Boy, 6, Is Allergeric to Food - All Food

Filed under: In The News

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A 6-year-old in Alabama is allergic to almost all food. Credit: Getty Images

Peanut allergies are hard enough. Wheat and dairy aren't any easier. But imagine if your child was allergic to food. All food.

James DeLano, 6, has eosinophilic esophagitis, a rare incurable disease that makes him allergic to almost all food, the Birmingham News reports.

If the Hoover, Ala., boy eats food, he gets severe stomach and chest pain, causing him to vomit and gag, and, so, according to the newspaper, he is fed a formula through a stomach pump.

James' parents, Victoria and Jim DeLano, tell the News James was officially diagnosed with the disease at the age of 4, but they try to keep life normal for the boy who plays baseball and loves Legos.

"It's very, very hard for families, teachers and the public to look at a child and be able to understand that this child who looks well on the outside will be sick on the inside if they eat something they shouldn't," Dr. Wendy Book, president of the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders, tells the News. "If somebody eats peanuts and breaks out in hives, you can see that. If somebody has an allergy and they get eczema on their skin, you can see it. But this is inside, so that makes it very difficult for people to understand it."

According to the newspaper, one parent will eat dinner with Amelia, James' 4-year-old sister, while the other plays with the boy in a different room. Sometimes, the News adds, James will get a "smelling plate," so he can play with food and smell it.

School is trickier, the News reports, as the kindergartner skips the cafeteria for the library at lunch, and, at his birthday party, he got a frozen water Popsicle. But the family just deals, his dad says.

"It's a lifelong process, and he's just started to be able to manage it," Jim DeLano tells the newspaper. "There's no pill, there's no shot that is going to make it go away. It's really trying to set him up to be able to manage the process. He's been a trooper through the whole thing."

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.