ryanwrthls wrote:Hello! Very interesting post about CAH...
The main problem with CAH is that there is an enzyme deficiency (usually 21-alpha-hydroxylase) that is usually present in the adrenal glands. This enzyme is what allows us to produce a hormone called "aldosterone", which is responsible for potassium EXCRETION and sodium uptake. Without this enzyme, your body will lose sodium and retain potassium (the excessive amount of potassium is the reason for your muscle cramping. A secondary effect is that the precursors for aldosterone "back-up" and end up shunting towards testosterone / androstenedione.
So here are the main things you should probably think about with your diet...
1) Individuals with CAH (or anyone with an excess of testosterone or growth hormone) have a higher chance of becoming diabetic later in life. This is simply because testosterone and growth hormone contribute to insulin resistance. Another factor is that your doctor has probably prescribed a regimen of cortisol, a drug that can result in insulin resistance. Try to stay away from very high-glycemic foods.
2) Individuals with CAH often develop hypertension, mainly due to the long-term regimen of cortisol they are given to treat the disorder (part of Cushing Syndrome). Try to keep the sodium low (the general recommendation is 2000mg/day).
3) Cortisol also has other side effects, such as predisposing to infection, fat redistribution, hypertension, diabetes, loss of bone mineral density.
Make sure to eat a balanced diet with multivitamins (fight infections), keep the sodium low (below 2000mg/day), try to stay away from very high glycemic foods and ask your doctor about taking calcium and vitamin D supplements (to prevent bone loss). This, along with a great exercise program will reap some great benefits for the long term!
Patients on long term glucocorticoid treatments are often given these recommendations / prescriptions ahead of time. But, in case this hasn't happened, here they are
In case you're wondering, I'm a 4th year medical student (graduating in a few months) so I have some experience in this condition in both general medical practice, obstetrics/gynecology and endocrinology.
I hope this helps you!!
ryanwrthls wrote:That's great! Definitely let us know how everything goes. I'm glad I was able to clear a few things up for you anyway
The point about diabetes mainly applies to long term treatments of cortisone. There are other adrenal problems that predispose to diabetes, such as Cushing Disease (not to be confused with Cushing SYNDROME) and tumors. But you're not in the realm of these sorts of problems.
Look forward to hearing from you and good luck!
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests