Healthy ev­ery day

Ex­haus­tion, headaches and si­nus pres­sure were the norm for Lind­say Mor­ris. But when she fi­nally dis­cov­ered the easy-to-avoid cul­prit, she quickly re­gained her en­ergy—and her life

First For Women - - Contents -

The bath­room se­cret that cures a sneaky al­lergy that af­fects 65 per­cent of women

Just keep your eyes open… do not fall asleep, Lind­say said to her­self as she sat front and cen­ter in an im­por­tant meet­ing, des­per­ately try­ing not to doze off. “I was so tired and my head was aching. I didn’t know how I was go­ing to get through the next 5 min­utes of the meet­ing, let alone the rest of my busy work­day. I used to ar­rive at work at 9 in the morn­ing, ready to tackle the day and jug­gle dead­lines, but lately I’d been drag­ging my­self through life, and I didn’t think I could keep it up with the de­mands of my news­pa­per job. It was time to face facts: I needed to quit.

Sick of feel­ing tired

“I al­ways prided my­self on be­ing a healthy eater and a strong per­son. I was a good Mid­west­ern girl from the dairy state, where there was a ton of ad­ver­tis­ing to re­mind us to drink enough milk, so I felt con­fi­dent that I was get­ting the nu­tri­ents my body needed. But de­spite my healthy diet, I suf­fered from low en­ergy and chronic si­nus in­fec­tions. I was given an­tibi­otics on and off for 10 years and thought I’d get bet­ter with time and treat­ment, but I didn’t. I devel­oped pierc­ing si­nus pres­sure and per­sis­tent headaches. Ibupro­fen didn’t help. Ev­ery morn­ing I woke up feel­ing foggy and un­rested, and though I started each day off right with a bowl of ce­real, I never had the en­ergy that seemed to come nat­u­rally to the peo­ple around me.

“When I went to the doc­tor and said I was des­per­ate for re­lief, I was told it was only si­nusi­tis. He dis­missed my con­cerns say­ing, ‘You’ll just have to live with it.’

“I wasn’t about to just ‘live with it,’ though, so I be­came a veg­e­tar­ian and ate only clean foods like fruit, veg­gies, nuts and dairy in the hopes that it would re­store my en­ergy and help me feel bet­ter over­all. It didn’t. And then a mys­te­ri­ous new symp­tom ap­peared: The skin in­side my throat felt like it was crawl­ing. I took over­the-counter an­ti­his­tamines, but they made me feel even more groggy.

“I didn’t just feel sick, I looked sick. My face was swollen and I had what looked like an unattrac­tive Adam’s ap­ple. I was scared and didn’t know where to turn. Had the doc­tors missed a thy­roid con­di­tion or a cyst? It was the most stress­ful time of my

life. I be­came con­vinced some­thing ter­ri­ble—even ter­mi­nal—was wrong.

A sim­ple an­swer

“I ended up go­ing to see a new doc­tor who asked, ‘Are you drink­ing milk?’ I proudly beamed, ‘Yup, I drink four glasses a day.’ I thought she was go­ing to give me a gold star, but to my sur­prise she said, ‘Well cut it out!’

“The doc­tor sus­pected I had a sen­si­tiv­ity to ca­sein, a pro­tein in dairy. My his­tory of chronic stress could have played a role in my sen­si­tiv­ity. She rec­om­mended I try an elim­i­na­tion diet—avoid­ing dairy for 14 days—to see if my symp­toms van­ished. I couldn’t imag­ine some­thing I thought was ben­e­fi­cial had been mak­ing me sick for decades, but I fol­lowed the doc­tor’s or­ders.

“Af­ter the first week, I felt like a new per­son. No brain fog or fa­tigue. When the el­e­va­tor in my build­ing broke, I took the stairs with­out feel­ing winded. My headaches were gone. And I looked like me again— no puffy un­der-eye bags or Adam’s ap­ple. I even needed less makeup. Plus, I hadn’t re­al­ized how bloated I’d be­come—off dairy, I dropped two whole dress sizes!

“I learned to eat around ca­sein, which is found in ob­vi­ous places like but­ter and cheese, but also lurks in prod­ucts like salad dress­ing and sauces. I read in­gre­di­ent la­bels and asked ques­tions when din­ing out like, ‘Are th­ese bread­sticks brushed with but­ter?’

“Through re­search, I learned that adults don’t ac­tu­ally need dairy. I could get plenty of cal­cium by eat­ing dark green veg­eta­bles like Swiss chard or broc­coli. I also learned that it is pos­si­ble to rein­tro­duce dairy af­ter tak­ing a break from it—but I’m so amazed with my trans­for­ma­tion that I have no de­sire to add it back.

“To­day I have no prob­lem keep­ing up with my busy life, which in­cludes a job that ful­fills me—at Farm Sanc­tu­ary, an or­ga­ni­za­tion that res­cues and pro­tects farm an­i­mals in­clud­ing dairy cows. Solv­ing my health rid­dle means I have the strength now to work hard for the causes that are clos­est to my heart!”

—as told to Lisa Maxbauer

Lind­say Mor­ris, 39, Los An­ge­les

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