Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem for T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!

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!

Evolution exists, Weakly. It's just that, in the past, people like this would have died from their condition. Now, thanks to advances in medicine, they get to grow up and irresponsibly pass on their genes.

In my experience, those are some pretty allergenic foods they're letting him eat. I find it odd that he can tolerate heavy metal-laden tuna and not leafy green vegetables.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I feel for the poor kid. I have a similar condition to a lesser extent. It's scary as hell being a kid and having your body fail for seemingly no reason. It makes life hell not being able to go through your day without watching every thing you eat and drink. At least thanks to socialized medicine in the uk the kid can afford doctors. Thanks uncle sam, thanks....
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Plenty of kids in the world that would be happy to get that diet for just one day.

I guess it depends on your perspective.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I agree with #3 and #6. Either modern medicine is promoting the survival of the least fit or it's parents who desperately need their child to be special in some way. I have a friend who has two children and both are allergic to peanuts as well as almost all common foods......but only when their parents are present. We all play along though (Maybe we shouldn't?) Things that make ya go Hmmmmmmm........
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Yeah, It's real easy to go along with the whole human evolution thing until you're the one who's sick or in pain. The other hard part for those of us with allergies or uncommon conditions is that no one believes us. It's hard to deal with being young and in pain, it's a lot harder to deal with when people keep saying you're faking it. Besides without modern medicine you'd all be dead. Dental, antibiotics, bone setting, surgery, even basic antiseptics prolong your life beyond what it should be. Without modern medicine the average person would die before they made twenty, but I guess maybe we should just go back to the good ole days...
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
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. Sensativities and intolerancies are annoying and uncomfortable to one degree or another. When I was a kid I rarely ran into someone who was "allergic" to anything. Now it seems that everywhere I turn people are not only allergic but allergic to a multitude of things. I have only 2 words for this phenomenon.

Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I grew up in a town that had a peanut processing plant, peanuts being a major crop (they even have an annual Peanut Festival) and I can't remember one single child with peanut allergies when I was growing up. This seems to be a fairly recent phenomenon.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
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.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
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.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
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.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)

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.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
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.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Click here to access all of this post's 18 comments

Email This Post to a Friend
"The Boy Who's Allergic to (Almost) All Food"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More