"Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency is one of the most common serious genetic disorders, worldwide. The disorder can cause severe lung and/or liver disease and is a leading reason for lung transplantation in adults and liver transplantation among young children. More than 100,000 Americans have the disorder, yet only 10,000 have been accurately diagnosed. Those with Alpha-1 call themselves Alphas.
A typical Alpha adult is a married, Caucasian man or woman in their late 50's, of Northern European descent (those Vikings got around), who has a history of smoking and has had breathing problems for about a decade. Usually incorrectly diagnosed, he or she is unable to work because of their medical condition and most likely receives disability benefits. Physically inactive and slightly overweight, they have most often been told they were asthmatic. The average Alpha is a ZZ who experiences shortness of breath with moderate or little activity and uses oxygen with some regularity. He or she usually suffers from high blood pressure and gastric reflux and receives a weekly home visit from a nurse to administer augmentation therapy.
Even with this data, experts are quick to point out 'we know, no one Alpha is typical'."
-from "AlphaNet: Putting Together the Pieces - a Report to the Alpha-1 Community"
Anyone with shortness of breath or unexplained liver involvement should consider Alpha-1 testing. Discuss this with your physician. There are also two free home testing choices available:
1) For free test kit, self-initiated/self-administered at home, with results sent to your doctor and entered in your medical history, call 1-877-228-7321,
2) For free test kit, self-initiated/self-administered at home, with results sent to you privately, call 1-877-886-2383.