Published: Wed, September 04, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Boy goes blind at 17 on a diet of sausage and chips

Boy goes blind at 17 on a diet of sausage and chips

His doctor, Dr. Denize Atan, has confirmed he's eating mostly the same foods from before. She is a consultant senior lecturer with Bristol Medical School at the University of Bristol. And when they asked about his diet, he revealed that since he was a kid in grade school, he had flat out avoided foods with "certain textures" and nearly exclusively ate chips, white bread, processed ham and sausage; he had also stopped taking vitamin B12 shots. While some people with avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder can experience drastic symptoms like weight loss, many have normal BMI, making it hard to diagnose early. Additional testing uncovered that his vitamin B12 deficiency had not waned.

"Perhaps if he'd only eaten fish and vegetables, he wouldn't have run into problems", Atan added.

A year later, the boy was suffering from vision and hearing impairments, as well as from bone weakness.

"Nutritional optic neuropathy is usually caused by a deficiency of B-complex vitamins (thiamine, B12, etc.)", Randy McLaughlin, an optometrist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

Unfortunately, the teenager developed vision and hearing issues by the age of 15 with doctors being unable to spot the cause of the problems with MRI scans and eye tests.

The teenager, who is now 19, has sufficient sight loss to be registered as severely sight-impaired.

"It's also worth noting that since 2016 the United Kingdom government has recommended daily vitamin D supplementation (10 micrograms/400 global units) for everyone between October and March as we are not likely to get enough from fortified foods", McManamon said. It is a rare but serious complication of several types of nutritional deficiency. "Heavy reliance on pre-prepared foods and fast foods is very common".

"When I asked for help, they didn't listen to me", he says.

Though nutritional optic neuropathy is rare in developed countries, the University of Iowa documented a case in which a 28-year-old man's diet consisted nearly entirely of 1.9 litres of vodka per day, causing vision problems.

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So what explains it?

Experts say it was the boy's "junk food diet" and limited intake of essential vitamins and minerals caused his onset of nutritional optic neuropathy. "Onset is in middle childhood, with lack of interest in food, heightened sensitivity to food textures, and fear of the consequences of eating", the article states.

The teen's life has been devastated by his condition, his mum said.

Dr Atan is one of the authors of a new research paper examining the link between diet and vision.

"He is taking vitamin supplements - but his diet is still pretty much the same".

So what's a concerned parent to do?

"Picky eating is often a phase that children go through and they grow out of", she said. "It is better to introduce a range of foods to our children, and not give in to, or worry about, the pickiness". Previously known as Selective Eating Disorder. He seldom complained of tiredness, as per the report published by the Annals of Internal Medicine on Monday.

For more on healthy eating, visit the U.S.

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