Are you an Alpha too?  Join our Facebook group!   A1ADSupport

“Too fat or too thin? Lose weight or gain weight? Those can be difficult questions to deal with even in the ‘normal’ life of a healthy person. But if you suffer from alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency you should take even greater care of yourself. Your diet should be balanced, although you don’t have to torment yourself about it. Eating in moderation is good for the soul and good for you too.

Being overweight can not only damage your heart and blood pressure over the long term, it can also affect your breathing. If you’ve gained a few unwanted pounds, try to lose them slowly and reasonably.

In alpha-1 patients, breathing patterns change over the course of the disease. As a result of hyperinflation of the lungs caused by emphysema, they find it more and more difficult to breathe and increasingly use their diaphragm to help them breathe. If you’re overweight, your diaphragm is higher, your lungs are unable to expand downwards as well and breathing becomes more difficult. Also eating too quickly or eating too much can lead to a greater strain on your breathing.

If you’re too thin, your body has fewer energy reserves and you may be more prone to infections than a person of normal weight. Eat sensibly and enjoy it. Celebrate your food because it contributes to your quality of life.”