Three-Year-Old Must Eat Cream Cheese in order to Talk
For three-year-old Fields Taylor, cream cheese is a staple in her diet. Although this type of diet might sound disgusting to many people especially since it is for such a young girl, Taylor needs it to help her function as normally as possible. Taylor, who is from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire in England, suffers from a rare condition known as GLUT1 Deficiency Syndrome.
GLUT1 Deficiency Syndrome has only been confirmed in around 300 cases since its discovery in 1991. There are currently 25 people from the United Kingdom who has this genetic disorder. People with GLUT1 Deficiency Syndrome have a defect in the gene SLC2C1, which is responsible for producing the glucose transport protein type 1. This particular protein is in charge of transporting glucose, or sugar, from the blood and into the cells for energy. Since this defect prevents the cells from getting glucose, the brain ends up having no fuel to function. This leads to several symptoms that range from seizures and learning disorders to speech impairments and muscle twitches.
For Taylor, she could not speak. When Taylor reached 15 weeks old, her parents, Stevie and David noticed a twitch in her wrist. Following the twitch, Taylor had suffered a seizure at the hospital's waiting room. After one week, she was diagnosed with epilepsy. However, after a routine check up visit, doctors discovered that Taylor had GLUT1 Deficiency Syndrome. There is no cure for this defect but a ketogenic diet has been proven to work for several people.
A ketogenic diet is a very strict diet that involves calorie limits, high fat, minimal carbohydrates and no sugar. Sugar coming from all kinds of sources, such as toothpastes, is not allowed. If this diet is followed to the tee, it promotes the liver to produce keytones, which then act as an alternative source of fuel for the brain. Once Taylor's parents put her on this diet, one that requires her to eat a large amount of cream cheese, she began to talk.
"The first time I heard Fields say 'Mum' it was just wonderful," Stevie, 34, said. "I didn't really believe that something so simple as changing her diet could make such a big difference. The amount of Philadelphia she goes through is a bit mad but the effect it's had is amazing. It's just fabulous to know that she does have a voice inside her and we can finally communicate."