Most kids are picky eaters now and then, but for Sandra’s son Michael, he is afraid of almost every food imaginable.
Ever since Michael was a baby, his mother had trouble getting him to eat. Doctors told his mother that things would improve as he got older, but he’s now 9 years old and will only eat 5 different foods, Cheez-It crackers, Gold Fish crackers, Doritos chips, Cheetos and Lay's potato chips.
His mother is very concerned about how the lack of nutrition and vitamins might be affecting his health. She tells The Doctors that she’s tried everything in an effort to make him eat a more diverse range of foods including games, therapy, counseling and even hypnosis.
“My greatest fear is my son dying of diabetes or heart failure and I couldn’t live with that,” she shares, explaining that his fear of food is so intense it causes him to vomit, gag, run away, makes his pulse race and lowers his oxygen intake. After exhausting every option – including not feeding him and spanking – Sandra resorts to allowing him to eat the five foods he will consume so that he will at least be eating something.
In an effort to help Michael and his mom, we have him work with psychotherapist Dr. Mike Dow, who used cognitive behavioral therapy with him. He was also able to determine that Michael is a supertaster, someone who experiences the sense of taste with a more intensity than most people, and often has an increased sensitivity to bitter tastes.
During his work with Dr. Dow, Michael reveals the smell and sight of most foods upset him and he becomes very anxious when new types of foods are presented to him. During the session, he has trouble expressing himself, which Dr. Dow believes could be connected to food aversions.
Due to the severity of Michael’s food issues, The Doctors also enlisted the help of Dr. Peter A. Girolami and Dr. Eric Levey from the Kennedy Krieger Institute – one the nation’s best pediatric feeding disorder programs – who surprise Michael and his mother with a possible life-changing offer. Find out more in the video below !