Father's carrier status clue to son's health condition

When Greg and his wife introduced solid foods to their third child, they noticed he would push away anything with fruit in it. As he grew, his reaction was not just to fruits, but anything sweet. He even threw up when he had cough syrup. Greg and his wife spoke with doctors, but all of them seemed to shrug off their concerns.

Greg was personally interested in genetic testing and decided to do 23andMe for himself. Right away Greg noticed something in his reports. It said he was a carrier of a variant for Hereditary Fructose Intolerance.* This is a rare disorder that leaves a person without the protein needed to break down fructose (a sugar found in fruits and other sweetened foods). Undetected, it can cause liver and kidney damage.

“It was like a light bulb clicked. I thought, “I’ve got to get his doctor to test him.” His son was 7 at the time. With testing, doctors diagnosed Greg’s son with the disease. The couple’s other children did not inherit the condition. The diagnosis has meant a vast overhaul of their son’s diet, but Greg is relieved to have found out what was wrong with him. “We’re just happy that he got diagnosed a lot younger than people normally do.”