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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes fluctuations in phenylalanine concentrations in a person with phenylketonuria?

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Dr. Kathy Robinson

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1989

Answered : 3478 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 6 Jun 2018 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: In a person with PKU, what causes fluctuations in phe levels
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Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
recommended level in PKU is a phenylalanine level between 2 and 6 mg/dl

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
In PKU the phenylalanine cannot be broken down due to an enzyme deficiency. Even if the patient is on a strict PKU diet, still small amounts of phenylalanine will be ingested in food and this can vary with what foods are eaten. Small fluctuations are normal and as long as the levels stay below 10 there is really no danger. Having the levels be high for a long period of time can cause permanent brain damage.
Here are some sites to help with the PKU diet:

http://health.utah.gov/nsp/Disorders/MSMS/AA/PKU/DietListFoods_PKU_En.pdf

https://npkua.org/Portals/0/PDFs/pku_adult_booklet.pdf

These patients really should not eat any eggs,meat, dairy or flour.
Thanks for taking care of him,
Dr. Robinson

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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