An anonymous British teenager went blind after he spent years eating only five different foods, his family doctor confirmed. The case was also published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Denize Atan, who treated him at the Bristol Eye Hospital, revealed that the adolescent's daily diet consisted of a portion of chips from the local fish and chip store. He also used to have Pringles for midday snacks or slices of white bread and ham. The patient admitted not consuming any fruits or vegetables.
The boy admitted he could not stand foods with certain textures. The patient revealed he had eaten this way since he started elementary school.
When the adolescent first visited his doctor several years ago, he complained he was tired. The Bristol-based teenager also admitted he was a picky and fussy eater, but he looked well with no weight-related issues.
However, the tests revealed the patient was anemic and had low levels of vitamin B12. The doctor put him on supplements, but the patient did not stick with the treatment or improve his poor diet.
By the time he turned 15, the boy's hearing and vision began to fade. An MRI scan showed he had no structural issues with his ears. The eye tests also failed to reveal any fundamental problems.
Despite the test results, his vision continued to deteriorate, his doctor said. By the time the patient turned 17, he had 20/200 vision, meaning he was considered legally blind. The new tests revealed his optic nerve was severely damaged.
Further tests proved his body lacked fundamental nutrients, including B12, copper, selenium, and vitamin D. According to his doctor, vitamin D was to have caused him to have weak bones.
At the same time, the boy continued to develop normally and was not over or underweight. He was severely malnourished, the doctors said, highlighting that his condition was called nutritional optic neuropathy.
In other words, he had lost vital minerals from his bones, which was shocking, given his young age. The patient now works with a dietitian and dedicated mental health professional. Although he has blind spots in his vision and cannot watch TV or drive a car, he can walk by himself as he has got peripheral vision.
The nutritional optic neuropathy, doctors explained, is treatable if diagnosed early. Dr. Atan also warned that vegans are also at increased risk of B12 deficiency and possible vision-related problems if they do not replace the missing nutrients in their diet.
What is your opinion? Do you think that our society is well-informed about the possible risks related to picky eating?