Join Our Community

Too Much Chronic Pain?

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

Too Much Chronic Pain?

The answer is in your genes.
Pamela  McDonald
Pamela McDonald More by this author
Oct 21, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Rebecca was 26 when she first came to see me. She was chronically ill, with severe, chronic pain in her feet and ankles. This wasn’t surprising since she weighed 254 pounds, with a little more than half her weight, or 51.5 percent, being body fat. For many years, Rebecca had tried most of the popular diet plans—Atkins, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers— and she had even worked with two local weight-loss providers in her struggle to lose weight and keep it off. None of them had worked. In fact, she had continued to gain weight, even though she had followed each plan religiously. Finally, she came to see me, determined once and for all to lose weight, lose her pain, and be healthy.

As always with new patients, I took a detailed medical history. Rebecca’s family had a strong history of heart disease; and she suffered severe headaches, chronic pain, terrible acne, kidney stones, and chronic constipation. Her gallbladder had been removed as a result of gallbladder disease. Not surprisingly, she also suffered from deep depression. Her modest job created high levels of stress for her.

I also gave Rebecca the Integrative-Medicine Questionnaire, which contains questions that help both my patients and me to understand their past, their beliefs, and what they really want out of life. I also gave her a physical exam, and she had an Apo E gene test. She was an Apo E 4/3. Now it all made sense why she had never been able to lose weight—and even gained pounds—on the popular alternative low-carb, low-calorie, and high-protein diets that seemed to produce such good results for other people. Relieved and happy to know the reason, she was more than ready to test the nutritional plan that was best for her genotype. More than once, she asked me why no one had ever told her about this process before.

She studied the Big Three food groups—carbohydrates, protein, and fat—and how they applied to her Apo E 4/3. Very slowly, Rebecca began making dietary changes according to her genotype. At her next visit, her weight had increased by two pounds, but that did not deter her. The next time, she weighed 246 pounds—she had lost 10—and by six months, her weight was 223 and her body fat was 46 percent.

In addition, her cholesterol improved, her acne had completely disappeared, as had her constipation and chronic pain. Six months after that, or one year after her first visit, she had slimmed down to 197 pounds and 41 percent body fat. She had lost 59 pounds, of which 42 pounds were fat.

Today, Rebecca continues following her prescribed Perfect Diet and exercise and stress-reduction plan. She is happier and healthier than at any time in her life, feeling like a beautiful woman who has gained control of her health. “I’ve changed my life for good,” she says, “and I won’t ever look back.”

About Author
Pamela  McDonald
Pamela McDonald is a leading integrative-medicine nurse-practitioner who has devoted her life to the prevention of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and chronic illness. She has had special training in surgery, women’s health care, adult primary ca Continue reading