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Williams Syndrome describes the condition of a person who has an entire chromosome arm missing from their DNA. As most would expect, this is a condition that causes a number of problems. The appearance and behavior of a person with Williams Syndrome, for reference, will generally resemble a milder form of Down’s Syndrome. This condition is relatively rare and sadly there is no cure. However, with therapy, it's possible to treat and manage the effects.

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Distinct Facial Features

Children with Williams Syndrome often have certain facial features that make them easy to recognize. Symptoms of this condition include short noses, wide foreheads, and missing teeth to name a few. Although this obviously isn’t a complete list, a person with Williams Syndrome usually displays a few of these. These are just some of the ways that the appearance of a child with this condition will often stand out.

Williams Syndrome childhood
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Heart Problems

For individuals with this condition, heart-related complications aren’t unusual. This is because many people with Williams Syndrome don’t always have proper branching in their bloodstreams. So is it possible to treat a heart problem like this? Well, the good news is that regular blood pressure checks can help identify problems before they can develop. In addition, regular check-ups with your cardiologist are also a great way to stay on top of your health.

Williams Syndrome signs
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Shortness of Breath

People with this condition often also have problems with their breathing. This might sound a little bit strange because breathing is literally second nature for most people. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case for someone with Williams Syndrome. The silver lining here is that yoga sessions are an effective way of managing problems with irregular breathing. This is where regular breathing exercises can really come in handy.

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Hypercalcemia

Increased blood calcium levels are another concern with this condition. Left untreated, this symptom may actually be life-threatening. Are there any medical options at your disposal here? The good news is that thanks to the presence of calcium-reducing pills, treatment plans are certainly an option now. If you follow your doctor’s directions, you should have nothing to worry about.

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Delayed Development

Children with this condition often don't have many of the hormones that they need in order to grow. As a result, physical development often becomes delayed. Height aside, the body often relies on these missing hormones to promote its own general sense of wellbeing. So what does that look like in practice? As you might imagine, this state of affairs often leaves the body without protection against life-threatening diseases. That’s why it's not unusual for medical professionals to prescribe different medicines to help manage this system.

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Coordination Problems

Now you might be wondering if coordination is really that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Sure, not everybody can dunk like Lebron James, but most people get through life fine anyway, don’t they? Well, the bad news is that poor coordination within the context of Williams Syndrome often goes beyond sports. In certain cases, it can even lead to a total lack of activity. It may not always be fun, but people with this condition should still make an effort to be active.

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Shortness

We touched on this a bit earlier, but the growth hormone needed in the legs and muscles is often not present in people with this condition. So what you may see in someone with Williams Syndrome are disproportionately small thighs, legs, and feet. At the same time, the torso, arms, and head of the individual will often be normal in size. When you add it all up, this often results in an asymmetrical appearance.

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Feeding Problems

Babies with Williams Syndrome often struggle with feeding. When this happens, the lack of nutrients alone has a bad effect on the baby’s development. Because of the baby’s coordination problems, it’s not unusual for these kids to choke on small amounts of milk more often than other babies. This often starts a cycle where their gag reflexes make it even harder for them to swallow and chew. While this happens less as the baby gets older, it doesn’t necessarily make up for the nutrients lost during infancy.

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Colic

Colic has singlehandedly cost many parents a full night of sleep. Although the healthiest babies sometimes suffer from colic, babies with Williams Syndrome have it more often. For those who don’t know, colic is a problem that causes pain in the child’s abdomen. Because this pain prevents babies from sleeping, it also often leads to lengthy crying sessions. That's why in their first ten months, babies with Williams Syndrome may be colicky and irritable. Fortunately for all the parents out there, this problem normally sorts itself out with age.

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Irregularities In The Teeth

Kids with Williams Syndrome may wind up seeing the inside of the dentist’s office more than other children. Your dentist may have to tackle issues like tooth decay, gaps, and missing teeth to start. The good news for parents is that normal dental hygiene can help with managing many of these concerns. Two examples of such measures would include using protective kinds of toothpaste and caring for the tooth enamel. Even so, the overall dental health of children with this condition will often require special treatment plans and management strategies. Luckily, your dentist will know exactly what to do.

Williams Syndrome teeth

Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.