Alpha-1 Deficiency: Were You Tested?

Alpha-1 Deficiency: Were You Tested?

Whether you are newly diagnosed with COPD or a 30-year veteran, Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency might be a new concept for you.

What is Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency?

While Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is a considered a rare genetic condition, it still affects up to 100,000 Americans.1

The core symptoms are very similar to those of the more standardly diagnosed COPD. But while typical COPD progression is based on airborne irritants and toxins damaging the lungs, AAT deficiency causes a lower production of the protein that protects the lungs and liver from damage. This leaves them vulnerable to early-onset disease such as emphysema.1,2

Have you been tested for AATD?

Many people with the AAT deficiency are untested and undiagnosed.

How about you?

Some doctors test for AATD more readily than others. But there are a few characteristics that may lead a doctor to believe a person might carry the deficiency. As always, everyone’s medical care is highly dependent on the individual and their personal background. If your doctor did decide to test you, they may have explained why.2

AATD treatment

Most of the treatment options for people who do test positive are the same as those prescribed to those with COPD. But there are a few treatment approaches that can be used specifically for those with the AAT deficiency.2

If you are wondering whether you or a loved one has the Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, ask your doctor about it. Even if you do not have AATD, it is always good to learn more about the many facets of COPD!

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