Our eating habits are inseparablyrelated to our overall health. Therefore, in most cases, when ournutrition is inadequate, we risk suffering from many forms ofillnesses and health complications. Moreover, such state of affairsis even more prominent in people who already suffer from some typesof health issues.
Down syndrome sufferers need to putmore effort into their weight control, especially when they getolder, in order to avoid many health problems which can stem fromexcessive body weight combined with this condition. Read on to findout more about the relationship between body mass and Down syndrome.
Weight Gain in Down Syndrome
Adults with Down syndrome need toinvest a lot of their time into physical activity in order to preventexcessive body weight from accumulating in their bodies. In order toachieve this, they need to take part in regular physical activitiesthrough daily routines, spending quality time with their friends andfamily, dealing with different situations in life and, of course,through the process of paying attention to their nutrition.
Since people with Down syndrome usuallysuffer from certain levels of mental impairment too, they need allthe support from their friends and families they can get, in order tosuccessfully control their weight and lead healthy lifestyles, freefrom illnesses and other problems of this type.
Basically, children with Down syndromehave a different metabolism than those who do not suffer form thiscongenital condition. Therefore, their basal metabolism is lower,meaning that they burn less calories while sleeping or resting thantheir healthy peers. Moreover, this signifies that, once a personwith Down syndrome reaches the age of 18 or 20, he/she no longergrows and develops physically. Therefore, his/her need for caloriesdecreases significantly and the need for burning the extra caloriesrises.
In order to help your loved ones whosuffer from Down syndrome, it is crucial to make sure that they toounderstand the importance of maintaining proper body weight for thesake of health. The process will not be easy and it is always betterif the two of you join forces in your battle against those extrapounds.
Once the Down syndrome person isdetermined to make a change, you should visit the family doctor for aroutine check-up. The doctor will pay attention to the presence ofany conditions which might interfere with the weight of people whosuffer form Down syndrome, ruling these out or diagnosing the timely.For example, hyperthyroidism can be the culprit in these situations.When the doctor agrees that it is safe for the patient to move onwith his/her lifestyle changes, you are allowed to move on to thefollowing step.
Basically, the burning of the caloriescan be achieved through opting for stairs at all time, instead ofusing the elevator. Additionally, the Down syndrome-affected familymember should eat at home only and stay away from fast food or other,unhealthy food sources. Rather, his/her meals should be regularlydistributed and balanced in every sense, from planned and limitedsnacks to healthy and nutritive main dishes and desserts.
Of course, you cannot create a perfectsystem for the person with Down syndrome and some loopholes can bemade. Nevertheless, encouragement and motivation need to remain high,pushing the child to progress and weight loss. You can make thesegoals more interesting by telling the child that, for every 30minutes of TV, he/she needs to perform a walk around the block. Thisway, he/she will remain motivated and make a habit out of walking.
The effects of such life will beremarkable. Some of the first signs will be an increase in positivemood and attitude, as well as the metabolic rate and physicalfitness, a decrease in appetite, boost of lung capacity and muscularstrength and a decrease in blood pressure and resting heart rate.Simply, life will become better for your child with Down syndrome.
Vomiting Can Be a Serious Problem
Gastroesophageal reflux, or GER is oneof the most common conditions which go hand-in-hand with Downsyndrome. This condition manifests through a decrease in the functionof the lower esophageal sphincter, being a muscle which is in chargeof dividing the passageways to the esophagus and the stomach. Whenthis muscle is not functioning correctly, the acids from the stomachmay reach the esophagus and damage the tissue. Moreover, the acidscan lead to heartburn or tooth decay. Taking into consideration thatchildren with Down syndrome usually suffer from lower muscle tone,their lower esophageal sphincter may not be functioning well too,triggering GER.
GER usually results in vomiting, beingthe most common symptom of this condition. In fact, childrensuffering from GER are prone to vomiting after every feeding. Parentsneed to learn how to notice that the food that their children expelshortly after eating is not spat out, but vomited, observing thespasms of the pylorus muscle.
It is important to notice GER symptomsin the child and seek timely medical assistance since this conditioncan lead to numerous other health problems when neglected. Therefore,contact your doctor as soon as your child vomits repeatedly,especially after eating.