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Caring for teens
with Galactosemia

(AGES 12 TO 17 YEARS)

Galactosemia Symptoms

Managing the teenage years

The teenage years can be tough. Your teens are coming into themselves, fighting to create a sense of identity. And while their experience with Classic Galactosemia is only one aspect of that, it can have a long-lasting impact. Teens with Galactosemia can struggle with social issues or mental health as a result of their condition. So, as your child enters their teen years, there are certain symptoms of Galactosemia that you can look out for.

Monitoring Needs

Requirements for teenagers

What monitoring may be appropriate for my teenager?

12 to 17 years

  • Neuropsychological assessment for executive function

    This series of standardized tests can continue to help you and your teen's doctor understand how your teenager's brain processes information, solves problems, makes decisions, and regulates their thoughts and feelings.

  • Additional psychological and cognitive testing

    These tests continue to assess your teenager's mental wellness, from monitoring for signs of anxiety to testing their cognitive (learning, processing, and understanding) development.

  • Bone density screening

    Once screening starts at age 8, your child's doctor will likely continue to monitor the amount of important minerals in his/her bones every year. After puberty, bone density screening is typically performed once every 5 years.

  • Hormone testing (for females)

    As your daughter goes through puberty, her doctor will likely perform blood tests that check the amount of estrogen hormones.

Know Your Healthcare Team

The evolution of the team for your teenager with Galactosemia

OB-GYN

This doctor specializes in female healthcare. They can help your daughter navigate her changing body and help perform assessments for primary ovarian insufficiency or reduced hormone activity.

Metabolic geneticist

These experts specialize in metabolic disorders. They help to coordinate the right care for your teen with Galactosemia.

Dietitian

Your dietitian can offer lifelong advice on your teen's Galactosemia-friendly diet. For your teenager, the dietitian can work with both of you to make sure your teen can navigate their diet choices more independently.

Pediatrician

While your teen is still in school, their pediatrician may still play a large role in their care and management of their condition.

Ophthalmologist

If your teen continues to have vision problems or develops them over time, an ophthalmologist can perform necessary tests, including identifying potential cataract formation, to provide the vision care they may need.

A seamless transition

Talk with your teen's pediatrician about when it might be time to transfer to a family practice doctor.

Dietary Needs

Empowering your teenager to take their diet into their own hands

Just like you had to learn the ins and outs of a Galactosemia-friendly diet, your growing child has the same opportunity to take charge of their diet. While every teenager has a different capacity to handle responsibility, there are some general guidelines you can follow to make sure they are ready to successfully manage their own diet.

Reading food labels

Share what you know about reading food labels. If you're not sure where to start, you can find more information here.

Choosing the right foods

Your teen likely already knows how to identify and politely turn down foods, but as they get older it may be helpful to let them start proactively choosing their own foods (for example, ordering for themselves at the restaurant, or doing research on what they plan to eat before going out with friends).

Learning cooking basics

If your teen is capable of helping in the kitchen, now is a great time to help them understand some cooking basics.

Testimonials

Living with Galactosemia

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References