Here’s some important information that everyone considering having children should know because they could potentially pass primary carnitine deficiency (PCD) on to their children. PCD, also known as carnitine transport or uptake deficiency, is a disease where the body isn’t able to utilize particular fats and turn them into energy—especially when fasting.
Carnitine is found naturally in the body as a result of consuming food in a typical diet. As digestion begins, the body breaks the food down to extract the fats in order to provide energy to the body. But there is a genetic deficiency when a person has PCD and a breakdown in this process occurs, resulting in symptoms such as:
- Mild or severe vomiting
- Heart issues
- Muscle weakness
- Variations in blood sugar that drop low
- Swelling of the brain
It’s estimated that this condition affects 1 in 100,000 children at birth, but in Japan the statistics are much higher: 1 in under 40,000 children, which I find alarming. I wonder if the occurrence of PCD has increased after the nuclear reaction at Fukushima in Japan which spewed millions of miles of radioactive waste?
With any person, especially a child who is experiencing these symptoms, it is extremely important to get medical treatment right away as it could lead to organ damage, failure, and even death. Although some individuals with PCD do not exhibit any symptoms, they, too are at high risk of liver and heart failure and death.
In a hospital setting or doctor’s office, they can perform several diagnostic tests to confirm the diagnosis and or rule out other diseases. Tests often include an A1c (blood glucose) and MRI, liver biopsy, and a variety of blood tests among other diagnostics.
On a sidebar note, do you think that the Fukushima disaster may provide a link to increased instances of PCD in Japan? If not, what’s your theory behind it all?