Nigerian Woman Blinded and Paralysed for Intolerance to all Food
A Nigerian woman who caught a stomach bug on holiday developed a host of food intolerances so serious that they made her blind as well as temporarily paralysed.

According to Bunmi Sobowale, living in Sheffield, her food problems have affected more or less every single portion of her body at one time or another in more than 20 separate occurrences.
The 30-year-old’s ailment originally bamboozled doctors, who even tried a form of chemotherapy in an effort to treat her.

It was only when she was tucking into one her favourite treats, a pepperoni pizza that she understood that food was the main part of the condition she is suffering from.
Doctors then learnt that she had abruptly developed allergy to a host of foods.

Meat and fish make Ms Sobowale sick, she cannot have alcoholic drinks and bread, pasta, cakes and biscuits. This is because they make her throat to swell and cause her skin to have a burning feeling.

Milk, cheese and chocolate make her nauseous and anything sugary – except fruit – sends her straightforward to sleep.

Doctors still do not know precisely what caused her ailment. However, they think her collapse is related to a stomach bug she picked up while on holiday in Mexico in 2004.

They think her disease is a very uncommon condition known as neuromyelitis, a problem in the central nervous system that affects the optic nerves and spinal cord.

Nonetheless, neurologists at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital are puzzled by the relationship between her nervous system and her food intolerance.

According to Ms Sobowale, ‘I had always been fit and healthy so the effect it had on my daily life was devastating. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me.

‘I lost my sight twice, for four months and again for two weeks and I was even given a form of chemotherapy to try and cure me.
‘My weight ballooned to 22 stones after having steroid treatment

‘But the only thing that has worked since I became ill was changing my diet. It means that if I go somewhere or even just get on a train I have to make sure there is somewhere I can get the right food.’

Ms Sobowale, who lives with her partner, Mark, vacated her job in the marketing department of a supermarket chain, took a course in nutrition and set up a website called in 2009.
She said: ‘I was finally diagnosed in 2006 with gluten sensitivity and a range of food intolerances comprising wheat, gluten, soya, lactose and sugar.

‘I am reminded every day how food affects my illness. Some foods aggravate the pain and eating the wrong thing can cause a relapse. I still have to see neurologists for regular check-ups.’

Nevertheless, in spite of her ordeal she said: ‘I don’t regret a single thing that has happened to me and instead see all this as a blessing that has brought me to where I am today.’

Daily Mail


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