will not show the symptoms unless there is some condition to trigger the disease. If the symptoms of the disease are not managed properly, it will negatively impact the health of various organ systems such as nervous system, cardiovascular system, muscular system, respiratory system and liver. This may lead to severe dizziness, vomiting, coma, respiratory depression, cardiac arrest, hepatomegaly and death.
The disease can be effectively coped with supplementation such as carnitine and vitamins, organizing the information, avoiding fasting and strictly adhere to the planned diet.