Food subsidy available for those who suffer from PKU

Food subsidy availableHi Funds Fans!  Do you know of someone who suffers from PKU or some other rare genetic disorder that disallows them to eat properly from the Canada Food Guide?  If so, check this out:  Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, patients diagnosed with rare genetic disorders, such as phenylketonuria (PKU), will receive a monthly food subsidy of up to $250 to pay for low-protein foods.

“Patients with PKU and related disorders will now have more support in managing their illnesses,” said B.C.’s Health Minister Terry Lake. “This food subsidy aims to ease some of the financial pressure associated with having PKU and help patients across British Columbia live longer, healthier lives.”

With about 209 patients being treated for metabolic disorders in B.C., the total cost of this support is expected to be $700,000 per year.

The Provincial Health Services Authority will manage the subsidy program and will continue to supply, free of charge, the metabolic formula that PKU patients need for proper body development. With this announcement, British Columbia joins eight other provinces in providing people with PKU financial assistance for low-protein foods.”

People with PKU and related disorders cannot break down the amino acid phenylalanine, which is a component of protein. They are therefore unable to eat foods such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts and dairy products.

Specially modified, low-protein breads, pastas and other foods, along with fruits and vegetables, make up the diet of a metabolic disorder patient. These modified foods can be very expensive.

If not screened for and properly managed from birth, PKU and related disorders can cause severe intellectual disabilities and restrict brain development. B.C. screens every child for PKU right after birth to lower the risks of the condition.

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