Student Learns To Live With Severe Food Allergies

Junior+Diego+Arias

Erika Green

Junior Diego Arias

Corn chips, beef, cake, hot dogs and sandwiches. These things top the list of junior Diego Arias’ favorite foods. They are also on a very long list of foods he can no longer eat due to severe food allergies.

“It was a Sunday,” Diego said. “I was sitting on my couch and my stomach was killing me. I had to go into a fetal position because it was hurting so bad.”

Days later, he was undergoing testing. Doctors performed a colonoscopy and scanned his esophagus, where they found significant scarring. Eventually, allergy testing showed that he was allergic to a lot of the foods he had been putting into his body: yeast, corn, seafood, peas and soy.

I was sitting on my couch and my stomach was killing me. I had to go into a fetal position because it was hurting so bad.”

— Junior Diego Arias

“It sucked when I found out I had these allergies,” Diego said. “My allergies caused me to lose the ability to eat almost everything on this planet.”

Looking back, Diego suspects that he has always had food allergies but didn’t know it. He often experienced stomach pain two-three hours after eating and even remembers being a “picky eater” and having allergic reactions to corn as a small child.

“(My diagnosis has) completely changed my life,” Diego said. “When I go out to eat I need a certain menu to look at the ingredients. If (the restaurant doesn’t have that menu) I can’t eat there.”

Although Diego’s life has changed, he said he has adjusted.

“The only thing that really stinks about it is that I don’t get to eat all the foods I used to be able to eat,” Diego said. “It gives me a whole new perspective on things and it gets me to see a whole new side of life that I never seen before.”