An excessive case of “fussy eating” prompted blindness in a teen from the United Kingdom, based on a brand new report printed Monday within the Annals of Internal Medicine.
When Denize Atan, the examine’s lead creator, met the 17-year-old boy at Bristol Eye Hospital, his eyesight had been deteriorating for 2 years. But what shocked her most was “how long the patient’s eating behaviour had persisted,” Atan wrote in an e mail to The Post Tuesday. “By the time I first met him, he had followed the same diet for [approximately seven] years.”
The teen, who has not been named, advised doctors that since elementary faculty, “he had a daily portion of fries from the local fish and chip shop and snacked on Pringles (Kellogg), white bread, processed ham slices, and sausage,” the examine mentioned.
The dangers of poor nutrition are sometimes related to weight problems, poor cardiovascular health and most cancers, however Atan’s examine warns that it might probably even have disastrous, and typically irreversible, results on the nervous system, together with imaginative and prescient.
The boy was first handled three years earlier by his household doctor for “tiredness.” According to the report, the then-14 yr previous was a choosy eater however was “otherwise well and took no medications.” Early testing confirmed he had low ranges of vitamin B12 and macrocytic anemia, which have been handled with B12 photographs and “dietary advice.”
By 15, the boy’s listening to started failing, and then the imaginative and prescient issues arrived. Doctors couldn’t decide what was making both symptom.
After two years of progressive imaginative and prescient loss, the boy was declared legally blind. Additional testing uncovered that his vitamin B12 deficiency had not waned. He had additionally developed a decreased bone mineral density stage, and had excessive ranges of zinc and low ranges of copper, selenium and vitamin D.
His analysis, based on the report, was twofold: dietary optic neuropathy and avoidant-restrictive food consumption dysfunction, an eating dysfunction which generally begins in center childhood and is pushed not by weight or form considerations, however by an aversion to sure food textures and fearing the implications of eating.
Nutritional optic neuropathy, which Atan mentioned is extra continuously attributable to malabsorption, sure medicines and alcoholism, is a dysfunction within the optic nerve. If caught early, it is reversible, however it might probably result in everlasting optic nerve injury and blindness if left untreated.
“Nutritional deficiencies are actually quite common, but nutritional blindness is not,” she advised The Post. “Blindness is an uncommon but serious complication of poor nutrition.”
In a University of Bristol information launch Monday, Atan, who is additionally a marketing consultant senior lecturer in ophthalmology at Bristol Medical School and the medical lead for neuro-ophthalmology at Bristol Eye Hospital, mentioned: “This case highlights the impact of diet on visual and physical health, and the fact that calorie intake and BMI are not reliable indicators of nutritional status.”
Nutritional optic neuropathy, researchers fear, could grow to be extra prevalent as a result of of mass consumption of junk food and the “rising popularity of veganism” that is not often supplemented with B12.
“It is important to eat a varied diet! There is not a single food that will provide all the vitamins and minerals you need – variety is the key,” Atan mentioned.
She hopes the teenager’s case will function a cautionary story, resulting in widespread inclusion of dietary historical past in routine medical examinations.