When Jacinta was on her game, whatever she did, she’d win.
The problem was that she was often unable to do her best because she had a difficult time getting enough air during strenuous activity. Her throat was always hard to clear, especially in the mornings. Jacinta always complained that her coughing at night woke her up repeatedly, and left her fatigued all day. On occasions when she was feeling well, she was often the best female athlete in her high school. Unfortunately, she was often so quickly winded during the games that the coach would have to pull her out and she’d watch the rest of the competition from the sidelines. The coach told her she was out of shape, which is obviously inconsistent with her strong, physically fit condition. Plus, Jacinta had constant earaches and possibly even a vocal cord dysfunction. By the time her mom brought her to see me, they had seen doctor after doctor without any lasting improvement to her health from on-going treatments including allergy medications and antibiotics.
I attributed many of her symptoms to diet and lifestyle habits—she’s a big milk drinker because “athletes love milk,” she tells me. Jacinta would sometimes have five tall glasses of milk a day in the belief that this would make her stronger. I spent a lot of time educating her and her mother on the issues of the “Milk and Cookie Disease” (MCD), and I recommended limiting milk and all other forms of dairy. My mantra, “the kitchen is closed after 7pm” would now apply, in addition to consuming only one glass of milk a day.
At the two-week follow up appointment, mom reported that “she is now consistently in the top third out of 40 runners, and even running in really hot weather didn’t slow her down. Jacinta is an entirely different athlete because of these changes.” Now I can close my file on Jacinta who is finally capable of being the consistently high performing athlete she’s clearly designed to be.