Meet Cheryl and learn how she stays positive while managing her XLH.

At age two, Cheryl’s parents noticed that her legs were bowed. Throughout her life, she had seven surgeries in an attempt to straighten them. In the beginning, a physician told her parents that x-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH) was a childhood disease that would correct itself, but that is not accurate. This experience taught Cheryl that finding the right healthcare team is crucial. As an adult, she keeps active, and she’s found that having a positive attitude makes all the difference. Cheryl can’t control her symptoms, but she can control her attitude, and she’s not letting XLH stop her!

X-linked Hypophosphatemia (XLH)

What is it?

X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH) is a rare, progressive, and lifelong disorder caused by low levels of phosphate in the bloodstream.

What causes it?

People with XLH produce too much of a protein called fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23). Too much FGF23 causes the kidneys to waste phosphate into the urine and results in chronically low levels of phosphate in the bloodstream, is also known as hypophosphatemia. Phosphate is essential for building bones and teeth.

What are some of the common symptoms?

  • Bone and joint pain
  • Bowed legs and/or knock-knees
  • Delayed growth
  • Irregular head shape
  • Muscle weakness
  • Osteomalacia
  • Short stature
  • Tooth abscesses

How many people have it?

XLH is a rare disorder, occurring in anywhere from 1 in 20,000 to 1 in 25,000, people.1

Common names for XLH

  • X-Linked Hypophosphatemic Rickets
  • Familial Hypophosphatemia
  • Familial Hypophosphatemic Rickets
  • Vitamin D-Resistant Rickets (VDRR)
  • Genetic Rickets

1Beck-Nielsen SS, Brock-Jacobsen B, Gram J, Brixen K, Jensen TK. Incidence and prevalence of nutritional and hereditary rickets in southern Denmark. Eur J Endocrinol. 2009; 160(3):491-497.

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