Health Series-Part 1

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I am amazed at how many people have e-mailed me asking to post about how we eat, the supplements we take etc.  I have even had people come up to me around our town and ask me to post about it.  Changing the way we eat and treat ourselves medically has changed our lives so I am happy to share this but first I need to put out some disclaimers:

1. I am not a health professional in any way shape or form. Please seek your own medical advice before doing anything that I write about here (my lawyers made me say that--LOL;)

2. I have been to the following kinds of health professionals-- nutritionist, NAET specialist, allergists, chiropractor, acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist, holistic doctor and every other kind of "regular" physician you can imagine.

3 .Our family does not ALWAYS make the healthiest choices.  We try to eat very healthy but we do "cheat" once in a while and eat junk food.  Life is short and food is yummy.  We like pizza and cupcakes sometimes but we never eat at McDonald's or Burger King or places like that. We also try not to judge others by what they eat.  We simply do what works for us.

4. We live like this because we need to.  Harry, Will and I have all been very sick in the past.  In fact, as I write this I realized we have all been hospitalized or taken to the ER due to reactions to food and allergies and medicines in the past.  Even Kate needs to be careful. She drinks goat milk because cow's milk and ice cream give her horrible eczema!

I realized that there are so many facets to this topic. So, I will post about it in parts and I apologize in advance to those who find it utterly boring (I would have a few years ago).
First, I will give a little background as to why we changed our lifestyle.  Then I will talk about our diet.  After that, I will post about homeopathy and finally, I will post about some of the supplements that have helped us.

Several HUGE events occurred in our lives to make us completely change the way we eat and live.  I want to share some of that so you realize it was a long time getting to where we are.  As I have shared before, on Will's 2nd birthday the neurologist told me that I probably had MS.  I went for second and third and fourth opinions.  I looked into all of the medications the doctor wanted me to take. I felt awful and I had a terrible time walking. I dropped things all the time and I was exhausted. I had horrendous nerve pain in my right leg and in my face (trigeminal neuralgia). The doctors sent me for dozens of MRI's, spinal taps,  and blood tests. I even had a test where they inserted needles into my legs and shocked me (EMG). I never really believed that I had MS but I wasn't sure if I was just in denial or not. One of the treatments they gave me (IVIG) caused Aseptic meningitis  and sent me to the hospital almost every time. It was bad.

Fast forward a few years, Harry is born.  He is sweet and beautiful but he cannot breast feed. He has a short frenulum (tongue tied) and cannot latch on. He eventually needs surgery to correct this condition. So, we give him formula.  I will spare some of the bloody (yes) gory details but NOTHING would stay in either end of that baby. For 4 months, he was starving.  He was failure to thrive.  It was awful! There are so many more stories I could tell here but I'll save them for another time. In short, an endoscopy when he was four months old revealed that he was allergic to both dairy and soy.  There is little to feed a newborn that does not contain dairy or soy.  There was literally one thing Harry could eat (Neocate).  It was available through hospital pharmacies only and it was outrageously expensive.  After a while, we could order by the case.

While all of this is going on, Will has asthma, allergies and eczema.  He is also a little "hyper." His pre-school teacher even wonders if he could have ADD.

We were all going to our separate doctors for our separate issues for years.  We were taking lots of medication.  Harry was on medication for reflux.  Will was on medication for allergies and asthma.  I was on something for nerve pain and inflammation.  I NEVER once thought that we needed to change anything in our lives. We weren't the healthiest eaters but we weren't the worst either. I thought that once Harry was off the bottle, he would outgrow his allergies.  Over the years, out of pain and frustration, I started to seek out other types of doctors.  I went to an acupuncturist in Houston.  I started to see a chiropractor. Eventually, a good friend directed me to a holistic health care specialist who really turned on the light bulb for us.  Harry was 3 and began have serious stomach issues. He had mega colon. So, I got on the waiting list to see this specialist.

To make a VERY long story short, she assessed me and the boys and determined that we were all having major problems processing wheat, gluten dairy and soy. She also discovered some severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies. She discovered that my adrenal glands were not functioning well at all. This basically meant that everything we ate was causing unhealthy reactions in our bodies.   I did not want to listen.  I lived on bread and cheese.  There was NO way I could give them up. She started treating the boys with supplements.  Their systems were so weak from years of exposure to things that were bad for them. We had lived in Houston, Texas.  I LOVE Houston but it is very polluted.  I have no doubt that also affected our already weak immune systems.

So, Dave thought I was CRAZY when I traveled an hour and a half each way with the boys to see this doctor (a few times a month). He thought I was even crazier when he saw the supplements they needed.  But when I told him how we were going to start eating...he really thought I was nuts. We were on so many supplements early on, he made a chart for the boys so I didn't miss any.  After a few weeks, we saw BIG changes and Dave did not think I was crazy anymore.

I want to mention here that this doctor spent so much time with us and she charged very little ($35 a visit--spending an hour or more with each of us). Similarly, she charged less for the supplements than anywhere else I have bought them.  She was not in it for the money.  She really wanted to help people.

Next, I will talk about the diet.

33 comments:

  1. Kim, this is very interesting. I knew you had medical issues in the family but I didn't realize they were so extensive. I know first hand how difficult it is to change your diet. We looked into that for Lili's seizures. It takes a lot of dedication to do it. I'm impressed by the fact that you've made it worked successfully. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

    ~Lynn

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  2. Wow! So much to share! I can't wait for the next parts! Thanks (as always) for sharing!

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  3. You are such a smart mama!

    Snick :)

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  4. I thank you for taking the time to do this! I always love learning more about what helps others.

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  5. I'm interested in Will and if you think he has ADD. My son has ADHD. He is 21 y.o. I never was very good with it.

    Sandra

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  6. Oh, My...... you have me convicted and captivated!!!!!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to share all of this with us... oh, how I hope I truly listen and learn from what you are about to share.... My family deserves for me to take better care of us....
    Please say a special prayer for me...I am trying to stop smoking again and oh how I STRUGGLE!
    Love you friend and I am so thankful that you are all healthy and happy....
    Love,
    Daleea

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  7. Sooooooooo very interesting. I have been increasingly concerned about artificial colors and preservatives in food and we have started avoiding them (my husband is still in the phase where he thinks I'm a little "over the top".) And after the birth of the boys I temporarily went off dairy, wheat, caffeine, and sugar (I was having wild blood pressures) and felt amazing (but got a little lazy after my b.p. stabilized and jumped off the wagon...) I have really been considering making life changes in that direction, but I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with how to do that (we're talking for the whole family.) I would be SO interested to hear what you did, Kim. And also to find out sources you used to aid you in your transition. Thanks SO much for the info!

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  8. Kim,

    Wow! This is not remotely boring. And I am glad to know there will be a good outcome!

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  9. THank you Kimber for sharing!!! My Caleb sounds a lot like Will--he has asthma, allergies, and eczema and I truly believe diet plays a big part. I have wanted to change our diet for years--I am sooo excited about this post and am waiting on pins and needles for the next one! :)

    Will you post the supplements your boys are taking?

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  10. ps--Thank you again for opening up and sharing so much with us!!! I too have had my run in with autoimmune things and crazy medications! You are getting me motivated to change our diet completely! :)

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  11. Thanks Kim for sharing this information. I am very interested in learning more! As a Mom to two sons that are vegetarians (their choice...they do not want to eat life.) I am always eager to learn more about anything that has to do with nutrition.
    I find this fascinating.

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  12. Thank you for taking the time to write about something you take very seriously. I am certain you will help others who have questions and concerns.

    Hope all is well...

    Hugs,
    Lisa

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  13. I'm looking forward to learning more from you about this. Sarah gets terrible rashes on her skin, and now you've got me wondering what else we can do to help her with this. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Your life sounds a little like mine... going to numerous doctors, chinese medicine, and chiropractors only to have very little answers. My boys both have milk allergies and my oldest has asthma. My daughter has allergies too. We are in such a remote area I finally "gave up" my search for the cure, but I am now motivated!!! (It also didn't help that it was a two year stuggle with my in-laws to convince them that Clark had a milk allergy.) I can't wait for more info...
    Thanks for taking time to sharing all of this with us.
    Love,
    Chesnye

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  15. me up, My little Ryan has given up eating. I am literally at my wits end. I am so grateful for any and all advice you have. My to do list for Friday is to go buy the parenting book you recommended. Thanks for taking the time for us:)

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  16. Kim, thanks for sharing. I just went through something similar and had every test in the book done until a dietian figured out I had a sensitivity to gluten. I've changed the way I eat and feel the best I've felt for most of my life. I used to take 4 pills a day and now I take nothing. I look forward to hearing more about your diet.

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  17. Thanks for sharing. You and your family have been through a lot! I have a few friends that have a similar dietary lifestyle. It's amazing what crap they put in our foods and how it affects our bodies. Scary really. Thank goodness there are more choices today then in the past. I don't have any allergies but try to eat natural/organic as much as possible but like you said, life is short and food is good. My little nephew drank goat milk and is now on almond.

    I'm so glad you found something that has worked! Can't wait to hear more.

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  18. Awesome post. I can't wait for your follow-up post! I too discovered (on my own, by the way) that I was allergic to wheat. Once I eliminated it from my diet I was a new person. Very dramatic. Several years ago the Wall Street Journal, of all places, featured an article on the prevelance of wheat allergies. The article indicated that an estimated (if my memory serves) 10 million Americans have an undiagnosed wheat allergy. Sadly enough, many are being improperly diagnosed and treated with meds they don't need! The European medical world is light years ahead of the US in diagnosing this condition. According to the WSJ article, those of northern European descent are at a substantially increased risk of having such a condition!

    Thanks for taking the time to write on this topic!

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  19. this is great Kim! We are on vacation out of state and I wanted to check in on the Peanuts. Looking forward to your next posts!
    Kim and Katiebug

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  20. Hi Kim..
    I enjoyed visiting your blog! You get no argument from me on the Diet and supplements. My son is autistic and being on a strict diet and loads of supplements we see much,much, improvement in him.
    A cure all???? NO! a more manageable,healthy and happy child with more of an acute brain?...YES!
    We would have never believed it until we lived it. Wheat, Gluten, and Casein and many other ingredients..just not good for any of us. Grrrr!

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  21. First thanks, so many things you metioned I have been concerned with, seems since I have hit 40 I am allergic to ALOT of stuff. My sister's family has changed to all organic food, no processed foods, meats and eggs bought through the Amish. They started this with the diagnoses of her 11yr having chrones disease. Looking forward to your menu!!!!

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  22. okay...leave me on pins and needles why don't ya?? :)
    was this last doctor the naet doctor?
    i have been meaning to post about the flying. i loved what everyone said about fear. you know i need to hear that! i try to keep it simple in my mind, so here is what i repeat, "ask and ye shall receive." God has been so good. i have to trust that one.

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  23. Oh my...that IS alot! I have heard this with another family before that live near me locally.

    Also, I have heard an adoptive father (somewhere can't remember where though?) say how his son from China was allergic to dyes. My Lottie is allergic to Red40 and it makes her break out with her eczema. Anyway, he and his wife only bought/cooked foods without any dyes in them. His allergies went away, he was no longer classified as hyperactive or ADD and he is now a very calm child. Interesting huh?

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  24. I'm dying to hear more. Landree has eczema and I've asked the doctor about food allergies. She takes Zyrtec now...I hate that. I want her to be well so I let her take it, but I didn't know where to start pulling things from her diet. Where do you get goat milk? I might have try that. So what do ya'll do when you're out of town? Can't wait to hear the rest!

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  25. Kim, I am so glad you are sharing all this info. I, also have an Autoimmune problem,so I am looking forward for more info from you.
    Thanks again.
    Norah

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  26. Wow you have been through so much. I'm jealous of the cute playdate - how wonderful your girls have each other. I don't know if you've been to our blog - Sarah is in the hospital in NICU in Tainen we can use your prayers. Thank you.

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  27. This is so interesting. We just came home on May 17th with our 2 year old and her tummy and back has what I think to be eczema. We noticed just a light sandpaper feel in China but it has gotten much worse since we have been home. We have changed our laundry detergent but it doesn't see to help. She is drinking cows milk. I'm going to do some research as soon as I send this. We have a Dr.'s apt with the Ped next week and I can't wait to talk to her about this.

    Thank you,
    Leslie

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  28. Very interesting information, I'm so glad your family's health has improved. I looked forward to your upcoming post, thanks for sharing!

    Karen

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  29. I am so glad that you posted about this. We are not a very healthy eating family and need to be aware of the benefits from eating healthier. I have seen so many hurting children that would really benefit from diet & supplements and not medication. Thanks for sharing!

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  30. Dear Kim,

    Thank you for writing about this, I can't wait to find out more about some of the foods your family eats! XO, Clare

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  31. Thanks Kim, for the infor. I am curious about your diet too! Libby has eczema, and I give her soy, so maybe I will switch to goat's milk. I will be reading all about your families favorite foods.

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  32. What a great post! We are in the middle of totally re-vamping our diet. We also believe it has caused a lot of the "side effects" that are no fun for all of us---not to mention that extra weight. ugh.

    Thank you!!

    Blessings,
    Jenn

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  33. Kim,
    I have read this post a couple of different times, and finally wanted to comment. I am in the process of changing my diet and am going to experiment with being gluten-free (as much as I can). I just finished a book you might be interested in, called 'The Ultramind Solution'. The basic premise is just what you said - you are what you eat. And that many, if not all of the physical and mental/emotional issues people have can be traced back to issues with diet - allergies and defiencies (sp). My diet had been really poor for quite awhile, and I really want to see how different I might be able to feel on a super healthy diet. So far I've cut out all processed foods and soda, and started taking vitamins. I've printed out some gluten free recipes you've listed and will be looking for more! Thanks! It has been great hearing about another person share their experience. : )

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Thank you for your kindness.