A medical ID is recommended for Galactosemia, a rare and hereditary disorder usually diagnosed at an early age, that affects the body's ability to process galactose. Galactose is a simple sugar present in many foods. A person with this metabolic condition can have serious health problems if there is a build-up of galactose. Because of this, it is important for those diagnosed with galactosemia to follow a galactose-restricted diet.
"It is important for you to tell everyone who helps care for your child that he or she cannot eat or drink milk-containing foods. A medical alert bracelet that states your child’s food restrictions can be helpful." - Galactosemia Resource
Type 1 Galactosemia occurs in about 1 in every 30,000 to 60,000 people. There is no cure for galactosemia and although a low-galactose diet can avoid complications, some children with galactosemia still develop problems that include speech delays and learning disabilities. In an emergency, a medical ID can help galactosemia patients communicate critical information about this rare disorder. Wearing a medical ID also avoids misdiagnosis of symptoms or complications associated with galactosemia.
Long-term complications of galactosemia can impact a person's vision, learning abilities, and communication skills. Speech problems are a common complication of galactosemia. In an emergency, a medical alert ID for galactosemia can help patients communicate vital information even when they are unable to speak.
A medical ID can also help responders link symptoms including strange behavior and problems with communication, to the person's galactosemia and not from the use of alcohol or drugs for example.
Source: Galactosemia Foundation
Galactosemia patients must follow a strict dairy-free and galactose-free diet. Ingestion of galactose from food or medication can contribute to complications such as multi-organ failure, brain damage, or death. If left untreated, galactosemia may also lead to liver failure and kidney problems.
According to Winchester Hospital, certain medications have galactose or lactose fillers. In an emergency, a medical alert bracelet or necklace can effectively alert first responders and other health professionals that galactosemia is present and that medications that may be harmful for the patient should be avoided.
"It's critical to let anyone who cares for your child about their condition (galactosemia). That includes caregivers, school officials, relatives, and friends. It may be advisable to have the child wear a medical alert bracelet and for parents to carry an emergency medical care letter from their doctor with steps on how to care for a child in various situations." - Your DNA
A medical ID for galactosemia can alert medical professionals of this rare condition and the need for specialized care. Engraved information can also include warnings to prevent exposure to food or medication that are not galactose-free.
Here are some of the most important items to put on a galactosemia medical ID:
View medical alert IDs for children that can be engraved with important information on galactosemia.