Assembling the right care team is critical for patients with FA
Because FA is a multisystem disease, a broad multidisciplinary care team should be assembled as soon after diagnosis as possible. Each member of the care team can assist in symptom management to help meet the patient’s individual needs.1
The recommended diet for most patients with ataxia is similar to what you might expect for general healthy eating. Please be mindful that between 8% and 32% of patients with FA also have diabetes, and these patients will require dietary guidance not covered here.2
Along with healthy eating, some patients may benefit from taking micronutrients.3
While healthy eating is a great start, patients who include regular exercise in their routine may achieve better results. Include a physical therapist in your patient’s care team to ensure that they are instructed on exercises specifically tailored to delay the advancement of balance problems.3
References: 1. Cook A, Giunti P. Friedreich’s ataxia: clinical features, pathogenesis and management. Br Med Bull. 2017;124(1):19-30. 2. Consensus clinical management guidelines for Friedreich’s ataxia. Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance website. http://curefa.org/clinical-care-guidelines. Accessed December 2, 2019. 3. Frequently asked questions about diet for ataxia. National Ataxia Foundation website. https://secureservercdn.net/18.104.22.168/y1x.318.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Ataxia_Diet_FAQ.pdf?time=1579285163. Published July 2015. Accessed December 4, 2019.
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