While food is important to keep the body strong and healthy, we all know that excessive eating can actually lead to several health problems. This is why Alex Brown’s condition is a difficult one.
Now 25 years of age, Alex of Paso Robles, California has a rare disorder similar to Prader-Wili syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes constant hunger and often leads to obesity. At some point, her parents had to lock up the fridge because she always steals food.
According to the doctors, Alex has most (but not all) of the symptoms of Prader-Wili syndrome.
Apparently, Alex was born with low muscle tone. She also had to undergo speech therapy when she was younger because of cognitive impairment. As mentioned earlier, her parents locked up the fridge whenever they left the house to prevent her from eating too much.
In her teens, Alex frequented fast food stores such as McDonald’s and Taco Bell which eventually lead to her gaining much weight.
Now Alex is now doing her best to lose weight, although her slow metabolism makes things difficult.
This means that when Alex consumes sweet or fatty food, she immediately gains weight – and losing it can be pretty tough.
Alex said about her condition:
“Sometimes I wake up at 5.30am and I’m horribly hungry. I feel like I haven’t eaten in days – I’m absolutely starving.
“It’s hard, but if what I eat wasn’t closely monitored I would gain weight horrifically fast.”
She also shared:
“When I was younger if I went to a birthday party my mom and I would talk about how there was going to be lots of food and I would only eat the food that was given to me. If someone else was having treats I could have one and that was it.
“It was a challenge because I saw everyone else eating and having more than what I would get.”
Growing up, things have been a struggle for Alex.
“The pantry was locked, the fridge was locked, the garage was locked. With Prader-Willi you have chronic pangs of hunger that are unable to be satiated.
“My friends would ask to come over and I’d say no because I knew my parents wouldn’t be there after school and I didn’t want them to see all access to food was blocked.
“When I was in junior high I had an aide who was my shadow. She followed me during breaks and lunch and her job was to make sure I didn’t have access to food that wasn’t provided by my parents.”
Her discovery of fast food only made her condition worse.
“When I got my driver’s license at 19 or 20 I would go get food, not because I needed it but I had never had that free access to food.
“I could do whatever I wanted and I ran with it. I wasn’t making the healthiest choices – I would go to McDonald’s and Taco Bell a few times a week.
“All my parents could do was put healthy food in the house but I had no interest in it at that point.”
Fortunately, Alex met a specialist who helped her with the problem.
A Metro report tells us that the said doctor encouraged Alex to follow the Weight Watchers diet, which is “a points-based system to help followers of it track their calorie intake”.
As a result of her new diet plus some exercise, she has since lost 20lbs. These days, she usually has oatmeal during breakfast, fruits and nuts for lunch, and salad or chicken for dinner. Plus she does 45 minutes of Zumba or other physical activity every day.
“I feel like I’m doing the best with what I can and I’m not getting the results as quickly as I want to.
“My body is very good at gaining weight and not very good at losing it. Sometimes it doesn’t want to work with me.
“There are still days where I want to eat things but I know it won’t fit in my points and I can’t even deal. But I am doing this for me, mentally and physically.
“Ultimately, it might take me longer and be harder but it is up to me.”
Alex now serves as an inspiration for others as she raises awareness about her rare condition. For those interested to follow her journey, you can follow Alex as she documents her story via her Facebook page.
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