Frequently Asked Questions
A lot of people believe that the truth about G6PD Deficiency should be withheld from people. They think that you aren’t able to handle the truth. They think that as long as you don’t know babies are dying from ignorance at the hand of doctors, everything will be swell. I’m not one of those people. Personally, I’m tired of the horror stories about babies dying because the doctors didn’t know they had G6PDD, or worse, didn’t know what to do if they did. So the following are very candid and straight forward answers to some of the more common questions I have received over the past seven or eight years.
Feeding G6PD Deficient Babies
We have never found a formula that is totally safe for G6PDD babies, although some are safer than others. The problem with formulas is that they all contain one or more of the following:
Iron – people with G6PDD usually have too much iron, not too little. Iron added to formula can be dangerous for those with G6PDD and it is on the avoid list. (See: The good and bad about Iron.)
Soy – either in the form of soy lecithin, soy oil, protein or some other product derived from soy, and is very high on the avoid list, as it is a legume.
Ascorbic acid – this man made chemical is now being called vitamin C, which it is not. Vitamin C is a complex of chemicals, not just ascorbic acid. It is on the avoid list for several reasons. (See: Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C))
Sugar – Many formulas have more sugar than is in breast milk so babies will prefer it over their mother’s milk. Most of the time it is added in several forms to keep it from being listed as one of the main ingredients. Because G6PDD people are prone to diabetes, acquiring a taste for sweets early in life is a hard habit to break. Refined carbohydrates like sugar should be used sparingly.
By far the best milk for a baby is breast milk. There are so many health (and monetary) benefits to breast feeding it just totally makes sense to make whatever lifestyle changes you need to make to breastfeed your baby for at least a year. Unfortunately, because of hormonal, or other situations beyond their control, some mothers cannot breast feed.
The pros and cons about home made formulas vs. commercial formulas is never ending, however, the only way a mother can know exactly what is going into her baby’s formula is to make it herself. If you wanted to save money AND make sure my baby had REAL food in his or her formula, I would definitely make it myself, no matter how much time it took. Before doing so, I would do my homework and learn about the many different types of homemade formulas, and how to insure that my baby was getting all the nutrients in the most natural and safe way possible.
Safer alternatives for breast milk:
Some babies can tolerate fresh cow or goat milk. There is a growing number of moms who are making their own home-made formula from fresh milk. There are recipes Online or in the member’s section of http://g6pddeficiency. org/wp/. Choose a recipe that has been developed by a certified nutritionist and does not have things on the avoid list in it.
Almond milk. You can make your own cheaper than you can buy it and there are some good recipes Online.
Evaporated milk (NOT CONDENSED MILK) is another alternative. Just make sure you dilute it by half by adding an equal amount of sterile water to the milk.
Goat’s milk also comes in a can in the U.S. either as powdered milk or evaporated milk (which would need to be diluted as per evaporated milk).
Multi-vitamins all contain things on the avoid list, including iron, ascorbic acid, oils obtained by using hexane (a dangerous petrochemical that causes nerve damage as well as hemolysis) and others. Many man made vitamins are derived from soy or some other substance on the avoid lists. Vitamins are best obtained from good healthy food. Breast feeding mothers should strive to eat good balanced meals so that their milk will have all the vitamins the baby needs. For other supplement suggestions, see Diet Suggestions Page