Have you ever had something happen that was so startling, so unexpected that you did not know how you were going to deal with it? How about losing your vision as you're driving Read More...
down an interstate? Or waking up one morning and not being able to feel your hands and feet? These are both things that have happened to me in the past 10 years and mild symptoms compared to many other people who are living with Multiple Sclerosis.
In 1998 while living and working in Nashville, TN, I had my first MS attack with the temporary loss of vision. After meeting with my physician, a neurologist, having a spinal tap and MRI, I received a 'probable diagnosis' for MS. It was not until a second episode, several years later, involving the loss of hearing, taste and eventually balance that I was given a definite diagnosis and could start treatment.
In the ten years since I have been diagnosed with MS, I have had several exacerbations. Each one has been as unpredictable as the disease itself. In each case, I was given intravenous steroids. This made the worst of the symptoms go away, but always left me with some marker, such as my hands and feet tingling or a funny taste in my mouth. Some of these symptoms lasted for months or never went away. I was prescribed 6 monthly lite chemotherapy treatments, each of which meant 3 days of feeling severely nauseous along with two weeks of being stuck in the house for fear of being exposed to germs.
A couple of months after the 6th chemotherapy treatment, I again suffered an MS exacerbation, even though I had been told by my doctors that the treatments had seemed to help. At this point, I considered looking for alternatives, as the indications were that my medicine and the chemotherapy were not working.
I went to see Dr. Phillip Arnone at The Balanced Body Center as suggested by my mother (she had a friend who was greatly helped by his practice). He requested that I take a $583 food allergy test as well as begin a course of chiropractic care. I have to admit I did so with reservations given the expense (which was uninsured and had to be paid up front), and a lack of knowledge about the likely success.
Well, the test results came back showing that my body showed reactions to wheat, corn, soy, and rice, four staple foods in the American diet! I also showed reactions to a host of other foods that I commonly ate, including garlic, ginger, mint, cilantro, grapes, and some citrus. I had to basically relearn how to eat and where to shop to get workable foods. Thank the Lord for Earth Fare and Healthy Home Market!
Three months later, every one of the lingering MS symptoms I had was gone. Gone! No more tingling hands and feet. No more labored breathing. I was even able to successfully train for and complete the Ramblin' Rose triathlon, which involved swimming, biking 9 miles, and running 2 miles. A year earlier, I would never have believed I could bike 9 miles, much less add swimming and running.
An MRI done in early November 2010 confirmed that my MS has indeed gone into remission. Several of my existing brain lesions were healed, and though there were a few lesions that had gotten a bit worse and one new lesion, even my traditional doctor, Dr. Kaufman, conceded that it looked like the path I was taking was working.
In talking with friends, family, and people in the MS community, it has become clear to me that the success I've enjoyed could help a lot of people living with MS, and perhaps other auto-immune diseases as well. It has also become clear to me, however, that mainstream MS organizations, such as the National MS Society, have a largely medical approach towards finding a cure. While I cannot fault them for this approach, I cannot further support them as their approach proved ineffective for me. I have therefore chosen to focus my efforts on forming a new foundation.
It was 1985 when my life changed. At the early age of 13, I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, an auto-immune disease that attacks the Digestive System. Read More
My Mother abided the advice of doctors and refrained from providing 'too many' fresh fruits and vegetables to her growing daughter, as raw foods were known to 'disrupt' the digestive tract. Despite these changes, and a strict regimen of expensive medication, I continued to suffer from constant abdominal pain. Eating, particularly in social situations, became misery; the moment food entered my mouth, I would feel sick. After years of suffering, I had resigned to the fact that this was simply life.
In 2011, a FFARMS' board member introduced me to the option of food intolerance testing. However, when you live with a condition like Crohn's, you become skeptical about treatments. Even though the board member also had Crohn's, I had just learned to accept my condition and live with it. Well, at least that's what I thought. It was inspiring to see the success she experienced after having the test and making changes to her diet, and I figured it would be worth trying!
This journey with FFARMS has changed the way I think about food, it has given me a renewed energy, and it has improved the quality of my life. By extension, my journey has improved my family's life. The saying goes, 'When momma isn't happy, nobody is happy!' My husband has noted a change in my demeanor, as I am less irritable and more energetic. Finally, I do not feel deprived. I feel healthy!
The joy of having a plan and knowing what foods will not make me sick is a blessing. Being able to live my life like a normal person is an incredible feeling; I thank FFARMS for giving me my quality of life back.
As a child, I wasn't the perfect picture of health. Constant ear infections, multiple ear surgeries, and an ineffective regimen of preventive antibiotics, prompted my ENT to look into food allergies. At age seven, I started allergy shots. Read More...
As a young teen, despite the best efforts of my doctors, I continued to struggle with ear infections and had developed a severe hearing loss, to be expected due to scarring. On the other hand, what no one was expecting, were the problems I began encountering with my digestive tract.
As a sophomore in College, after five years of suffering with severe abdominal pain, the doctors discovered I had Crohn's Disease. It was not all too surprising as my father was diagnosed many years before with another auto-immune, Multiple Sclerosis. Like many Crohn's patients, I was immediately put on a steroids and anti-inflammatory medications. These medications often had miserable side-effects, oftentimes making it more unbearable than the condition itself. However, with a family of history of colon cancer, medication was strongly suggested along with screenings every two years.
As a young mother, managing my health became crucial. You cannot hit pause on life when you're feeling lousy, especially with two very busy kids. Unfortunately, in 2009, my health took a turn for the worse. By the summer of 2010, my condition had become so unbearable that doctor's visits and hospital runs were becoming the norm. My family life was being disrupted, and something needed to change! I searched for alternative therapies, and a friend suggested that I speak with Kristin Gable, as she had found amazing wellness with food intolerance testing for her auto-immune disease.
As an optimist, I listened to Kristin's advice, took the food intolerance test, and started my food therapy and rotation in November of 2010. To suddenly feel like a brand-new person and to feel healthy and energetic was amazing. What was even better, were the results I heard on November 23rd, 2011. It was my fifth screening, and for the first time in my life, my colonoscopy was clear! It was a validation that I didn't need as I knew it in my heart but was, nonetheless, music to my ears.
As an advocate for food intolerance testing and an ardent supporter of the FFARMS' mission, I know others with auto-immune diseases are suffering unnecessarily. My gratitude for those that supported me on this journey is immeasurable. So, it is now my turn to give back and help others find the wellness and full life they deserve.
I was diagnosed with Relapsing/Remitting Multiple Sclerosis 29 years ago. Since that time I have suffered three distinct attacks accompanied by a steady, gradual decline of my Read More...
neurological health. Most evident has been a noticeable loss of balance, stamina, strength as well as a deadening of sensitivity in my extremities. In 2000, I began daily injections of Copaxone and believe this has helped to slow the progression of my MS.
However, in 2010, an MRI uncovered two new lesions. This prompted me to consider looking into alternative therapies to be used in conjunction with my medication. Soon after, I learned of FFARMS and the potential benefit the food intolerance testing would have for sufferers of auto-immune diseases such as MS.
In June of 2011, I had the food intolerance test performed and began my four day rotation the beginning of August of that year. Since that time, and as a direct result of following the rotation, I have: lowered my overall cholesterol 63 points, lowered my Triglycerides 93 points, lowered my LDL nine points, and lost 42 pounds! All other numbers in the typical lipid panel improved as well. This overall improvement has an even greater impact when one suffers from a chronic condition, such as MS.
Four months after beginning my rotation, I had an MRI of the brain and spinal column. While there was no reduction in the size or number of lesions, neither was there an increase; overall a good test. I look forward to my next MRI and am hopeful there will be improvement where lesions are concerned.
I believe that in the long run, following the rotation in conjunction with the prescribed MS medication, I will continue to see improvements. I have more energy, today, than I have had in quite some time. I look forward to keeping FFARMS abreast of the positive impact the food intolerance testing will have on my neurological and general heath.
I had heard through a friend about FFARMS and the ALCAT test. She has Crohn’s disease, which is similar to the disease I had been diagnosed with years earlier, ulcerative colitis. I took the ALCAT test to identify the foods which my body could not tolerate. Read More...
At the time, I was the heaviest I had ever been, no matter how much I had dieted. I often felt terrible as I suffered with headaches and body aches, and I turned to food to comfort me. Once I learned which foods I could not tolerate and eliminated them from my diet, my relief was almost immediate. That was the biggest benefit for me. I was feeling good and could make it through a day without suffering with a headache. This relief gave me a new lease on life; losing the weight, of course, was a huge benefit.
I recently visited my Gastroenterologist, only one and a half years since my ALCAT testing, and had him perplexed! After my colonoscopy he said I had a "beautiful colon" and didn't know why my past doctor would diagnose me with ulcerative colitis. So he did more tests. The genetic blood test showed that I actually have Crohn’s disease. This perplexed him further, because I have none of the symptoms! He ordered the CT scan with contrast of my intestines, etc., the whole gamut. Those tests came back with flying colors, as well. I told him that I no longer have any of the symptoms, because I took the ALCAT test, pinpointed my food intolerances, and eliminated those foods from my diet. He is 'old-school' and didn't seem impressed. The good news, make that the great news, is because I do not have any of the symptoms of this disease, I don't have to take any of the medications for it!
I am a big believer of the phrase, "one man’s medicine is another man’s poison." I am intolerant to some good, healthy foods, but they are neither good nor healthy for me. I am a huge believer of the ALCAT test and am thankful for the changes it has helped me make in my life.