The Mother of all Food Allergies

Now, I know when you're going through something, it doesn't help much to hear, "if you think you have it bad, listen to this one...".

But if food allergies are getting you down, you gotta listen to this one...

A California teen is allergic to ALL food. Her symptoms of difficulty breathing, weight loss, extreme fatigue and facial swelling, baffled family and doctors alike. As her health continued to deteriorate, an answer was finally found. The teen was diagnosed with Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorder or EGID. This condition causes eosinophil (one of the body's white blood cells) to treat food as an invader, causing an allergic reaction.

In order to get nutrients into her body, she was given the choice of a stomach pump, or drinking a foul-smelling, foul-tasting liquid. She chose the liquid which had to be ingested several times a day.

After several months, her body has healed enough to begin to re-introduce foods- one at a time. Her father says, "It's like Russian roulette".

I know the trauma we went through with our recent, unsuccessful egg challenge. I can't even imagine going through this process over and over.

Apparently little is known about EGID and there is virtually no funding available for it. According to the teen's father, "This isn't just a food allergy. It's the mother of all food allergies. If you go to any kind of allergy conference nowadays, this is the hot topic. This is what they're all talking about."

Did any of you hear about this at FAAN conferences this year?

So, the next time I grumble about making egg and dairy-free cupcakes for another party, remind me about this story. Sometimes it does make things easier when you think, "Okay, this isn't SO bad".

Check out the full story.


The Mrs. said...

My cousins 18 mth old son recently went thru this. They too opted for the liquid and after about 6 mths they started slowly bringing certain foods back into play. A nightmare!

Christine said...

Strangely I have had five or so cases of this in my practice, not to her extent of all foods, but they all improved on medical foods from metagenics, probiotics and digestive enzymes. food for thought. they should also rule out parasite infection, the other trigger of elevated eosinophil count.

The Food Allergy Coach said...

I recently met the mother of a 4 year old with multiple food allergies. They can't take him to restaurants because he reacts upon entering. They tried to visit potential preschools, and he reacted at 6 out of the 9 visited. Their doctor is telling them to home school. Is there a place that she could read more about this story? How about other online resources for allergies to this degree (especially parents)?