Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency is a bit long and hard to say so let’s call it Alpha 1. You might have Alpha-1 or know someone who has it. You might not know what it really means. Alpha 1 changes the way your body works mainly your liver and lungs. Your liver does an important job as it cleans your blood, helps you break down food and makes proteins. These proteins leave your liver and go to other places in your body and along with other parts of your body help to keep you healthy. The protein Alpha-1 Antitrypsin is made in your liver and this helps to look after your lungs. When you have Alpha 1 sadly your liver does not make this protein in the right way. Sometimes it does not even make it at all, or it makes it and it gets stuck in the liver and can’t get to the places it needs to like your lungs.
Your lungs are very important as they help you to breath. They are like balloons that fill up with air when you breath in and shrink when you breath out. Each breath gives you oxygen which is important for your body. Your lungs need Alpha-1 to help keep them protected from the bits in the air that can damage them like smoke, dust, deodorant sprays and more. If you have Alpha-1 then your lungs do not get the protection they need as it is still stuck in your liver or not being made. So it is important to stay away from anything that could hurt your lungs.
But you can still play and do all the normal things that your friends do but you just have to be a little more careful!
To find out more about our AATD, click here.