The Boy Who's Allergic to (Almost) All Food

Meet Tylor Savage, a 12-year-old boy who has to eat the same thing every day (chicken or tuna with carrots and potatoes, apples and grapes) because he is allergic to almost every food:

By the time he was 10, Tylor’s situation was desperate. He was passing out, going into convulsions and passing blood from both ends of his digestive tract. His weight was down to less than 50 pounds, his growth stunted, his body little more than skin and bones.

His mystified doctors took out his appendix, thinking that might be the problem, but he showed no improvement.

Last September, specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where he’d been undergoing tests since April 2006, realized that what Tylor had wasn’t a stomach virus but an extremely rare condition called eosinophilic enteropathy. [...]

They took him off all food, feeding him a liquid formula through a gastric tube inserted through his nose. They then introduced him to one food at a time, making sure he could tolerate it before adding another. Recently, tuna joined chicken as a protein source.

Link - Thanks Andrew Lawandus!


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You do have a good point but there is a big difference between being allergic and being intollerant or sensative to something. Allergies are life threatening histamine responses.

Well, that's completely wrong. Allergies are NOT always life-threatening histamine responses. Learn your facts before you comment, it's obvious you know nothing about allergies.
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Sid:

It's possible that peanut allergies were less common 30 years ago, and something in our diet or environment today is making people react to things like that. I worked for several years in a print shop, in close contact with some pretty harsh chemicals; that's what likely started the snowball rolling for me. The only assurance my doc can offer on that is to nod and say "maybe".

But it's also possible that these allergies are nothing new, and it's only the PC, sue-at-the-drop-of-a-hat culture that we live in that makes their presence more prominent. I know that the school districts who have banned peanut products do so more for protection from lawsuits -- someone tells administrators that their kid has a peanut allergy; if the school district does nothing, and the kid takes a bite from another kid's peanut butter sandwich & dies, who are the parents going to blame? The kid? Nope. The school district? You betcha. It's far easier for those administrators to take the heat from parents for banning peanut butter than to suffer a lawsuit like that.

Part of me also bristles at the subjects of allergies and ADHD being lumped together, but I think there probably is something to that. I've read a lot of stories from parents of ADHD kids who have some success in reducing those symptoms by changing what those kids eat, and some studies have shown that diet plays a huge role in that. My hunch is that the prevalence of ADHD and food allergies is somehow tied to the same root causes. I think you're absolutely right in saying that a lot of cases of ADHD are misdiagnosed, but that's not to say ADHD isn't a real disorder. Some kids truly do have it, but I don't think dumping more chemicals into their bodies is the answer either.

Thanks for hearing me out.
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@Dave-
OK, perhaps "total scam" is a bit of a stretch on my part. My apologies for inferring that there aren't some kids with real peanut allergies... perhaps it's even more than 1 or 2 per country as I suggested :-)

I just wonder where they were 30 years ago when I was a kid. I never *heard* of anyone allergic to peanuts and almost all kids ate peanut butter sandwiches multiple times a week. I for one HATED peanut better (and still do) and would have loved to offer allergies as a means of defending myself against parents of friends that were forever trying to feed me it! 8-)
Now, many schools ban them for fear that half the class will lapse into anaphylactic shock. What gives? And where I live (Western NY), the ADHD is really out of control. When something like 20% of the children in some disctricts are diagnosed to have a "disorder" and need meds, the definition is completely in disorder itself. Kids'activity level run the full continuum from very calm to rather hyper. That's normal -- suddenly everyone wants their kids doped up to mae them easier to manage. Others have observed that the growing list of allergies, disorders, and syndromes, is symptomatic of our attention-craving excuse-making culture.
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Sid: You are so on the money on many topics, but way off base on this one. Peanut allergies are very real, very common, and can be very deadly. A good friend of mine has a daughter who reacted violently to a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, and they nearly lost her on the way to the hospital (a 5 minute drive). She is not alone.

I get so sick of people pooh-poohing the allergic reaction thing; you may not have the problem yourself, and that limits your understanding of it, but that doesn't change the reality of the effect allergies have on some people. For those of us who have allergies, they can be very debilitating.

I grew up without any allergy problems, but my allergies have become worse as I've aged. 20 years ago I had cats as pets; now I can't be in the same room with one. There was a day I could eat anything (and did); now I have to watch ingredient listings on product labels very closely; anything with sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, peanuts, peanut butter, peanut oil, or any of a dozen other food additives can set off symptoms ranging from a stuffy nose to sinus headaches or hives. Thankfully my allergies aren't deadly, but they make me miserable if they get away from me. Avoidance is my best insurance, but it's difficult as some of those things are so prevalent. When I do get something, Benadryl (diphenhydramine hydrochloride) and Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) are my best friends. Caffeine also helps.

Allergies are real. They really suck, but they are really real. Don't mock something you don't understand.
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Yeah, the peanut thing is a total scam. Undoubtedly, there is a person or 2 in every country who really might be allergic, but it's very in vogue now to have sickly kids with all sorts of invented problems, like allergies and ADHD, &c. "Multiple Chemical Sensitivity" is the latest that is starting to become common. All we are doing is raising a bunch of future neurotic pansies.
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