Since starting secondary school, the patient had consumed a limited diet of chips, crisps, white bread, and some processed pork. At the age of 14, he started to lose sight and hearing due to poor nutrition. Additionally, he had macrocytic anaemia and low vitamin B12 levels, for which he was advised a corrective dietary course and intake of supplements.
At 17, he was declared legally blind.
Further tests on him revealed vitamin B12 and D deficiencies, reduced bone mineral density, and low levels of copper and selenium.
"The patient confessed that since elementary school, he had avoided foods with certain textures and only ate French fries, Pringles, white bread, processed ham slices, and sausage", the report mentioned.
The lack of vitamins in the teen's diet caused severe damage to his optic nerve - which connects the eye to the brain - and he was diagnosed with a condition called nutritional optic neuropathy (NON), which usually only seen in Africa and other undeveloped countries.
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She was also treated for colon cancer in 1999, and she underwent lung surgery to remove two cancerous growths in 2018. She added, "I have to somehow surmount whatever is going on in my body and concentrate on the court's work".
His eyesight also quickly deteriorated and he has now been left with no job and no social life as a result, said his mother. "That means he can't drive and would find it really hard to read, watch TV or discern faces", Atan told the BBC. The teenager had reported tiredness, but the link between his diet and his vision didn't get picked up until much later. By the time the patient's condition was diagnosed, the patient had permanently impaired vision.
He has always been skinny so we had no weight concerns. The boy was treated with B12 injections and encouraged to eat a healthier diet. He was also a picky eater, but had no problems with his health.
The case is detailed in a report from Bristol Eye Hospital published in in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Doctors said that he had developed an avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, which stopped him from eating certain nutritious foods.
"It's also worth noting that since 2016 the United Kingdom government has recommended daily vitamin D supplementation (10 micrograms/400 worldwide units) for everyone between October and March as we are not likely to get enough from fortified foods", McManamon said.
Writing in The Conversation, Atan warned that recent trends could cause nutritional optic neuropathy to become more common. His teachers became concerned too.