4 years ago5,000+ Views
Meet Rachelle: a 13 year-old with a contagious laugh and a great smile. What she also has, though, is a disorder that may lead to a horribly premature death. Born with limp limbs and an unusual insulin level, Rachelle is one of the few people on earth that suffer from Prader-­Willi syndrome. This disease's main effect is the impairment of signaling between the brain and the stomach. When Rachelle was born, doctors warned her family that for several years, Rachelle would show no interest in eating; then she would crave food intensely for the rest of her life. Because of the miscommunication between her brain and stomach, no matter how much Rachelle ate, she would never feel full. On top of that, Rachelle will also be battling an especially slow metabolism, which only sped up her morbid obesity. Though people with the syndrome now routinely live into their 50s, those living in the US tend to have a life expectancy of 30. Many deaths are because of health issues due to obesity (heart failure, etc) but most frighteningly, because no sensation tells them to stop eating, many can accidentally consume enough in a single meal to fatally rupture their stomach. No other genetic disorder incites this alarming inability to feel satisfied with food and no other disorder causes people to go to such extremes to obtain that food. Many patients describe what they suffer with as physical pain. They feel like they’re going to die if they don’t get food. They’re starving. Experts still aren’t sure how many people are born with the syndrome, but estimates range from one in 15,000 to one in 30,000. Rachelle is a lucky one, with a caring, supportive family that is putting her health before everything. After a 10-week therapy camp at the leading Prader-­Willi care center, Rachelle can walk 30 minutes without sitting down, her IQ is going up (because her brain is now getting more oxygen), and she is slowly learning how to stop herself from eating. To read more of her story follow the link.
The part about her brain getting more oxygen is insane! I never thought about how weight could affect that.
Woow.. And I complain about wanting to loose weight.. Sad
I have never heard of this before. Tragic, but I am glad that Rachelle is getting the help she needs.
What is so scary about any kind of disorder linked to eating is that no matter what, we need to eat to live. So even if you're trying to be healthy and eat less, you still HAVE to eat. You can't just shut yourself away from food for the rest of your life.