MCAD deficiency (MCADD) or medium chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase deficiency is a genetically inherited autosomal recessive disorder and is caused due to mutations in MCAD gene. Its characteristic symptom is a dangerous hypoglycemia and sudden death, if not treated in emergency. It is usually triggered by long duration of fasting, during a metabolic decompensation like through an illness or severe vomiting.
Natural Remedies For MCAD Deficiency
Prior to seeing what natural remedies work best for MCAD deficiency, let us have a look at what happens in MCAD deficiency.
As MCAD deficiency is triggered by long periods of fasting, the most important factor to be considered is avoiding extended duration of fasting
- It is also triggered when there is a metabolic decompensation during conditions like an illness or severe vomiting. Hence, precautions should be taken to avoid frequent illnesses.
- Carbohydrates or glucose is the primary source of energy for the cells in your body.
- When all the sources of carbs and glucose are consumed, body uses the stores of fat to produce the energy
- This is exactly where the people affected from MCAD deficiency face an issue, as the main problem in this condition is the body being unable to oxidized the medium chain fatty acids to produce energy
- Hence in people affected with MCAD deficiency, this is to be avoided at all costs from happening. Hence, it is recommended avoiding fasting at all times.
- In an illness, it is essential to consume carbs and drink enough quantities of fluids. This is to be done even if you do not feel hungry.
- Age and illness appropriate recipes can be sought from a dietician, which will support your MCAD deficiency condition as well.
- Consuming glucose to avoid any metabolic decompensation is advised.
- If your appetite is poor due to the illness, it will be advisable to get admitted in hospital so that fluids can be administered to compensate for the loss of food intake.
Natural remedies for MCAD deficiency can include the following-
- Carbohydrate rich foods are to be included in the diet.
- The starchy carbs should be included in the regular diet and sugary carbs are usually included when going through an illness.
- Though it is not necessary to avoid fats, it is good to stay away from coconut oil and related products as coconut oil is known to contain significant amounts of medium chain fatty acids.
The starchy carb foods to be included are:
- Noodles and pasta
- Breakfast cereals
- Pizza bases
The sugary carbs to be included are:
As mentioned earlier, people suffering from MCAD deficiency condition should avoid fasting at all costs and they should eat frequent or rather, well-spaced meals. They should consume the calories according to whatever is appropriate for their age, sex and weight. Overfeeding and over consumption of calories is to be avoided. Weight should be watched at all times. Exercise in moderation can be done so as to gain a healthy weight and not get obese. If you are obese, you must avoid fasting at all costs so as to reduce weight. It will make MCAD deficiency worse. Instead, with the help of a dietician focus more on other alternative therapies to control your weight. However, any strenuous exercise should be avoided as it runs a risk of metabolic decompensation. Any exercises should be started only after proper consultation with the specialist.
Keeping a glucose supplement at all times is advisable, especially when traveling and going to unknown places. In case of children, the concerned people like school teachers and caregivers should be informed about the condition and a proper note should be provided, that mentions the condition of the child and emergency first steps of the treatment.