'Gorilla Baby': A 5-month-old from Texas with excessive body hair due to medication side-effect becomes the latest viral sensation
[TikTok Screenshot/Fair Use/Credit: Bri Shelby]

5-month-old Mateo Hernandez has been affectionately dubbed “Gorilla Baby” by his parents after a medication side effect left the infant’s entire body covered in hair. 

The hair-raising situation all started when it was discovered that Mateo was suffering from a life-threatening and scarce condition called congenital hyperinsulinism at only a month old.   

The ailment happens when the pancreas creates an excessive amount of insulin.

“A healthy blood sugar range is around 70-100; Matteo’s levels were in the 30s, so he was a high risk of having seizures,” Matteo’s mother, Bri Shelby, said.

Fortunately, the drug, Diazoxide was highly effective at helping Matteo’s condition. 

While the baby’s health improved significantly, he started sprouting a lot of body hair.

The doctor had warned the parents about this side effect, “but I never expected it to be that extreme,” said Shelby of her shaggy son.

Fortunately, physicians expect baby Mateo to outgrow his condition, after which he’ll be able to stop taking the medication and theoretically shed his excess curls. 

However, as the hairball’s condition is rare, doctors are unsure how long the Sasquatch-ian side effect will persist.

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