Concord woman says diet put MS in remission
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Friday, Mar. 21, 2014

Concord woman says diet put MS in remission

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- JEN BARBOUR
After getting tested, Stephanie Reagan changed what she ate, and her family’s eating habits have changed as well. Here she is with her daughter, Christyna.
  • Want to go?

    The fourth annual Jingle and Jam will be 7-10:30 p.m. April 5 at Foster’s Grille, 8520 Pit Stop Court, Concord. There will be live music by local musician Kevin Brawley, beer and wine tasting, a silent auction and testimonials from grant and outreach recipients.

    Tickets are available at www.ffarms.org.

One local group believes that what we eat has a profound effect on our health. Its mission is to help people find out exactly what foods trigger ill-health.

The group calls itself FFARMS, Foundation for Food Allergy Research for Multiple Sclerosis.

The founder, Kristen Gable, who has multiple sclerosis, found relief from her symptoms after she gave up certain foods. Through testing, she discovered she was allergic to wheat, corn, soy and rice, and other foods such as garlic, ginger, grapes and citrus.

To help others, she formed the foundation, which offers grants for food intolerance testing to people who have a diagnosed autoimmune disease. The ALCAT (antigen leukocyte antibody test) can also be performed for a fee for those without a diagnosed disease.

Stephanie Reagan of Concord recently received a grant from the group.

“You hear about food sensitivities all the time,” said Reagan, who didn’t believe she had any food issues.

But by finding out what foods she was sensitive to and eliminating them, Reagan’s MS went into remission and she lost weight.

“This was totally life-changing for me and for my family. My energy is so much better. I feel better, look better. I have dropped from a size 24 to a 14. I am doing things I have never dreamed that I would ever have done.”

FFARMS is now going into its third year offering grants and has helped 60 people get tested.

“So many of the people we work with are referred to us by people we’ve helped with testing; oftentimes they are family members,” said FFARMS President Kathy Olson, who has controlled her Crohn’s disease through diet. “Our last grant in 2012 is the grandmother to our first grant recipient in 2013.

“It is a beautiful thing when you can see a family find wellness together. For me, that has been the most heartwarming aspect of what we do.”

For information about the foundation, visit www.ffarms.org. The group meets for monthly where members and newcomers share advice, ideas and recipes.

Also, FFARMS will have a booth at the Charlotte Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness event 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 29 at the Harris Conference Center in Charlotte.

The organization’s big fundraiser, Jingle and Jam, is coming soon. Tickets are available for this fun and exciting event to benefit food intolerance testing grants.

Linda Doherty is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Linda? Email her at lindamariebd@gmail.com.

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