The story of Lizzie and her family, though long, is a must-read. – Dr. Perlmutter
I have lived the past decade of my life in terrible fear of developing early on-set Alzheimer’s disease. I am 26 this year, and I am the 4th child in a family of five girls. When I was 12, my mom started to get what I now know as the classic signs of Alzheimer’s. She was only in her 40s. Unfortunately, she ate the low-fat, whole-grain diet that was and, still is, so popular. Within a year of noticing symptoms, my mom had to go live in an assisted living home. No doctors knew what was wrong with her and many said she had Huntington’s Disease, although she tested negative for it. Three years after her first symptoms, she passed away. About five years later her sister also passed away from the same thing. My grandmother also had the same symptoms and died very young. They all had very stressful marriages.
My sisters and I have always been terrified of getting sick like our mother. In recent years we learned that her illness was early on-set Alzheimers. It was helpful to know the cause, but inside we all felt full of despair, as if a death sentence had been placed on us. It has affected all of our life choices, even the choice to have children and pass on this gene.
My sister’s and I have always tried to eat healthy, and we all have a wicked sweet tooth. We all suffer from inflammation-related problems from chronic migraines that have landed us in the hospital, to stomachaches and constant fatigue. None of this was bad enough to think we were not healthy however. We all look fit, and never thought we were doing the wrong thing for our bodies. As I sat and read Grain Brain the day of purchase, I was eating a bowl of Cheerios. I literally put down the spoon and never ate gluten again after that day. Finally, I had answers! It was one of the best feelings I have ever had in my life. I immediately called my sisters and got them to read Grain Brain. We all got on the diet and have been sticking to it for over one year.
One of the quickest things I noticed was that the fatigue virtually went away overnight. I used to have to take a nap every weekend, and felt like I was wasting my time-off. Sometimes at work, I would drive my car to a nearby parking lot at lunch to lay in the backseat to sleep!
Today, I have so much energy I want to run all over the place! So I did, and my husband thought I had lost my mind. During this year there were two times when I was not diligent about checking my meal at a restaurant, and immediately became sick and tired. My husband had to drive me home one of these times as I lay in the backseat sleeping off the meal. I have not had any migraines since changing to this lifestyle, and they used to put me in the hospital. I never get body rashes and eczema anymore. I could go on, but suffice to say I feel so great that I will never go back to my old way of eating. Three of my sisters lost weight and got super fit looking also. They didn’t look as if they needed to lose weight, but it just showed how much our bodies loved this new lifestyle.
Now we all check in on each other weekly to make sure we are still on top of our lifestyle. We are exercising, eating right, and living a stress-free lifestyle. We’ve even added in a ton of fermented foods! A weight has been lifted off of us.
My sister (the first of the 5) also got pregnant this year. Before this, none of us could commit to possibly having a child go though what we watched our mother go through. Now we feel in control, and that it is a choice to activate this terrible gene we may have been passed.