So, there is another reason that I am so driven to know all that I can about food allergies and what their effects can be on a life.
Meet my little sis, Tracey.
Her whole life Tracey has dealt with "allergies", and I'm talking sinus infections, tonsillitis, swollen glands. She had troubles as a little girl with breathing at certain times. (At the time thought of as a mild case of asthma.) She had other intestinal and digestive issues that she dealt with as a little girl. Not knowing that those things were not normal to feel, she went on about her merry way. No one knew her tummy hurt. And hey, kids get sore throats. Kids get ear infections. That's normal, right? We now know that those are warning signs. That is not how God created our bodies to feel. He gives us signs like that so we know to do something. Not just throw an antibiotic at it.
Fast forward to about 10 years ago. I could be off by a year or two in either direction. She started having a hard time swallowing when eating. Her glands were always swollen. To the point of her not being able to sing anymore. She would avoid going out to eat because of not being able to swallow her food. She would go the doctor and they would say that she had tonsillitis and that is where the antibiotics started. She was on antibiotics for 10 yrs. Almost with no break. If there was a break in there, it wasn't long. Maybe a few months before she needed them again. She also had sinus infections at the same time as this. Doctors didn't have answers, they just kept giving her meds. She ended up having her wisdom teeth pulled. Hoping that they were the cause of the sinus troubles. Then she had her tonsils taken out. Still, no better. Then the sinus surgery. Still, no better.
During these years, we would suggest that she get her thyroid checked out. Shawn had some clients that had an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto's. It's a disease that attacks your thyroid, causing it to go from hyper to hypo. VERY difficult to diagnose. But she had all of the symptoms. Anxiety, swollen glands, not being able to swallow, forgetfulness, clouded thinking. The list goes on and on. And from the outside, we could see that she had almost EVERY single symptom. (she may still disagree, but that's ok, b/c this is MY blog ;) ) She would give in, and ask doctor after doctor to test her. They would tell her that these things were in her head. She was literally called a hypochondriac by doctors AND friends. She started to believe it herself. And was depressed that this is just how she was. It's how God made her. No doctor would help her, or believe her. Which, let me say this, is a common problem in the life of a person with Hashimoto's.
Finally, about two years ago, my sis was SO sick with this that she was forced to move back home with my parents. She literally could not function. Her anxiety and panic attacks were so bad, one of them left my dad in tears. She was having blurry vision, couldn't remember what she ate 5 minutes ago. The symptoms were just awful. She finally, by God's grace, was able to get in with one of the best endocrinologist in the country. And he diagnosed her with Hashimoto's disease.
You'd think that was a happy day. To finally have someone to help her. I remember, I was SO angry. So angry that it took TEN YEARS for someone to finally help her. I was SOO angry for all of those who did not believe her. Thought she just "liked being sick", or "wanted the attention". That still hurts to think of the people who accused her of that.
She finally got the help she needed. But the problems didn't stop there. She just wasn't feeling better. She still had the sinus problems. Infection after infection. Antibiotic after antibiotic. What is causing this? What can she and should she be doing differently? We knew, and she knew, that antibiotics were not helping her, but hurting her. But she felt she had no other choice.
We then learned about Candida. Candida is an overgrowth of yeast and it feeds on sugar. Candida left untreated can cause all sorts of infections and other diseases. She cut ALL sugar out of her diet. She did not cheat ONE time in 10 months! She ate meat, some veggies, nuts and eggs. She could have coconut oil and olive oil. And a granny smith apple once a day b/c it basically has no sugar. I've been dessert free for one week, and let me tell you, she is my new hero. I don't know how she went completely sugar and carb free for 10 months.
In this time she went to see our friend, Barbara Griffin. She is a naturopath and bio meridian specialist. Barbara tested Tracey for food allergies and tested all of her organs to see what state they were in. She was able to help her know what she can not eat and what she needs to eat.
Here's the point to the whole LONG post... Food allergies, left unchecked can cause disease. ALL kinds of disease, including autoimmune and CANCER.
Tracey is allergic to gluten and dairy and spent a life time eating them. My grandpa died of colon cancer, could that have been prevented?
Friends, you need to know what you are putting into you bodies and whether it is hurting or helping you. Especially as parents!! I'm in no way, shape or form blaming my parents for my sister health. It was a different time. We didn't have the internet to be able to research. I'm sure some people did know these things. But this thing called the World Wide Web has freed us to be able to research and learn and make decisions on our own.
Let's be responsible with these bodies that God has given us. Let's be responsible with these children that God has given us. Don't just go through life blindly shoving food into your mouths. Listen to your body. It may be showing you, with big red flags, that something is not right. Don't choose ignorance, it could cost you your life.