This month we raise our collective awareness of two conditions, Down Syndrome and Spina Bifida.
Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. It effects people of all races and socioeconomic levels. People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.
For more on Down Syndrome, please visit the National Down Syndrome Society.
Spina Bifida is a neural tube disorder and is also the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States. Spina Bifida literally means “split spine.” Spina Bifida happens when a baby is in the womb and the spinal column, or neural tube, fails to close all the way. Every day, about 8 babies born in the United States have Spina Bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine. Women who are old enough to have babies should take folic acid before and during the first three months of pregnancy. Because half of the pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, the Spina Bifida Association asks women to take a vitamin with 400 mcg (0.4 mg) of folic acid each day during the years of their lives when they are possibly able to have children. Women who have a child or sibling with Spina Bifida, have had an affected pregnancy, or have Spina Bifida themselves should take 4000 mcg (4.0 mg) of folic acid for one to three months before and during the first three months of pregnancy. Folic acid is a vitamin (B9) that the body needs to grow and be healthy. It is found in many foods, including lentils; dried beans and peas; dark green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, collard or turnip greens, okra, and asparagus; and citrus fruit and juice. These foods aren’t a substitute for supplemental folic acid, and the man-made or synthetic form in pills is actually better absorbed by our bodies. For more on information on Spina Bifida, please check out the Spina Bifida Association.
Here at Adaptability Fitness, we strive to understand our clients’ conditions completely. Beginning with consultations and interviews, our trainers determine exercise programming based on what you want to accomplish, what’s medically acceptable, and techniques that are most effective. Developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome and Spina Bifida should not get in the way of good health, and we specialize in creating training programs for you, no matter your condition. Our studio can show you the pathway to a higher quality of life.