The Symptoms of Wolfram Syndrome: "DIDMOAD"
Wolfram Syndrome (also known by its acronym, DIDMOAD*) is not an easy condition to diagnose. Most patients have it for years before the accurate diagnosis of Wolfram Syndrome (hereafter referred to as WS) is confirmed.
In non medical terms here are some of the complaints that you might have or see in your child
- Type 1 Diabetes, usually starting between ages 5 and 15.
- Unusually frequent urination in large volumes, combined with constant thirst. Bedwetting starts again long after successful night training.
- Visual impairment, starting with wearing glasses, but rapidly increasing. You find yourself holding books of all kinds very close to your face.
- Color blindness. Socks never match the outfit. The lawn has many patches of missed grass, after cutting. Color blindness in girls is very rare, except with WS patients.
- Slow reacting iris in the eye. Even in bright light the pupils will never go pinpoint. This may not be obvious from a distance in people with brown eyes. This may be the first observable symptom in some cases.
- High frequency hearing loss or tonal deafness becomes evident.
- It is easy to become emotionally agitated or upset.
The challenge with these symptoms is that they are initially fairly mild. Any one of them is not unreasonable to overlook or treat as an individual anomaly.
If you find yourself or a family member with more than two of these symptoms please consult your family doctor immediately and refer them to the web links referenced here (print them off and take them in, might be the easiest way to insure that the doctor will at least take the time to look at them.)
This is a rare disease, don't expect your physician to be well aware of its symptoms or solutions. You may be well advised to get a second opinion from an endocrinologist if your family doctor is not certain that you don't have WS and you feel that the symptoms above describe you or your child.
While the initial symptoms of WS at the outset may not seem all that terrible, the secondary complications which are discussed in greater detail in the medical articles linked above certainly justify serious concern. WS is a progressive degenerative disease.
* DIDMOAD stands for Diabetes Insipidus, Diabetes Mellitus, Optical Atrophy, Deafness, thus the acronym. Some patients with WS will never display all four of its classic symptoms.