Honours researcher in running to ease rare disease

Published:

Alyce Tancredi

A USC Dietetics Honours student determined to live a fit and healthy life despite a rare and debilitating genetic disorder has launched her national survey into the condition on the same weekend she completed a 21km run as part of the Mooloolaba 70.3 Half Ironman race.

Alyce Tancredi, 22, was delighted to receive more than 100 responses to her USC research survey on the first day it opened online, indicating the eagerness of people with Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS) to increase understanding of the often-misunderstood condition that causes a variety of symptoms.

After a lifetime of problems ranging from gut issues to shoulder and knee dislocations requiring multiple surgeries, Alyce was diagnosed with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in 2016, her first year of the Bachelor of Dietetics at USC Sunshine Coast.

“It was a relief to finally get a diagnosis from a rheumatologist but then I learned there was no cure, only management for it,” said the Noosa Aquatic Centre squad swimmer.

Alyce, of Tewantin, said the survey was believed to be the first on the dietary needs of Australian adults with EDS and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD) and it aimed to gather information for analysis to help dietitians treat people who had nutrition-related symptoms.

Senior Lecturer in Nutritional Biochemistry Dr Mark Holmes, one of three USC academics supervising Alyce’s project, said the conditions affected collagen synthesis in tissues in the human body, causing problems that could also impact a person’s nutritional health.

“There is very little nutritional information for people living with EDS and HSD,” he said.

Alyce, who through trial and error, found her body responded better to a vegan diet, said other people might suffer pain while chewing because of jaw dislocations, or fail to cook healthy meals because of faintness and tiredness due to blood pressure and body temperature irregularities.

She said she enjoyed staying active as much as possible, including participation in the half ironman event on Sunday 8 September with Dr Holmes (swim) and Noel Carberry (cycle). The team was called Racing Stripes after the zebra used internationally to symbolise the conditions.

“I was going really well down the hill at Alexandra Headland, on track to make my goal of finishing in 1hr 50mins, then my knee subluxated (partially dislocated),” she said.

“I was frustrated but I whacked my knee back in and kept going, making it in two hours and one minute.”

The St Andrew’s Anglican College graduate said her ultimate research goal was to help people better manage their symptoms and “not feel like burdens on the health system”.

“The survey aims to find out what is happening in this adult population – are they malnourished, overweight, nutritionally deficient?”

The survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KXZ5BYK is open to people aged over 18 who have EDS or HDS.
 

 
Community Health & Wellness Science & Research Sport and Fitness University & TAFE
Social:   

University Of The Sunshine Coast : View Full Profile
90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
07 5430 1234
University Of The Sunshine Coast
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Chancellor’s Medal for world changer Mandula 16 October 2019 | Master of International Development graduate Mandula Barta of Maroochydore has been recognised by USC for her considerable efforts to make the world a better place. More information...
Students to do clinical placements in Indo-Pacific 15 October 2019 | Forty-five Nursing Science students from four USC campuses will complete clinical placements in Indonesia, starting from this month, with funding support from the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan Mobi... More information...
New Children's book Scientists Get Dressed explores what scientists wear to make new discoveries, save lives and save our planet 16 October 2019 | Not all scientists wear white lab coats. From space to the ocean, scientists’ work—and even their lives—can depend on what they wear whether it’s a polar parka, spacesuit, waterproof waders, hard hat, lab... More information...
Work begins on USC Moreton Bay’s atrium  11 October 2019 | The stunning central atrium of the USC Moreton Bay foundation building at Petrie is starting to take shape. More information...
Small bird delivers big reward for student snapper 15 October 2019 | A spur of the moment chance snap of one of Australia’s most-loved small birds has delivered big results for amateur photographer and USC student Jordyn Colquhoun. More information...
USC introduces hormone therapy for sea cucumbers 10 October 2019 | While hormone therapy is a proven biotechnology in many animals, including humans, the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Genecology Research Centre will use it for the first time in a high-value sea cucumber... More information...
New students plan new futures at Orientation 15 July 2019 | Two Danish and Swiss students seeking postgraduate business qualifications, a Brightwater resident hoping to be a physical education teacher and a Melbourne assistant nurse aiming to further his career were among... More information...
Degree paves way for Redcliffe engineering graduate 09 October 2019 | Joshua Beehag built his own career path while studying Honours in Civil Engineering at USC. More information...
Student athlete wins USC’s first cycling medal 08 October 2019 | USC student athlete Taj Jones of Palmwoods has won USC’s first ever cycling medal at a UniSport Nationals Division 1 carnival. More information...
USC research student devoted to health of reef 07 October 2019 | Rhianna O’Regan’s university career started with an intention to help sick people but that focus has morphed into a passion for helping sick corals on the Great Barrier Reef.  More information...


comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service