By Jackie Wicks
This is a great story on so many levels. I just met and interviewed a woman named Ivy Larson, and I want you all to hear her story because it is so inspiring. Long story short is that she solved her own health puzzle by taking total responsibility for her own outcome and getting some of the best help and guidance that she could.
Interview Summary and Introduction:
Ivy was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) at age 22. Up to this point she was a very healthy, athletic person. Summer of 1998 she started having all sorts of very out of the routine medical problems. Many parts of her body just stopped working properly.
Visits to many doctors in Palm Beach County didn't get to the bottom of what was happening. Finally she ended up in the emergency room, and she ended up seeing a urologist in Miami. It was there the doctor realized that the problem was likely neurological.
After a battery of tests she was diagnosed as being in the early stages of MS. She was given three options. 1) trial for medication that was in the human trial phase. 2) Begin one of the FDA approved disease modifying medications. But I was told that there were huge side effects and she wanted to have children. 3) Third option was a dietary overhaul.
She knew nothing about nutrition at this point. She contacted a friend from high school who was at the University Of Pennsylvania Medical school at the time. His immediate reaction to the suggestion of using diet was to look up the credentials of the neurologist suggesting this course of action.
He did and this began a process where he began to understand the limitations and risks of treating MS with drugs as well as the power of treating the symptoms through dietary changes. Down the road, Ivy and her friend at medical school ended up getting married (MS: A Love Story!). They ended up writing a best selling book based on their experience tackling this problem called, The Gold Coast Cure: A Lifestyle Plan to Shed Pounds, Gain Health and Reverse 10 Diseases.
Ivy has also become an amazing cook in the process. You can find many of her recipes on her website.
The interview runs 30 minutes. Talking to Ivy was interesting, uplifting and motivating. We hope you enjoy it!
About MS, (From Wikipedia)
"Multiple sclerosis (abbreviated MS, also known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminata) is a disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms. Disease onset usually occurs in young adults, and it is more common in females. It has a prevalence that ranges between 2 and 150 per 100,000. MS was first described in 1868 by Jean-Martin Charcot.
MS affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other. Nerve cells communicate by sending electrical signals called action potentials down long fibers called axons, which are wrapped in an insulating substance called myelin. In MS, the body's own immune system attacks and damages the myelin. When myelin is lost, the axons can no longer effectively conduct signals. The name multiple sclerosis refers to scars (scleroses—better known as plaques or lesions) in the white matter of the brain and spinal cord, which is mainly composed of myelin. Although much is known about the mechanisms involved in the disease process, the cause remains unknown. Theories include genetics or infections. Different environmental risk factors have also been found.
Almost any neurological symptom can appear with the disease, and often progresses to physical and cognitive disability. MS takes several forms, with new symptoms occurring either in discrete attacks (relapsing forms) or slowly accumulating over time (progressive forms). Between attacks, symptoms may go away completely, but permanent neurological problems often occur, especially as the disease advances.
There is no known cure for MS. Treatments attempt to return function after an attack, prevent new attacks, and prevent disability. MS medications can have adverse effects or be poorly tolerated, and many patients pursue alternative treatments, despite the lack of supporting scientific study. The prognosis is difficult to predict; it depends on the subtype of the disease, the individual patient's disease characteristics, the initial symptoms and the degree of disability the person experiences as time advances. Life expectancy of patients is nearly the same as that of the unaffected population."