After several months of severe abdominal pain, Dee Eastman, Director of The Daniel Plan, was at a loss for what was ailing her 19-year-old daughter Meagan. Despite numerous emergency clinic visits, several diagnosis and treatments from Gastronomical Intestinal specialists, Meagan was not well.
Meagan was born with cerebral palsy, a shortage of oxygen in the brain which prevents the brain from communicating properly with the muscles in the body. This condition adds every day challenges for a lifetime, such as lack of mobility, movement, sitting up straight, feeding herself, and just about any self-care.
Dee said before The Daniel Plan, although the rest of her family would eat pretty healthy, Meagan got special treatment when then ate out.
“I fed her like everyone else, but when ordering out, I would let her pick whatever she wanted which was often off the kids menu,” Dee said.
The results from years of unhealthy eating, and inactivity, started to add up. When Meagan turned 17, she was having significant digestive issues with heart burn and constipation. The pain often led Meagan to tears, Dee to frustration and a major family ordeal.
“So we went to a G.I. specialist, who put her on Miralax and Benefiber, which you drink to add bulk and fiber to the digestive cycle,” Dee said. “But Meagan continued to have a lot of pain, and we had to visit the Emergency Room a few times.”
They also visited a nutritionist, who recommended a stricter diet eliminating wheat, dairy, and adding foods in high fiber and olive oils. But Meagan was not seeing any improvement. Dee said they decided to get yet another opinion from a G.I. Specialist who recommended an endoscopy to view her internal organs through a camera. Meagan then underwent a C.T. Scan, blood work panel and ultrasound.
Dee said, “They could not find anything wrong with Meagan!”
Finally, Dee discovered the work of functional medicine expert Dr. Mark Hyman, who is one of the three doctors leading The Daniel Plan. She found the Center for New Medicine in Irvine, which practices the concepts of functional medicine--treating the causes, not the symptoms.
“We visited Dr. Alexander Thermos and he ordered more extensive blood work, and additional tests, uncovering a host of problems, that were causing the pain,” Dee said. “For example, Meagan was diagnosed with Candida - overgrowth with several side effects, and low probiotics in her intestinal tract and she is gluten intolerant.”
Meagan started taking supplements, a liquid probiotic, and additional enzymes before and after meals.
“After 60 days, we did more blood work, and the candida was gone! Her probiotics were at a much better, healthy level,” Dee said. “The biggest change is the pain is gone!”
Now Meagan is learning new habits like what she can and cannot eat, gluten and to bring her enzymes with her. She’s catching on, Dee said.
“The other day, a family friend dropped a huge pile of chocolates to the house and I wasn’t there. But Meagan looked up, and in her own way, told our friend that ‘thank you but we’re on a very strict diet now.’
“I am so relieved, and I feel like this has set Meagan up for success in life,” Dee said. “She’s learning how to navigate choices that will work for her.”
Dee also said she is thankful and encouraged by the whole functional medicine and The Daniel Plan concepts which helped uncover what was wrong.
“When you can find out the underlying causes and address them, the body has a chance to heal,” Dee said.