Student battles food disorder to live normal life

Photo by Kate Beebe

Kate Beebe, Journalist

Freshmen Avary Senft has a food disorder called Eosinophilic Esophagitis, otherwise known as EE. EE is a chronic disease of the esophagus where white blood cells build up in your esophagus and cause inflammation, which causes lots of pain.

Dealing with this kind of food disorder can be highly challenging, and it requires Senft to remain aware of all food she eats. This is how she keeps life as normal as possible.

This disorder causes one to essentially be allergic to almost all foods, including anything that has eggs, dairy, soy, wheat and/or gluten. This can cause daily tasks to be more challenging.

“I see people eating food that I can’t have and it’s very frustrating to know that I may never get to try it,” said Senft.

Before eating candy, boxed food, or even ordering a meal at a restaurant, Senft has to check the ingredients to insure what she is eating will not cause her to have an allergic reaction. This has become a daily routine for Senft, as she is surrounded by many foods she cannot have.

Senft has had this food disorder since birth, but did not get diagnosed until she was three years old. Senft’s parents started to become worried when she could not keep any food down.

“I was taken to the hospital, and within a year, they diagnosed me with EE,” said Senft.

Senft has had many experiences with EE. During her childhood, she remembers vivid experiences of driving long hours just to try eating new foods. Over the years, she has had some success in finding some foods she can have, but not many. Because of the limited options, Senft sometimes brings food with her when she stays over at a friend’s house.

“I look like I’m moving into the house every time I sleepover, said Senft.

Even though this food disorder can be challenging and very frustrating to have there are some benefits of having it. Almost all of Senft’s meals are home cooked and staying in shape or eating healthy is made easier.

“Most all things I am able to eat are healthy foods,” said Senft.

The dangers definitely outweigh the benefits, but even with the disorder, Senft is able to live a strong, fun, and healthy lifestyle.