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Mum forced to eat just FIVE foods over and over after tiny bug bite

By Michael Havis

A mum is only able to eat five different foods after an insect bite she didn't even feel left her with severe allergies.

Summer Carroll survives on only five organic foods: black beans, frozen spinach, frozen blueberries, rolled oats and chicken.

If they are not from a specific brand – Greenwise, which is only available in part of the US – the consequences for the 33-year-old woman will be dire.

Summer’s torment is caused by a condition called Alpha-gal syndrome that makes people allergic to a particular sugar molecule found in most mammals.

She was diagnosed it following a bite of a tick which she didn't even feel.

Summer suffers from Alpha-gal syndrome, a type of food allergy (Credit: Pen News)

Speaking today, the mum, from Alabama, US, said: "My body slowly but surely started rejecting foods one at a time, even the organic ones.

"So now it has to be this specific brand as I have tried these products in other organic brands only to end up in anaphylaxis.

"That's one of the reasons it's so hard to travel or leave the state because the store that carries that brand of food – Publix – is only in the southeastern states."

For some with Alpha-gal syndrome, the mere smell of cooking meats can trigger a reaction.

Summer was left at death's door during her lowest point, when she weighed a mere 85lbs – just over six stone.

"You could kind of relate it to the worst food poisoning you have ever experienced, times ten, and then just add in all the other symptoms," she said.

"I had cut out all items that could cause an Alpha-gal reaction, but I was still experiencing crazy symptoms.

“My body started rejecting foods that had absolutely no mammalian by-products.

"And I became extremely reactive to chemicals, scents, cigarette smoke, and fumes from cooking."

Summer's skin developed a rash and hives at her lowest ebb (Credit: Pen News)

Some foods have caused Summer swelling, hives, dizziness, brain fog, heart palpitations and nausea, and numerous other symptoms.

She also developed Rocky Mountain spotted fever – another tick-transmitted disease – and mast cell activation syndrome, a condition characterised by excessive allergy-like symptoms.

At one point, the mum became so malnourished and dehydrated that doctors advised her she had only months to live.

Summer added: "I began to lose the ability to move my joints

“Extreme neuropathy started to set in – a never-ending, unimaginable burning as if my skin were melting off of my body, that began in my feet, working its way up my legs.

"I lost my ability to walk.

“Every moment and every heartbeat was torture.”

The mum, pictured before the diagnosis, has told of her torment (Credit: Pen News)

Alpha-gal syndrome – which does not affect poultry and fish – has been reported in 17 countries across six continents, but that hasn’t prevented some scepticism about it.

Summer has even encountered it in medical professionals.

She recalled: “This surgeon looked me in the eyes and said, ‘how much of this is even real?’

“The surgeon then proceeded to tell me that he felt this was just all in my head.”

She continued: “I’ve been told often that I am too pretty to be sick.

“This is mind-blowing to me because I didn’t know that being pretty makes you invincible to illnesses.”

Summer says she has also been accidentally prescribed medications that contain animal products “several times”.

And reading the ingredients first is no guarantee of safety.

“This is a lesson I had to learn the hard way,” said Summer.

The woman initially suffered problems with her skin (Credit: Pen News)

“Most of the time with food, ingredient lists will say ‘natural flavours’ but in all actuality the natural flavour is really beef broth.

“I eventually started breaking every ingredient down because unfortunately animal by-products can be listed under many different names.”

Summer now treats her symptoms with medical cannabis, which she advocates should be legalised for smoking use in her home state.

She’s able to walk again and has regained some of her former strength.

But the battle against her tick-borne illnesses must go on.

“Unfortunately, I have to live life as if I'm trapped inside of a bubble,” she said.

“I can no longer go out to enjoy public places like the shopping mall or go out to eat with friends.

“But I'm so grateful for every second that I'm here to see my family grow.

“And I may only have five safe foods that I have to eat over and over again but oh how good it feels to have a full tummy. I'm beyond grateful every time I can sit down to my meal.”

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Dive Deeper:
Little Mix superfan 'heartbroken' after falling seriously ill just minutes before favourite band plays
Seven-year-old Imogen started projectile vomiting just minutes before the girl band came on stage after waiting two years to see…
Mum's warning as girl misses Little Mix gig she waited 2 years for after severe reaction
Imogen Holmes, seven, fell violently ill after suffering a gluten reaction just minutes before her favourite band Little Mix put…
Woman's rare condition sees her hips crack 'like bowling balls being dropped'
There is no cure for hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
Girl, 7, misses Little Mix gig she waited two years for after severe reaction
Imogen Holmes was waiting for her favourite band to take to the stage when she suffered a severe gluten reaction.
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Severe gluten reaction forces heartbroken girl, 7, to miss Little Mix concert she'd waited years for
Louise took her daughter Imogen out for a meal before the long awaited gig ... but just an hour later…
Mum had to have teeth removed and jaw replaced after she got infected tooth
Meighan Maselli, 36, states that complications from the infected tooth have led to her losing almost all of her jaw…
Get all your news in one place