X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH) is a rare genetic disease characterized by low phosphate levels in the blood, which causes weak bones and teeth. As the disease progresses, patients may have difficulty walking and completing daily tasks.

Patients can work with physical and occupational therapists to maintain their quality of life and mobility for as long as possible. Therapists can determine what tasks are difficult for their patients, and find ways to make these tasks easier through the use of adaptive devices.

Mobility devices

Various types of mobility aids can make walking easier and safer.

A cane may be the most useful tool when one leg is weaker than the other, or when a patient has mild balance deficits. If a patient needs more support, a walker can be used.

Orthotic bracing can help stabilize a weak limb, making it easier for the patient to rise from a sitting position.

Some patients may need wheelchairs or motorized scooters, which are recommended when people experience excessive fatigue, unsteadiness, or occasional falls.

Assistive devices

Assistive devices are also available to help with everyday tasks, such as dressing and maintaining dental hygiene, if arm strength or movement becomes limited.

Patients may use specially designed eating utensils that are easier to grip and use, and arm supports that facilitate eating.

Hearing aids

Hearing loss may occur in patients with XLH because the disease affects the small bones in the ears.

Many types of hearing aids are available to amplify sound, and make it easier to hear conversations over background noise. Hearing aids can also be optimized for locations such as classrooms to make it easier to hear the teacher.

A healthcare professional will be able to determine the type of hearing aid that’s best for their patient and ensure that the device is fitted correctly.

 

Last updated: Jan. 15, 2020

***

XLH News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.