“FUSSY EATER” GOES BLIND AND DEAF AFTER YEARS OF EATING ONLY JUNK FOOD

SOURCE: ARS TECHNICA

A British teenager has permanent vision loss, hearing loss, and weak bones after years of eating only select types of junk food. The teen’s doctors eventually diagnosed him with a relatively newly defined eating disorder called avoidant-restrictive food in-take disorder (ARFID).…

The crack in the case came when he finally confessed that he had only eaten foods with certain textures since elementary school. His diet consisted of a daily order of fries from a local fish and chip shop, Pringles chips, white bread, processed ham slices, and sausages. The vitamin B12 shots he was prescribed at 14 had lapsed.

Metabolic testing showed he had low copper and selenium levels, a high zinc level, remarkably low vitamin D level, and low bone mineral density, the doctors reported.

His doctors finally diagnosed him with nutritional optic neuropathy, which is dysfunction of the optic nerve when nutrients essential for nerve fiber function are in short supply. It is an uncommon condition, particularly in developed countries, but sometimes found in people with alcohol dependence. The doctors also diagnosed the teen with ARFID.

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