Medical Alert Cards for Adrenoleukodystrophy

Medical Alert Cards for Adrenoleukodystrophy

Depending on the type of disease you have or your child has, adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) can lead to an adrenal crisis or to sudden symptoms like seizures and low blood pressure. Physicians may not be familiar enough with this disorder to respond adequately in such crises. Medical alert cards can be of paramount importance.

What is ALD?

ALD is a serious genetic disorder. It is characterized by the progressive degeneration of nerve cells, which carry information to and from the brain. ALD can also affect the adrenal glands, causing them to produce lower levels of hormones than they should.

There are three types of ALD. These are Addison’s disease, adrenomyeloneuropathy, and childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CALD).

Treatment in an emergency

Although most physicians are familiar enough with medical conditions such as seizures, common to people with CALD, it may be a challenge for emergency personnel to understand what is going on if they lack early and fast access to a patient’s medical history.

Physicians who are unfamiliar with the disorder may also not know how to adequately respond to an adrenal crisis, which can be triggered by the stress of an accident or infection. If left untreated, adrenal crises can lead to shock or kidney failure.

Emergency treatment typically includes intravenous injections of corticosteroids, saline solution, and dextrose.

What are medical alert cards?

It may not always be easy to explain what is happening or what emergency treatment you or your child needs during an ALD crisis. In such situations, medical alert cards can potentially save lives.

There are various versions of medical alert cards. They all typically contain personal information, such as your name and birth date, emergency contacts, any allergies, and the name of your primary physician.

They also summarize what adrenoleukodystrophy is and state that you (or your child) may be having an adrenal crisis. The emergency ID card also tells healthcare professionals what actions they need to take.

You may want to print the medical alert card in other languages for use when traveling abroad.


Last updated: Aug. 5, 2020


Adrenoleukodystrophy News 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 provider 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.

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Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.
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