‘I’m 28, I’m not ready to die’ Food crisis threatens adults in US

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“I am 28 years old and have maple syrup Urine Disease (MSUD). Lack of food could be the cause of my death … “

These are the words of Hannah Dollins. Hannah, who is a shining example of food shortages in the United States causing serious problems not only for children but also for people with metabolic disorders that require special nutrition, says of her experience:

The last three months have been the most stressful time of my life. Because it was announced that Abbott’s food would be withdrawn, and I panicked.

Major US drug store chains and retailers, such as Target, CVS and Walgreens, have announced that they will limit their baby food sales due to supply shortages. The bans came after Abbott Laboratories, one of the largest baby food manufacturers in the United States, lifted the Similac brand formula from the market in February, saying it was the cause of bacterial infections in some babies.

‘I’m not ready to die …’

I am 28 years old. I’m not ready to die. But without my special metabolic formula, Ketonex-2, I could die. I need this food to survive …

This is because I have a rare genetic disease called maple syrup Urine Disease or MSUD. About 2,000 people in the United States alone have the disease.

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I can’t metabolize protein and trying to do so can kill me. The food I need to consume is a combination of all the broken amino acids, minerals and vitamins my body needs.

I need three boxes of Ketonex-2 every month. Each package contains six 400 gram boxes. I need to eat more than half a can a day.

Lack of food can kill me, and I want everyone in this country to understand that. I know many families who are completely out of food at the moment. This is a disaster for us.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not transparent to us in this process. I understand why Abbott had to stop producing formulas to make sure the FDA was safe. But I don’t understand why the FDA doesn’t give people like me more information about our only source of nutrition.

I want to let everyone know that when my Ketonex-2s run out, the only way to keep me alive is to take them to the hospital. But hospitalization probably won’t save my life, it will only be a short-term solution. At the hospital, I would be given intravenous D10 dextrose to keep my calorie intake high, but it would not meet my protein needs. The only thing that would keep me alive was Ketonex-2, but the hospital’s food supply was running out fast.

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Without my special formula, within 24 to 48 hours, my brain will start to swell and start to get worse. I would fall into a coma and probably die.

I don’t want to die yet. I don’t want my friends to die with MSUD, and I’m very worried for all of us. We all need this food to survive. I hope people talk about the lack of baby food as much as they can about the lack of metabolic sources. “

MSUD or its Turkish definition, maple syrup Urine Disease, an inherited congenital amino acid metabolic disorder. The disease is caused by a deficiency of the branched-chain alpha-ketoacid dehydrogenase enzyme group and the body cannot properly convert the three amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine) into another substance known as branched-chain amino acid (BCAA). The disease is named after the smell of burnt sugar maple syrup in children’s urine. The incidence of this disease in Turkey is 1 / 200,000. The overall incidence is 1 / 185,000, although this varies greatly from country to country.

What did people do before the meal?

As it turns out, the ongoing problem of ‘food shortage’ in the United States severely affects not only children, but also people with metabolic disorders and those who have to take formula, and even suffocate to death.

Baby food has recently made headlines in the United States as one of the country’s largest manufacturing centers has been shut down due to pollution, leading to severe shortages.

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As the FDA seeks to find new sources of baby food abroad and help launch and launch facilities, parents and formula-eating adults struggle to get what they need.

The situation in the United States has been described by the public as literally ‘shocking’. How can there be a shortage of important products like food due to the difficulties experienced by a single producer?

On the other hand, many are wondering what the parents and those who were fed the formula were doing before the big companies started making formulas.

The first commercial food was developed in 1860

The world’s first commercial baby formula was created by Justice von Liebig in the 1860s and was marketed as ‘Liebig’s soluble food for children’.

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The 1860s seem like a pretty old date for making first baby food, right?

Truth be told, people have been trying to find safe alternatives to breast milk for thousands of years, long before the first widely marketed infant formula was created.

Search dating back 6,000 years

In 6,000-year-old children’s tombs, archaeologists have found horn-shaped objects that were originally thought to be tools for filling oil lamps. However, chemical analysis has revealed an interesting fact; Some of these items were not filled with oil lamps, as was thought, but with the milk of delicacies like cows or sheep. They probably looked like feeding cups for the children buried next to them.

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The search for alternatives to breast milk has been going on for many years because breastfeeding may not always work. Many times a mother’s body cannot produce enough milk for her child. Some babies cannot hold the breast properly or refuse to breastfeed because it is difficult to breastfeed.

Many women’s nipples may not be compatible with their babies’ mouths. In a chapter in her diary, bureaucrat Samuel Pepis, famous for his diary notes kept in London in the 1660s, described a new mother as “someone without a nipple.” This definition actually describes a situation that is still experienced today; It is very difficult to break the nipple and breastfeed. The diary further details that the woman died shortly after giving birth and had nipple problems.

Not enough sucking babies have died

Before modern medicine, children always died of various causes. However, if the baby could not get enough milk from the breast, it was usually a factor that hastened the death because unfortunately there was no alternative food for the baby at that time and the existing ones were not of good quality.

In the early 19th century, it was estimated that one-third of bottle-fed infants died as a result of poor hygiene and unsafe animal milk storage.

There is always a mother of milk

At other times, other breastfeeding women become ‘nursing mothers’ for many babies. Nurses have existed at various times throughout history and still do.

But when sterile bottles and rubber pacifiers were invented in the 19th century, European and American parents began to distance themselves from alternative breastfeeding solutions. Now that feeding cups can be secured, it’s time to think about what to fill them with.

Invented by the German chemist Justus von Liebig, Liebig’s diet consisted of cow’s milk, malt flour, wheat flour, and potassium bicarbonate. In the 1880s, 20 years after Liebig’s discovery, there were about 27 baby formulas on the market.

According to one analysis, cow’s milk contains more protein and fewer carbohydrates than human milk. For this reason, the goal of many formulations was to dilute cow’s milk and make it more like breast milk.

Mothers started making food at home

However, at that time many people started making their own baby food at home. In the early 20th century, doctors were taught formulas of 56 grams of milk, 3 grams of sugar and 84 grams of water per kg body weight of a child.

In addition, studies have shown that evaporated milk formula, based on the great discovery of heating milk at very high temperatures to condense and break down proteins, is also a reasonable way to feed infants.

Famine in the United States took people centuries ago

Today’s food shortage is forcing some desperate parents in the United States to look for old recipes to make their own food. But experts strongly oppose it because home-made formulas can be dangerous, which can lead to life-threatening infections or malnutrition.

Over the past century, nutritionists, doctors, and researchers have been gradually finding ways to make formulas look like breast milk, tweaking the ingredients of proprietary formulas and sometimes changing the ingredients.

Vitamins come first. A mixture of cod liver and oil from various sources was added to the diet. But it took some time for the vitamin-rich formula to attract the attention of those who use the simple and cheap evaporated milk formula.

1950s: Food now ‘super food’

In the 1950s, however, special formulas like Similac, invented in the 1920s, began to gain traction. Since then, the formula has become not only a temporary solution, but also a kind of superfood that contains a lot of nutrients.

In the 1970s, proprietary formulas were extremely popular in the US for a variety of reasons, when breastfeeding rates were in the throes of free fall. Then the rate of breastfeeding begins to increase again. In 2017, 84% of babies born in the United States were breastfed for some time. But of course, food will always be in our lives.

Although the formula was originally hailed as the ‘food of despair’, having an alternative was seen as a fundamental change in improving the lives of parents.

Foods are now among the essential foods that are used not only for children, but also for the nutrition of people with rare diseases, as in the example of Hannah Dollins above.

One wonders when and how food shortages in the United States thousands of years ago will be solved, and what will be done by children and people who have been fed formula until then.

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