Terri R.

I remember meeting Terri for the first time, and it has been wonderful to see her take back control of her health like this. Wishing her continued good health. – Dr. Perlmutter

In January 2013 a slight eye tic that I have had for a few years suddenly turned into very hard spasms on the entire left side of my face. Whether I was awake or asleep, they were constant. They were so severe my speech was slurred; I couldn’t drive, read or do much of anything. My life came to a complete halt! I was even dealing with a lot of depression as a result. I just did not feel right.

I went to a neurologist in Montgomery and the diagnosis was Hemifacial spasms. I also had an MRI that showed white matter lesions on my brain with the possibility of MS. The good news was that there was no tumor pressing on the facial nerve causing the spasms, so most likely there was a vessel pressing on the nerve. I was informed that there are only two treatments for Hemifacial spasms. One is Botox injections every three months in the muscles of the face to stop/freeze the muscle from spasming, and the other is brain surgery to put a Teflon barrier between the blood vessel causing the problem and the nerve. In the majority of cases Botox works well and surgery is not needed. I chose the Botox, and it turns out I was the statistic that did not tolerate it well. It completely paralyzed the left side of my face and closed my left eye completely. I had double vision so bad I could hardly walk without assistance. I went back to the neurologist and he said it should clear up in a few days. It turned out to be almost 3 months. As my closed eye began to open, I could not blink so I developed dry eye. The Botox had gotten in the optic nerve. As I was having more blood tests run, it was obvious not only was I having spasms, but my body was depleted in many vitamins and nutrients. I was no longer absorbing much from my foods.

My endocrinologist, Dr. Bruce Trippe, was speaking at a medical conference in Orlando. While there he heard Dr. David Perlmutter speak about gluten sensitivity, white matter lesions on the brain and how sometimes what looks like MS can be brain inflammation caused by gluten. My doctor spoke to Dr. Perlmutter after his lecture and told him about my face and MRI. Dr. Perlmutter asked him to send a video of my facial spasms. After seeing my video, Dr. Perlmutter agreed to an appointment after the effects of the Botox wore off.

The Botox eventually began to wear off and the spasms began to return. Dr. Perlmutter ordered the Cyrex lab tests to be done before my appointment with him. It clearly showed I was highly gluten sensitive. My husband and I drove from Alabama to Naples to meet Dr. Perlmutter. He agreed with the Hemifacial spasm diagnosis, but said if I’d try the gluten-free, sugar-free, high-fat, and protein diet for two months, there was a good chance my problem would correct itself. If not, he said I would need the surgery. He put me on B-12 shots and lots of supplements.

When I left his office, I went straight to a health food restaurant and began this new regiment. Within a couple weeks, I began to notice a difference in the spasms. After a month they were almost completely gone. I still occasionally have a few mild spasms, but they are minimal. I’m driving again, leading a normal life, and I feel better than I have in years. I have been very strict with my diet and the benefits have been life-changing. Even muscle stiffness that I have had for a few years is gone. I could have never imagined that changing my diet could have such a dramatic effect on a condition that would have required brain surgery. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to meet Dr. Perlmutter. It has changed my life!

-Terri R.

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  • Sandy

    This is a heart-warming success! So happy for you to have found relief.
    My 90 year old father in law suffers greatly from trigeminal nerve pain and I want him to read how removing gluten has helped you. He has been told he is too old for surgery so he is on a lot of pills that make him spacey and don’t really work.

  • Julie

    I’ve been listening to the Grain Brain audio book after 3+ long years of experiencing persistent/seemingly random symptoms that NO doctor could figure out:

    -Extreme fatigue which lasted for two plus years
    -Consistent Ulcer like pain in my esophagus/chest
    -Severe gynecological issues, of which I will spare you but one of which resulted in a surgery and one of which I had a biopsy and diagnosis for. The others were recurrent on a monthly basis for over two+ years
    -Consistent Short term memory issues to the point I thought something was seriously wrong with me
    -A pasty like feeling in my mouth which only occurs when I eat something with gluten in it and has persisted for 3.5 years
    -Extreme uncontrollable carbohydrate cravings
    -Extreme sugar cravings
    -Hives on my head which were unexplainable but treated by a doctor for potentially being shingles because he had no clue what it was
    -Digestion issues, of which do not exist as long as I don’t eat gluten and grains
    -Weight gain
    - Hair loss/thinning
    - A drastic change in the texture of my hair
    Not one doctor even suggested a dietary issue. Since March I have eliminated gluten from my diet and now have severely restricted consumption of “better” grains and starchy carbs. Because my grandmother had celiac, I now believe I was “pre-celiac” and miraculously all but one symptom has disappeared. One other only happens if I eat gluten. The one that remains is one gynecologists don’t know a lot about but among several other things, they believe it could be an autoimmune related skin disease, which supposedly will likely never fully go away. It causes extreme pain. I am curious to see if eventually it does.
    I am curious what you must think about the news that they are changing the guidelines for the prescribing of statins such that it will lead to the prescribing of those meds to more than double the number of people currently on the drug! Crazy stuff.
    Julie