By and large, medical professionals know little about McArdle’s Disease simply because it’s quite rare. Lately, more and more physicians seem to have had some academic exposure to the topic of muscle metabolism disorders, but it’s still quite new to everyone unfortunately.
It’s safe to assume that your average grade school physical education teacher is less familiar with McArdle’s Disease.
P.E. teachers are uniquely positioned to have a profound impact on the quality of life of people who suffer from phenotypically “quiet” diseases like McArdle’s Disease, diseases whose symptoms aren’t obvious nor are they an immediate cause for alarm. It’s easy for a P.E. teacher to simply dismiss a child who appears healthy but cannot run the mile as “lazy” or “out of shape.” In the rare instances that additional exercises are punitively awarded for lack of performance, this makes the problem a lot worse.
The physical discomfort someone with McArdle’s Disease feels while subjecting their body to exercises they do not have the chemical machinery to perform may be mild compared to the feelings of embarrassment and isolation they may encounter if they are summarily characterized as “unsatisfactory” on physical fitness evaluations. This, on a chronic basis.
One of the goals of this website is to educate every gradeschool P.E. teacher in the world about this hard-to-spot but easy-to-accommodate condition.