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“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” (Hippocrates)
Since early childhood, I have struggled with a never ending range of health ordeals: Celiac disease, lactose intolerance, sebaceous cysts, ovarian cysts, lipomas, osteopenia, bleeding ulcers, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, swelling in parts of my body, skin infections, weight gain, blood clots, etc. I had surgeries to extract tonsils, appendicitis, ovarian cysts, repair a broken coccyx, lipomas removed from the top of my head and from two legs (filled with blood clots and fat).
I first suffered gastritis when I was 3 months old. I had surgery in my mouth, when I was 3 years old. I had ulcers by age eight, tonsillitis at age nine, and appendicitis at age eleven, when surgery also removed the huge cysts that had grown on one of my ovaries.
Digestive issues continued pretty much throughout my life. Stressful experiences affected the functioning of my adrenal glands. At one point I lost 33 pounds in one week. At times my thyroid became hyperactive, causing me to lose weight extremely quickly.
I became very selective about what I ate, yet not understanding the causes of my digestive issues, my digestive problems continued unabated. I came to hate food with a passion, thinking that to avoid stomach cramps, pain and gas, and to control weight, etc., I would stop eating, which I did many times. My weight went from 120 pounds on average to 85 pounds at times.
I tried all kinds of diets, but with no lasting significant change. Newly arising health issues often required hospitalization and all kinds of tests. At one point I was sent home because the doctors could not diagnose my disease. I was told I was dying. I didn’t die, but I was again hospitalized for different health conditions, including those related to the heart and blood pressure, the causes of which were never determined.
I have had many frightening experiences. Another was a growth on the top of my head that grew to the size of a golf ball. My father — a physician —diagnosed it as a cyst, took it out, and sent it for a pathological analysis. The diagnosis was a ball of fat, or benign lipoma. Later I developed a growth in my right leg. A vascular surgeon said he didn’t know what it was, but suggested a plastic surgeon cut the part of the leg and fill it with an implant. My father ordered an MRI. He told me it was necessary to cut my leg as well. I refused to listen to all doctors and decided I would heal my leg with castor oil compresses and a heating pad. I did so religiously daily for eight months, and my leg did heal.
I have spent a great deal of time learning about myself. I had five years in psychoanalysis, another three in a group setting. I studied many breathing, meditation and yoga techniques. I studied natural remedies, alternative medicine, and the use of organic and natural products to support healing. I learned about many alternative medicine solutions and self-help methods to improve my health. I applied the knowledge of many, many teachers. I have knowledge on how to change the way I think, and to understand my feelings and emotions
Over the many years I have seen many, many doctors. I have been through so many health ordeals that doctors were not able to diagnose, or diagnosed incorrectly, to a point in which I could no longer believe in doctors’ diagnosis and prognosis of my diseases. All prescribed drugs. Many have side effects that can be devastating.
One day, I had an experience that set me on a path to better health. While at work, the pain in my stomach was so intense that I was crying. A colleague said I may have celiac disease — something that she herself was dealing with. I read all I could find out about it.
Celiac disease has about 300 different symptoms — many of which I had experienced. This unique allergy to gluten manifests itself when ingesting food cooked with wheat, rye, and barley, and can also be triggered by processed foods and cosmetics. Doctors do not discuss or check out this allergy or disease as part of their diagnostic routine. I have concluded that it is because there is no money on it. Celiac disease cannot be treated by a costly drug, developed and promoted by big pharmaceuticals.
My doctor did not want to spend time diagnosing celiac disease, so I followed my own intuition. I decided to stop eating foods with gluten, and to assess after a period of time my overall health. My general practitioner for 10 years, highly recognized as an expert in allergies, never asked about my food intake or considered any allergic reaction as possibly connected to my health.
My new doctor also sent me to all types of specialists, requested tests, and gave me drugs I cannot tolerate. No diagnosis.
Throughout my life, I have pursued wellness — physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Health issues never derailed me from passionately seeking some form of exercise. To feed my emotional, mental and spiritual sides, I read many books, including those of Dr Wayne W. Dyer. I learned of his experience with Pamela McDonald, Integrative Medicine Family Nurse Practitioner, how her work had healed him. I was so happy about this, I felt like jumping in joy.
In his Foreword on Pamela’s book The Perfect Gene Diet he says: “The book you now hold in your hands can and will not only change your life for the better, but if you read it and apply it seriously, it will very likely save you from an unnecessarily early demise.” That is precisely what it has done for me.
I was fascinated with the idea that the APO E Gene and a specific diet for your individual gene type can prevent and reverse serious illness such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, obesity and weight problems, many chronic illness, etc. Even more, the APO E Gene Program addresses the whole individual — mind, body and spirit.
I thank God so often for meeting Pamela McDonald. Few can understand how I felt when learning that the diseases and pains I felt were not imaginary, despite tests that said I am healthy, despite doctors’ persistent ignorance and failure to offer a solution to these serious health problems.
Pamela has given me a healthy diet and a whole new life, as I now follow an integrative approach as treatment, along with an anti-inflammatory diet suitable to my APO E Gene type. I have learned how individuals process or do not process food, how to select appropriate foods, and how our biology truly works.
None of this was taught to me by any physician. The predominant approach to illness practiced by doctors is to treat symptoms, and/or order tests to rule out symptoms, and to prescribe medications. Chauncey Crandall, M.D., at the world-renowned Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., says “in medical school we are taught to treat any abnormality with any medication available.” Revenue generation seems to be the main driver.
Pamela helped me put together all the pieces of my life’s puzzle, and gave me a clear road map. I now I have a complete picture of what the past was, and I am well equipped to strive towards a future with everything I wish for my health and happiness.
With blood tests, and listening and learning and about my life, food habits, exercise, emotional issues, and other health related issues, Pamela put together a diagnosis and designed an individualized nutrition plan and exercise program for me —and my husband. We thought we were eating a healthy diet, but there was so much we did not know! With Pamela’s approach to nutrition, integrative aspects including exercise, meditation, anti-inflammatory diet plus intake of natural supplements, my cholesterol went from 295 to 215 in four months without any type of drug.
I learned my gene type and my body cannot process anything that comes from dairy or meat from cows. I found plant based vegan substitutes. I discovered new foods that, along with supplements, gave me the needed nutrients. The little bulbs of fat in my legs and tummy area disappeared. My skin is becoming nice and smooth. My stomach pain, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and headaches have gone. My liver which was accumulating fat, is back to normal. The pain in the right side of the body, has gone. I am losing weight, as needed.
To-date, I am very well. It was difficult for me to feel well in the past, and because I did not know how to define this aspect of my wellbeing. Now I know, and have the firm conviction that I am on the right path to live a very healthy and happy life.
Sarah R. Florida
Let’s focus on being well in 2022
Pam McDonald FNP