11 Months Old Baby Developed Scurvy After Almond Milk Diet
Doctors have diagnosed an 11-month-old baby in Spain with scurvy, a rare disease in developed countries, and believe his almond milk-only diet was to blame.
The diagnosis, described this week in the journal Pediatrics, underscores the risks of restricting infants to only plant-based beverages, write the doctors at Hospital Universitari i Politècnic La Fe de Valencia.
“This case presents scurvy as a new and severe complication of improper use of almond beverage in the first year of life,” the case study authors write.
They warn “plant-based beverages are not a complete food” and pediatricians and parents should be aware of this when seeking alternatives to breast milk and traditional formula.
Despite mostly being associated with pirates, scurvy is still occurring nowadays, although quite rarely
This case is made especially sad because of the parents’ actual intention to keep the baby safe and healthy, and because the infant’s doctor recommended the almond milk diet in the first place.
As it turns out, the baby was being fed a regular cow milk based formula until he was about two and a half months old. He then began developing some skin rashes, and this is where it all began.
Of course, seeing their baby with skin rashes alarmed the parents, which then proceeded to take the child to the doctor. The doctor decided to recommend a new diet, focused entirely on an almond milk based formula.
The baby seemed to like it, and the rashes even went away, but by the time it turned six months old, the parents realized that something was probably wrong.
As the parents tried to feed the baby fruits and vegetables, it not only refused, but appeared to become more irritable and stopped being interested in what was going on around him.
As time progressed, the baby started exhibiting more symptoms, crying every time someone moved his legs and becoming more and more irritable.
Another visit to the doctor yielded the answer to the child’s problem – he had multiple femur fractures, and his vitamin C levels were abnormally low, both indicators of scurvy.
The baby was then issued a diet of mixture, meat, and fruit, as well as vitamin C and D replacement therapies.
It turns out that almond milk exclusive diet was responsible for the baby’s condition, as pretty much anything except breast milk and proper formula lack the vitamin C and other substances so needed by a developing infant.