Thursday, June 29, 2006


I suppose I will begin by introducing myself and giving a bit of background. I am a 24-year old man living in Torrance, California and working as an electrical engineer. I grew up in Springfield and Sherman, Illinois and graduated from Williamsville High School in 2000. I went on to earn my bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri - Rolla in December 2004. I have been working since then and am currently enrolled at the University of Southern California as a Master's student in electrical engineering.

My health has never been "excellent." Since I was very young, I have had a variety of unusual and somewhat interesting ailments. When I was about ten, it was determined that I had some sort of auto-immune disease but what it was exactly was indeterminate. I struggled with ear infections, sinus problems, pneumonia, and have had a chronic cough and digestive problems for about 3 or 4 years. When I graduated from high school, my health was reasonably good. I had no chronic conditions and generally felt pretty good. I weighed 150 lbs at 5'11". This trend continued for a couple years, but in 2002 I broke my foot, got a sinus infection, and was on an aggressive regimen of antibiotics for a month and a half. I believe that this attack on my immune system is what triggered my current state and that the antibiotics wiped out everything in my body, both good and bad. In 2003, after several months of doctor visits and tests, I was diagnosed with hypogammaglobulinemia, a disease in which one's body produces no immunoglobulins (which work hand-in-hand with white blood cells to fight disease and promote wellness) as a result of a food allergy test. I began receiving immunoglobulin infusions via IV once a month. This process is done by a nurse in my home and takes about 5 hours. This seemed to marginally improve my condition or at least slow its decline. However, since graduating from college I have noticed a slow, steady decline in my general wellness. My cough and digestive proglems are getting worse and I am losing weight. Physical activities wear me out quickly and I have a low level of energy. I currently weigh about 110 lbs.

Last fall, my parents attended the Healthy Lifestyle Expo in Burbank, where they met Dr. Joel Fuhrman, a medical doctor who is an advocate of using nutrition to equip the body to heal itself rather than resorting to antibiotics to cure every little thing. Over the winter, my parents and I went on a vegan diet. I noticed my digestion improve marginally but not much else. I believe the problem with this diet was that I had no direction so I ate anything so long as it wasn't animal products. I still had a Coke and Doritos for a snack and did use half-and-half in my coffee since I am of the solid opinion that non-dairy creamer is nasty. I abandoned that diet a couple months ago and did not notice a significant decline in my health immediately but it has been getting worse. After a couple months of gentle prodding by my father, I finally filled out a set of paperwork provided by Dr. Fuhrman in preparation for a consultion. Yesterday afternoon my parents and I held a phone consultation with Dr. Fuhrman, who was optimistic that his health plan could improve my condition and quality of life. He has placed me on a diet high in cruciferous vegetables, healthy fats (from avocados, nuts, and seeds) and limited in starches, animal products, and sugars. This blog will document not only my progress health-wise, but also reflections on different elements of the diet and my future discussions with Dr. Fuhrman.