Monday, May 16, 2011

In Her Own Words: Carrie's Story

Gastrointestinal disorders, allergies and chronic pain are all on the rise, but many of us do not realize what we are suffering from until we learn about someone else in a similar situation. My hope is that in sharing our own struggles, you will be inspired to think a little more about your own health. A friend of mine has kindly consented to sharing her touching story in hopes that you too will begin to question the information we've all been given about what food we really need to be healthy. Thank you Carrie.

Today I have decided to write about something I feel very passionate about and have personally experienced: the negative effects of dairy. I am not a medical professional and I don’t know everything . . .  but, I do know that if you pay attention to your body and look at the cause and effect, you can definitely begin to uncover the truth!

I was diagnosed as an infant as being allergic to cow’s milk. I was so sick that the doctors actually thought I had whooping cough! When they discovered that my serious illness was actually caused by milk, they told my parents that I would grow out of it – so within a year, my mom started feeding me dairy products again.

As a child, I suffered from enlarged tonsils and constant strep throat, severe constipation, headaches, severe stomach pain, lack of concentration in school, nausea after eating dairy products, bloated stomach, allergies and nasal stuffiness. I think the worst symptom of all was feeling depressed. By the age of 10, I hated my body and wanted to die. Suicidal thoughts continued throughout my teenage years as my symptoms persisted.

After having my first baby, I began forcing even more dairy products down my throat because I believed a breast-feeding mother needed 4 servings of dairy products per day. It wreaked havoc on my body! I developed severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome, my headaches turned into migraines, my stomach bloating became severe (some days I looked like I was 4 months pregnant!), my sinuses worsened to a point that I would take anti-histamines on a daily basis (otherwise I couldn’t breath!), my PMS became severe and I developed fibroids. It is amazing to me that all this could have been avoided if I had only stayed away from the dairy! At the time I couldn’t understand what was wrong with me – I was eating a healthy diet, full of the 4 main food groups that I had been taught would keep me healthy.

After countless visits to my doctor, a colonoscopy, ultrasounds, blood work, etc, I decided to look for help on the Internet. I soon realized that all my symptoms were pointing to a food allergy, so I decided to keep a food journal. It became very obvious that dairy was literally making me SICK! I immediately became concerned about how I would be healthy without dairy - I mean, where would I get my calcium from?! So I decided to “cut back” on the dairy. This helped a bit and I had the peace of mind that I was still getting some calcium – even though my body screamed at me otherwise, I STILL believed that I needed dairy!

When I first read Shanon’s blog about a month ago, I was totally shocked to learn the truths about dairy. I began to do some research myself and was horrified at what I found. Not only do I NOT need dairy, but NO ONE NEEDS dairy! I immediately removed dairy from my whole family’s diet. What I wasn’t prepared for was how great we would feel! All the awful symptoms that I lived with all my life began to lessen and have now gone completely. I never knew what it was like to not be stuffed up, to not have ANY bloating, to not have a headache and to have normal bowel function. Even my joints don’t hurt anymore. My mind feels clearer and my energy levels have soared through the ceiling! I now have a more optimistic outlook on life. Wow, if only I had known this thirty years ago!!

I know that I am not alone. The fact that 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant tells me that there are many of you out there! I firmly believe that we all deserve the truth, and the truth is that all cow’s milk (regular and ‘organic”) has 59 active hormones, many allergens, fat and cholesterol. Most cows’ milk has measurable amounts of herbicides, pesticides, dioxins, antibiotics, blood, pus, feces, bacteria & viruses. The truth is that fruits and vegetables are a better source of calcium than cow’s milk. The truth is that when you consume high amounts of cow’s milk, your body actually loses calcium!

Milk has also been directly linked to leukemia, diabetes, MS, Crohn’s disease, colitis, IBS, obesity, heart disease, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, osteoporosis, asthma, allergies, behavioral problems, depression, and the list goes on and on . . .

I feel that the government needs to do more research and stop hiding the facts from us! When considering the negative effects of dairy products, a very important thing to remember is that the dairy industry is one of tremendous influence and they have a lot of money to spend where it counts – in advertising and in government quarters where it will do the “most good”. We all deserve much, much more – I believe that we all deserve the truth!!
If you or someone you know has had their own struggles with food and health, and would be willing to share it, please contact me.

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