Teen told his symptoms were down to spicy food – then he collapsed

A teen who says he only likes mild curries was stunned when a doctor suggested spicy food was making him ill – as he was regularly being sick and suffering with intense headaches. Three medics concluded he was just having migraines and one blamed it on him eating too much spicy food and drinking too much fizzy pop.

Jake Adams, then 19, said he found the suggestion ‘ridiculous’ as he says he prefers ‘milder’ food and says he and would only drink one can of pop per day. Two days later the retail worker suddenly felt as though his legs were moving in slow motion and his body was ‘shutting down’ while serving a customer in September 2019.

Jake was rushed to A&E by concerned family members leading to a small tumour being found on his brain. He says the discovery was ‘some sort of relief’ as it answered questions about his worrying condition but the news it was malignant left him feeling he’d been served a ‘death sentence’.

A year-long battle with five surgeries, five months of chemotherapy and 30 sessions of gruelling radiotherapy over Christmas thankfully left Jake tumour-free by September 2020. The former sports journalism student, now 23, is sharing his story to urge young people to get their symptoms checked as part of International Brain Tumour Awareness Week.

PIC FROM Kennedy News/Teenage Cancer Trust (PICTURED: JAKE ADAMS, THEN 19, IN HOSPITAL FOR AN MRI SCAN) A teen who admits he only likes ‘mild’ curries was stunned when a doctor suggested SPICY FOOD was making him sick – just days before discovering it was a brain tumour. Jake Adams, now 23, from Sunderland, had been regularly being sick and suffering with intense headaches in summer 2019 but three medics concluded he was just having migraines. One even blamed it on him eating too much spicy food and drinking too much fizzy pop, which shocked the then 19-year-old. DISCLAIMER: While Kennedy News and Media uses its best endeavours to establish the copyright and authenticity of all pictures supplied, it accepts no liability for any damage, loss or legal action caused by the use of images supplied and the publication of images is solely at your discretion. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY – 0161 697 4266 (Image: Kennedy News/Teenage Cancer Trust )

Jake said: “One doctor told me to cut down on spicy food and fizzy drinks. I found it a bit ridiculous because it was totally irrelevant. I was just doing what everyone else was doing. I didn’t mind a curry but I didn’t eat it too often and I’d say I drank one fizzy pop can a day so nothing more than an average person would. The funny thing is I’m a milder eater when it comes to spicy food and I was drinking as much as an average person would.

“I like simple Chinese dishes and Mexican food. I hadn’t said anything to the doctor but I think the symptoms I came to him with made him come up with that random explanation. Maybe they thought it was to do with the feelings in my stomach going to my head. It was a curveball and I don’t really know the logic behind it. Because of the pain I was in, [the tumour diagnosis] was actually some sort of relief because it was an answer to a couple of months of problems.

“But when I was told it was malignant it really shook me up. I couldn’t react to it emotionally but I was just in shock. When I started my brain surgery I was asking my parents ‘am I going to die?’. For someone who didn’t know anything about cancer it felt like it was a death sentence.”

Jake experienced regular headaches for two months without going to the doctors because he insisted they were manageable. He claims he saw three health professionals and spent weeks on migraine medication before the concerning incident at work made him rush to A&E.

Leave a Comment