Saturday, March 29, 2014

{Guest Post} Darla's Story: My Severe Dairy Allergy Was Misdiagnosed As Epilepsy And Hypoglycemia

About a month ago, I got an email from a lady telling me a story that, as soon as I read it, I knew I had to share with you!  I asked her permission to share it, and she graciously agreed.  It is a must read, and goes right along with my thoughts that the body functions as one, and if you treat the symptoms and don't get to the heart of the matter, the results can be devastating.  It is my hope, and hers, that you will read this and understand that just because your reaction is not typical, does not mean that food allergies or sensitivities are not the issue.  Search it out, ask questions, and get all the facts before you agree to treatment, especially expensive or life changing ones.  Sometimes the solution is a lot simpler than you realize!

Without further adieu, please welcome my new friend and fellow blogger, Darla!

My allergy is to all dairy products.  I am 50.  I have been living dairy-free for about 12 years after a simple blood test with a allergy testing facility proved my allergy to dairy was off the charts.   Prior to that test, I was being treated for epilepsy because the doctors didn't know why I was having seizures.  Well, it was the dairy they told me to eat because they thought I was hypoglycemic!  I was told to eat a chunk of cheese every couple of hours for strength!  Crazy when I think back.

Here's the whole story...

I had been having Grand Mal seizures since I was around 9 years old.  At around age 17, with concern of my driver's license, a neurologist ran a battery of tests, only to tell me that they don't know why I was having seizures, but take this medicine (Tegretol) so he didn't have to report me to DMV.  The medicine did not work.  I knew in my heart I didn’t have epilepsy, but did not know what was going on.

I was told that perhaps I grew too fast.  Hypoglycemic.  Pre-diabetic.  I asked to be tested for allergens but was asked, "What do you think you are allergic to?"  When I said I didn't know, they said they don't just run a battery of tests when you have no allergy indications, and seizures are not related to an allergy.

Every year, I would go to different types of doctors to figure out what was wrong with me.  EKG, MRI, Brain Scans, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic... Nothing worked, until 2001.

2001, I called a doctor in Berkeley.  He agreed to see me.  After a short meeting, Dr. Tim Smith said reassuringly that we would get to the bottom of this.  I giggled and told him, with no disrespect, that I have been told that before!  He sent me away with a battery of test to be taken; the first being blood work.  He said, "Do the blood test and let’s get the results before you do all the other tests."

On 10/23/01, blood was collected.

On 10/30/01, I got a phone call from Dr. Smith that said, “Quit eating and consuming all forms of DAIRY!  You are killing yourself!"

That day I stopped eating all dairy.  Soon thereafter, I was off all meds and my seizures miraculously stopped. Who knew, a dairy allergy would cause all that!

No doctor wanted to test me for allergies because people "don't have seizures from allergies". Well, my mean glucose was below 60, which can cause seizures.  (Note from Julie: It is my theory that the dairy allergy was affecting her blood sugar, causing it to go low enough to cause the seizures, probably due to a lack of proper absorption of nutrients.  This seems to be confirmed by the lack of seizures and hypoglycemia since removing dairy from her diet.)

I can't be the only person who has had this type of experience, and if I hadn't have continued to explore options, I would still be on anti-convulsive meds and not having the full life I now live.

Until about two years ago, this was my little secret.  If you were having Grand Mal seizures and didn't know the real cause of them, wouldn't you be living with a huge secret, too?  Now I realize how important it is to share my story… I know I am not the only misdiagnosed person living with an allergy that caused/will cause me to have seizures when the smallest amount of dairy was/is consumed.

My greatest concern is that, since I was diagnosed, I have had allergy blood test done through LabCorp. They all came back that I am not allergic to anything.  If I trusted that test solely, I would be living a VERY different life.
You can further connect with Darla on her blog:

Thanks for being a guest, Darla!  Here is a badge for you if you'd like to use it!

I hope you will all take a moment to leave some comment love for Darla below and take some time to visit her blog and offer her some support.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Monthly Milestones {3}

Today is my third time running my monthly feature where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc. and in which you can link up a post about some form of progress you are making, if you wish (see details below). I am enjoying this, and being publicly accountable (as hard as it is) will and is helping me out tremendously.  I hope you enjoy this link-up as well, will link up something inspiring and share it with others so that we can meet our goals together! :)
Here is how I am doing so far:
Me, today, March 1, 2014 at 234 lbs.
  1. I've stayed the same weight.  I haven't made the progress I'd like (i.e. I'm exactly the same weight as last month), but I have made progress.  My stomach is slightly flatter and some clothes are fitting a little better.  That's always a plus, even if the scale is my nemesis.  Hopefully next month it won't be! ;)  Also, I have gotten better about portion control.  I am finding that saying no to that second serving when I am not really hungry is getting easier.  Baby steps in the right direction are still steps in the right direction.  Let's just hope and pray I continue in that direction! :)
  2. I've struggled with illness/pain.  Due to extreme cold (actual temps well below zero - as low as -25 F - and real feel even lower - as low as the -30s F) with crazy wind and lots of snow, my Fibromyalgia has been pretty relentless.  The days I've eaten right and avoided soy, I did pretty good, but that cold can bother anyone, and it was sure evil to most!  I also having been dealing with some sort of nasty head cold for about a week now, and just when I think I'm about to be over it, it comes back full-bore.  I am sure ready for Spring, better yet Summer!
  3. We've gotten some things crossed off our To Do List!  We've gotten a new kitchen table with benches since our old one wasn't an actual kitchen table (more like a plastic, rectangular card table) and our old chairs were starting to fall apart.  It is so nice and looks just perfect in our kitchen, like it was made for the space, and it cost less than buying the 2 new chairs we were thinking about doing.  Pretty sweet!  It's one of those tables that looks really expensive even though it's not, and that's awesome to me. :)  Also, we got all new curtains on the windows we wanted curtains on, a new comforter/bedding set for our room (since we've never really had one), we're getting hubby's car fixed (we've been down to one car pretty much all winter, which is normally fine since the kids are homeschooled and all and I don't work) and we've got hubby and I scheduled for eye appointments (first in like 3 years - YIKES!).  Lots of little things, but such big changes! :)
  4. I'm sleeping better.  I'm not sure if it has been not feeling well or what, but I've been sleeping better and deeper lately.  This is a good thing!  It gives me a lot more energy. :)
  5. I may have some very exciting news for you all soon!  I have a possible opportunity coming up, and if it all works out, I'll let you all know. :)  It would be pretty awesome, so keep me in your thoughts and prayers about this unspoken item.  Thanks so much!

That's pretty much it for this month.  How are you doing on your goals?  Hopefully well, and I hope you will link-up a post telling me all about it or even leave a comment sharing your thoughts.  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)

Now It's Your Turn!

Grab A Badge!