KENTON — For more than three years Jodi Ledley battled severe headaches.
There have been times in the life of Jodi Ledley, right, when it would have been difficult for her to smile like she is with Jane Kraft in this photo. Ledley suffered from intense headaches until Kraft led her to a dietary change which Ledley said saved her life.(PHOTO | KENTON TIMES)
She searched for the source of her suffering through traditional methods, such as visits to doctors and clinics. After nearly $70,000 in medical bills, Ledley was no better. Her headaches progressed in strength and frequency until they were controlling her life.
Her future looked bleak until she changed her diet. In the past year, Ledley and her family have avoided many foods containing MSG ingredients, preservatives and dyes and GMOs. Her symptoms are gone and the 36-year-old mother of two is convinced her dietary change saved her life.
Ledley said she had no real health problems, except for a tendency for migraine headaches, until about four years ago. But suddenly those headaches grew so severe she found herself making several visits to area emergency rooms. including the ER at Hardin Memorial Hospital, where Ledley works in the lab department.
In the coming months, Ledley found medication was not the solution to her suffering. It only diminished her pain enough to make daily life livable, not normal.
“This led to severe debilitating, chronic pain and migraines where I would lay on the bathroom floor in between bouts of violent vomiting episodes for hours,” Ledley recalled. “I never felt good; there were just slightly functional days between the ‘big ones.’”
Botox injections helped somewhat for a while, she said, but after taking 30 shots of the drug every three months for more than two years, Botox was no longer helping, either.
She underwent a process on her neck to block the nerves. Her insurance wouldn’t pay for anesthesia, so she had the procedure without it.
“Imagine laying on a table and hearing the beep, beep, beep while doctors put hot needles in my neck,” said Ledley. “But I was desperate to try anything.”
Again, there was no relief.
She reduced her hours at the hospital and closed her professional photography business. Ledley searched for answers at the Michigan Head and Neck Institute, but, they, too didn’t have a solution.
A pain doctor suggested a neurostimulater implant would control the pain by disrupting the pain signals to her brain. Coming home from that appointment, said Ledley, she pulled her car off the road and cried in desperation.
“I was more upset than I have ever been in my life,” she recalled. “I am not getting that implant, this couldn’t be happening to me. I have a wonderful husband and kids and now my life is not just over, I’ve been sentenced to a life of suffering. I felt bad for them.”
But at her lowest point came hope. She began looking into the Weston Price Foundation. Price was a pioneer in nutrition who studied groups of unindustrialized people and compared them to the same genetic line of people who had been industrialized and were eating processed food.
Ledley decided to give the organization a try.
“I thought, ‘It can’t hurt me,’” she recalled. “It gave me hope … One of the principles of The Weston Price Foundation is to eat whole unprocessed food. This is real food, like butter, lard, unrefined salt, raw milk, nothing fake and nothing with additives. It made sense to me and I started getting the chemical additives out of my food.”
That isn’t as easy as it might sound, she said. MSGs (monosodium glutamates), for example, can be marketed under at least 70 different names. At times, food labeled “no MSGs” contains the flavor enhancer. A list of food additives is available at www.truthinlabeling.com, she said.
“As soon as I followed the list, all the medical problems were gone,” said Ledley. “Since I changed our diets in February, no one in my family has been sick.”
Her husband’s blood pressure has returned to normal, she said. Her son’s asthma problems have been reduced to the point he has participated in a 5K run and ran at the front of the pack.
“There was nothing that didn’t hurt me. But since we changed our diets, I haven’t been sick a day. I feel crazy good,” said Ledley.
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