Lauren Wittering is allergic to ALL foods.
Even the smell of food can bring on a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.
Medics were forced to fit a feeding tube into her stomach, but she even became allergic to that.
So now the 20-year-old, who has lost five stone in two years, is fed through a tube that goes straight into her heart.
Lauren, who suffers from a condition known as mast cell activation syndrome, or MCAS, said: “I loved food so much, and now I can’t even be near it.
“Just the smell of food will send me into anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction).
“If I come into contact with something I am allergic to, hives will quickly appear and cover my entire body.
“My breathing will deteriorate, I will fall unconscious, my stats will start to drop, my heart rate will go really high and I can have full-on anaphylaxis where I need adrenaline.
“I haven’t eaten food in over a year,” she added.
Lauren had first displayed symptoms during her A levels, when coming into contact with alcohol-based solutions in school chemistry classes.
She started to come out in hives, faint or get a racing heart rate when she ate soy or dairy.
Despite that, she achieved three A*s before deteriorating health forced her to leave school.
After six months in hospital she was finally diagnosed with MCAS. The condition occurs when a person’s mast cells are overly triggered by unusual substances, resulting in allergic reactions and anaphylaxis.
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Lauren said: “For about a year, I had five foods I could eat – chicken, rice, potato, carrots and broccoli.
“But then, pretty much overnight, I became anaphylactic to all those foods so I could not eat anything.”
Lauren now survives with the aid of an intravenous central line where all of the nutrients she needs to live go directly into the main vessel of her heart.
As her reactions intensified, she became allergic to all foods – as well as alcohol, smoke and perfume.
She said: “I used to love roast dinners with loads of Yorkshire puddings.
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“You don’t realise how much food is part of your social life until you can’t eat.”
Incredibly, she has kept a positive attitude and hopes to become a dietitian.
She said: “When it started, it was really scary, but I think I’m just used to it now.
“I’m awaiting a trial of a miracle drug that has just come over from America.”
Lauren, of Kettering, Northants, added: “I’m hoping that drug might maybe one day help me get backsome of the food I loved.”
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