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Allergies and MS: food for thought

Kristin Gable, Ethan Gable, 7, Caitlyn Gable, 9, Kaitlyn Gable, 8, and Dave Gable prepare pizzas at their Highland Creek home.
Kristin Gable, Ethan Gable, 7, Caitlyn Gable, 9, Kaitlyn Gable, 8, and Dave Gable prepare pizzas at their Highland Creek home. JOHN D. SIMMONS

Frustrated after years of ineffective treatments for her Multiple Sclerosis, Kristin Gable turned to a holistic doctor in August 2010 for help. The 36-year-old Highland Creek resident pursued food allergy testing and eliminated problematic foods from her diet. News in November that her MS had essentially gone into remission prompted Gable to share her story of success with others. By December, she had founded the nonprofit FFARMS, the Foundation for Food Allergy Research for Multiple Sclerosis, with the goal of helping other MS patients pursue their own successful recoveries by funding allergy testing for candidates.What prompted you to turn to food as an option for alternative treatment?I took the same drugs for five to six years. When they stopped working, I went through six rounds of chemo with little to no results. I said to myself, “There has to be a better way.” That is when I approached a holistic doctor. Within the first visit, he said I needed to have my food allergies tested. What prompted you to found FFARMS?I changed my diet according to the results of the testing, which showed that I had severe intolerance of certain foods, like celery and mint. Within six weeks, my MS symptoms had gone away. I was fairly certain it was because of the changes in my diet, but I needed more proof. I had an MRI in November. There were such good results that I wanted to spread the word. I started looking for support groups, research, further information on food allergies, holistic doctors who endorsed this approach – and found little to none. I decided to start FFARMS that following December. How would you describe the ultimate goals of FFARMS?Our mission is threefold: raise awareness of the potential effects of allergy testing, help people who would benefit from testing but cannot afford it, and help those who have food sensitivities to formulate menus and meal plans. How has your relationship to food and nutrition changed? How has it not changed? I had to learn how to really cook again. If I have a craving for chocolate, I make my own chocolate cookies. I have to read a lot of labels. With three kids, there is a lot of eating out, but I bring my own food to many restaurants.What would your advice be to MS patients who feel frustrated with traditional treatments?Consider alternative therapies and schedule an appointment with a doctor who is open to food testing. And not to give up hope – they can feel better. There are things to help.FFARMS became a nonprofit in January. For more information, contact Kristen Gable at info@ffarms.org, 980- 225-1504 or www.ffarms.org.

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