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Video of Kate Kane on Good Morning America Discussing Her Struggle With Prader-Willi Syndrome

Woman With Prader-Willi Syndrome Has Insatiable Hunger

I've heard lots of people say "I'm always hungry," but Kate Kane really, scientifically is. She suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Prader-Willi syndrome, a chromosomal flaw that affects the hypothalamus. Kane appeared on Good Morning America today to discuss her struggle with this unusual disorder. Check out a segment below.

An estimated 20,000 people suffer from the condition, which causes muscle weakness, decreased mental capacity, and an inability to feel satiated. Kane has lost jobs for stealing food and says that if left unchecked, she would eat until she got sick or died. She's not exaggerating: children with Prader-Willi typically will do almost anything to get food, resulting in morbid obesity and lung failure if left untreated.

Sadly, there is no cure. However, when she was 23, Kane moved into a home for adults with Prader-Willi and has since lost 150 pounds. Meanwhile, groups such as the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association can help sufferers and their families find help.

Join The Conversation
nuri nuri 7 years
I had a student with Prader-Willis and the biggest thrill was that by the end of the year working with her, we could walk with her to the gym through the cafeteria without her picking up anyone elses food, from the floor or trash. This girl was awesome, by the way, she is also intellectually disabled but also bilingual, as she was from Pakistan and while she could be such a pain, I really loved working with her.
herfallingstar herfallingstar 7 years
Coincidentally, I first heard about this on the episode of CSI I watched last night(!) Very strange syndrome. It must be quite scary for anyone who has it, and their family. There ought to be more research into this
sparklegal28 sparklegal28 7 years
My brother has Prader Willi, and it's been a struggle his entire life. My mom would have to hide food so that he couldn't find it. We never went as far as locking the food up, but maybe we should have. He developed diabetes and is severely overweight. It's not easy for the family. My parents have had to give up A LOT to care for him. He can be bright and loving, and a whiz at video games, but he's also got his really bad days where he throws tantrums and is mean to everybody. More research needs to be done as far as treatment. Aside from the diagnosis and description of the syndrome, I don't think that any of his doctors specialize in it, so it's hard to get the help he really needs.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Poor woman.
LoveandRockets LoveandRockets 7 years
Very informative, but the "aren't trying to be bad" line came off a bit condescending. I'll hope this was just a case of poor wording.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I used to email with a guy on a weight-loss forum that I used to moderate that had PW. He was indeed very overweight, but once he figured out what he had he went on a special eating program that basically involved a LOT of vegetables in addition to his regular meals so he could get full without gaining a lot of weight. He actually was able to maintain a fairly normal weight, but he did have to work fairly hard at it. He was really inspirational to me because he didn't just give up and say "My weight problem is genetic; I can't lose weight so I guess I'll just be fat".
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