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Doctors in Spain announced a baby developed scurvy after drinking almond milk as a replacement for breast milk. According to the physicians that treated the infant, his diet was only based on the plant-based replacement milk. The lack of diversion in his diet led to a Vitamin C deficiency.
Scurvy is an illness that is mostly associated with pirates and sailors of the 18th century. Barlow’s diseases, as it is also called, can cause fatigue, spongy gums, the formation of certain spots on the skin and eventually bleeding from the mucous membranes. In the case it is left undiagnosed and untreated, scurvy can lead to death due to excessive bleeding. The decisive factor in the development of scurvy is a Vitamin C deficiency in the body.
Doctors advise women with infant children that vegetable milk is not suited for the babies because it doesn’t contain all the nutrients needed by them for a safe and normal growth. While the mothers can safely adopt a vegetarian diet, it is not the case for small children, their organism needing plenty of vitamins, proteins and nutritional substances that can only be found in animal products such as milk, cheese and meat.
According to the physicians that treated the baby diagnosed with scurvy, the child was fed cow milk formula until 2 and a half months of age. Because of some rashes that appeared on his skin, his diet was changed and he was given a mixture based on almond milk. When he reached 6 months of age, the mother supposedly tried switching him to solid foods such as vegetable or fruit purees. He refused to eat them so she continued feeding him almond milk.
At 11 months of age, the baby looked healthy overall, but the mother was concerned about a constant state of fatigue that he was showing. This led the doctors to test his vitamin levels and discover the vitamin C deficiency that caused the development of scurvy.
At the present moment, the child is being treated with a replacement treatment based on an increased intake of Vitamin D and C. His diet was also changed, the baby being fed with a mixture between special formula, fruits, vegetables and meat in order to increase the natural vitamin and protein intake. Almond milk was cut from his diet.
Even though the baby developed scurvy after drinking almond milk for over 7 months, the mother has proof of his previous medical conditions so she will not be released from parental rights.
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