How one woman left the pain behind to live life to the fullest.
Allyson Brown first noticed something was wrong with her health in 2005. She was 23 years old and in her second year of PhD research in Forensic Analytical Chemistry.
“I was running up some stairs at the University and my right leg dropped out from underneath me,” she recalls. “I thought to myself ‘that was clumsy’ but I had done some damage to my knee so started seeing a physio the following week.”
By the time Allyson attended the physio appointment she had a numb patch between her shoulder blades. “My physio told me this was definitely not normal and I should get it looked at,” she says.
When Allyson saw her doctor, the numbing was down the entire right-hand side of her body. She also continued to experience weakness in her right leg and had difficulty walking.
“Convinced there was something more sinister at play, my doctor referred me to a neurologist and shortly thereafter I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS),” says Allyson. “MS is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord resulting in an array of debilitating symptoms including numbing, limb weakness, visual problems, brain fog, fatigue and many more.”
LIVING WITH MS
In the three years immediately after diagnosis, Allyson suffered from several aggressive relapses and debilitating symptoms including leg weakness, numbing, chronic fatigue and brain fog. “My neurologist even told me that if we couldn’t settle down the relapses, I’d be in a wheelchair by 30,” she says. “Certainly not the prognosis I wanted to hear, feeling like I still had my whole life ahead of me.”
It was an incredibly difficult and stressful time for Allyson. “Since my diagnosis, I have experienced almost 20 relapses and an array of symptoms including optic neuritis, leg and bladder dysfunction, issues with cognition, concentration and memory, chronic fatigue, numbing/tingling and more,” she says. “Some of these relapses have left permanent scarring on my brain and spinal cord which I’m likely to have forever, along with the symptoms that go along with this permanent damage (e.g. leg weakness and bladder dysfunction).”
THE ROLE OF DIET
“I won’t lie,” says Allyson. “Until I was 37 years old, I honestly never cared about my diet, but that all changed when my health suddenly depended on it.”
In 2018 Allyson experience a life-altering relapse that prompted her to act. “I was crippled with fatigue and brain fog and desperate to get my life back, I knew I had to try something different,” she says. “I had heard of others who had success by eating an anti-inflammatory diet, but I honestly never thought that would make any difference to me. Boy was I wrong!”
Within three months of eating an anti-inflammatory diet, Allyson says her brain function returned, her energy levels were through the roof and she no longer experienced anxiety and depression.
“I was absolutely elated by these results, but I was confused,” she says. “Having a background in science and research, I kept thinking “I don’t understand…how could food have possibly done this?”
Allyson put her research skills to work and uncovered links between autoimmunity and diet from some of the top researchers and functional medicine practitioners around the world.
“My research findings made so much sense,” she says. “It clearly highlighted that our food choices play a key role in determining our health. Since food was such a critical factor in restoring my health, I have kept it up and will never go back to my old ways.”
NOW TO HELP OTHERS
“There’s an estimated 320 million people suffering with one or more autoimmune diseases worldwide,” says Allyson. “After achieving incredible success in restoring my quality of life, purely by changing my diet, I knew I needed to help these people.
I wanted to share the life-changing information that I’d learnt through months of research.”
Allyson founded everheal in 2019 to support and guide others offering easy-to-follow lessons about how to make healthy and sustainable diet/lifestyle changes, to overcome fatigue and brain fog, to improve their health and quality of life.
“Diet changes are hard to do by yourself,” says Allyson. “This is why only five percent of people succeed. So I created this supportive, step-by-step program to help tip the scales and enable more people to learn how to make these simple and sustainable changes to take back control and live the life they deserve to be living.”