Library: Sarah - true story
"I am 32, and have suffered from constant cluster headaches, acne, various skin irritations, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, excessive tiredness and unexplained weight gain for several years. On numerous occasions over the last few years I have visited my GP for all these problems, often coming away feeling let down as the conditions (and my very real symptoms) were not being taken seriously. I have had hundreds of prescription drugs, numerous blood tests which have all shown up as negative, and have frequently been told that stress/being overweight/"not eating enough fibre"/"it's hereditary" etc etc was the cause. Meanwhile, I work long hours and was finding I was getting more and more run down and depressed - so by Friday each week I'd collapse on the settee at 8pm and sleep until Saturday!
However, about a year ago after a particularly bad migraine I realised that I was drinking a lot of coffee and switched to decaf. After the initial few days, the migraines and cluster headaches became far less severe, but still weren't responding to painkillers (either prescribed or over the counter). Around 6 months ago I joined weightwatchers, as I had become 2 1/2 stone overweight over a 2 year period, despite watching what I was eating.
After following the diet to the book for 6 months I found myself a further 7lbs heavier, and felt even worse than I had previously. The meeting co-ordinator sent me back to my GP again a few weeks ago, as I should have been losing weight steadily, and should have been feeling better for eating a low fat, balanced diet. After yet more inconclusive blood tests, and a lecture about needing to lose weight and I'd feel better...
I re-iterated the fact that I had been dieting to no avail, and had cut out caffeine and had had a severe headache every time I came into contact with it since, and that if caffeine can cause this sort of reaction, is was completely possible that something else could have the same sort of effect. Eventually he told me to follow an elimination diet, cutting out MSG and wheat (but no leaflets or diet sheets to follow), and packed me off muttering something about coming back to him in 6 months if I didn't feel any better!
Armed with this completely useless "help" I then spent hours trawling the internet trying to find some kind of proof that my instincts were right - which is when I found your site. Since then I have found a homeopath locally who specialises in IBS and migraine problems who has given me a detox diet to follow, and performed some tests using some sort of electro-magnetic machine to find sensitivities. This test has shown that I have sensitivities to an entire list of food and substances, mainly caffeine, cows milk, cheese, MSG, beef, bananas, chocolate (probably the milk), wheat, corn, cigarette smoke and gloss paint. These are apparently not conclusive tests, but give an initial indication of problem foods. I will not know if I am intolerant to these until I have tested each one individually, but having cut all these foods from my diet a week ago I suffered a terrible migraine initially, but now feel better than I have done in months.
My partner has been following the diet with me, and similarly feels 100% better as well. I will be following your advice on the food diary, which seems a very sensible way to go. I have also lost 5 lbs. this week. The homeopath explained how the digestive system works and what tends to happen when foods cannot be digested properly because of intolerances, and why doctors often fail to recognise the condition. All of which reiterates what I learnt from your site.
I have a long way to go, but at least I know that I have finally found recognised reasons for the symptoms and that I can finally re-gain control of my body again. If this works, somehow I don't think that it's worth the effort to go back to my GP in 6 months!"
For more information on the Food Intolerance see Change Your Diet and Change Your Life.