Six-year-old Tyler Trovato’s severe food allergies have baffled his doctors. He is allergic to dozens of foods – but not some of the most common food allergens.

Diet Limited by Allergies

Tyler regularly eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, washing them down with a glass of milk – though such foods are off-limits to many kids with food allergies. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are one of just a handful of foods he can eat without experiencing severe symptoms like vomiting and lethargy.

He’s allergic to turkey, chicken, rice, bananas and sweet potatoes, among many other foods. He’s not allowed to try new foods unless he’s in or near a hospital in case he experiences a reaction.

If he accidentally eats a food he’s allergic to, “he becomes pale, lethargic, doesn’t talk and usually stumbles when he walks,” explains his mother, Jennifer Trovato.

Unlike most other kids with food allergies, Tyler can’t be treated with epinephrine. The exact cause of his allergies has doctors stumped.

“When he reacts, he needs fluids,” says his mom. “The hospital usually gives him saline, steroids and sometimes Benadryl. He doesn’t require an EpiPen, but his allergic reaction can be life-threatening.”

Tyler’s Rare Condition

Tyler’s condition is known as food protein induced entercolitis syndrome, or FPIES. It’s different than the immune system response seen with most food allergies.

Instead, the reaction occurs in the gastrointestinal system about two to four hours after the food is consumed. This can make it more difficult to pinpoint the specific cause of the reaction. Standard allergy tests came back negative, and Tyler was seen by four different doctors before being diagnosed.

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