Shawna’s story is similar to what I hear from many individuals: family health history motivates them to learn more about disease cause and prevention. – Dr. Perlmutter
When my dad was about 55 years old (about 1975), he started having problems with his leg. It would kinda drag behind him and he would have a hard time picking it up and walking correctly. They assumed he had a stroke or had complications from when he broke his leg a few years prior.
Fast forward to 1985. He starts having serious balance problems and is diagnosed as diabetic. So he changes his diet and drops about 50 pounds. As the years go on the his balance continues to deteriorate. He went to about a dozen neurologists and no one could diagnose his issue. In about 1995, he started having seizures. We have no history of epilepsy in the family. The neurologist said they that my father is suffering from TIA strokes. During one of these seizures in about June of 2000 he lost his balance, fell and broke his back.
In November of 2000, I decided my mother and father had to move in with me. In 2001, a new neurologist diagnosed my father has cerebellar ataxia, but the cause was unknown and they diagnosed him with epilepsy. They gave him medicine for the epilepsy and he never had another seizure, but his balance issues deteriorated so much that he could not walk without assistance. In 2003 my sister, 55 and with no medical history of them, started suffering from seizures.
Fast forward to April 2013 and I started my husband on a low-carb diet after a cousin of mine shared Wheat Belly with me. What a wake up call! My father had every symptom in that book, including the cerebellar ataxia. My father ate bread at every meal, and tons of pasta, cereal, processed foods, etc. I’m convinced he suffered from an allergy to wheat. I immediately stopped purchasing and consuming wheat products. My mother, who lives with us and suffers from IBS, also stopped eating wheat and so did my husband. Since May 2013, I’ve lost 18 pounds and all my edema is gone. My husband has lost 25 pounds and my mother has not had any other issues with her IBS. We now only eat fresh, non-processed foods and no wheat products whatsoever. We all feel great. I’m convinced that wheat is poison to our bodies and will never turn back to eating wheat or processed foods again.