Emma's Story

By Dr. Janet Starr Hull

One of the greatest passions for the staff of the Hullistic Network is pediatric nutrition. While adults have the luxury of making their own decisions regarding their health and well being, children are limited to the decisions their parents make for them.

In the last few months, we've received a number of messages from concerned parents whose children are experiencing life-changing symptoms as a result of using aspartame and other diet chemical sweeteners. Family life is being disrupted. Children are missing school and struggling with normal learning. Behavioral issues abound. When these courageous parents can't find answers from the traditional medical community, they begin to search elsewhere. Many parents have contacted us looking for answers. The number of symptoms their children have in common with those listed on the aspartame side effects page of sweetpoison.com often strikes them as a clue to unknown answers. The following is the story of one such family.

On Oct. 24, 2005, Dr. Hull's office received the first in a series of emails from a very concerned and spirited mother (a.k.a. Mrs. TL) reading: "Could you please contact me urgently regarding our 5-year old daughter who has been suffering from Graves' Disease for the last 18 months. Emma is due to have surgery in 3 weeks to remove her thyroid. After reading about Dr Hull's similar condition with Graves' and detoxing for 30 days, I am desperate to find out more."

After reading Dr. Hull's articles on aspartame poisoning, Mrs. TL began to wonder if her daughter's condition really was Graves' Disease or if it was related to aspartame consumption. Mrs. TL had merely three weeks to find some answers before her daughter was scheduled to have her thyroid destroyed. Mrs. TL realized Emma had been consuming two specific products for about two years: a light, fruity drink and a fruity snack containing aspartame plus ace-K. Emma was drinking six (6) to eight (8) servings per day, every day for the last two years.

Dr. Hull suggested Mrs. TL remove all aspartame from her daughter's diet, track Emma's symptoms, and see if Emma's health symptoms improved before surgery. This would serve as proof for her medical practitioner that Emma's Grave's Disease was merely "aspartame disease."

"If this does not help her, then by all means follow the traditional medical recommendations without question. If possible, and if it does not threaten her health, try this for thirty days. Make sure to let your doctor know what you are doing, but expect him/her not to fully support you, nonetheless, as he/she is doing all they have been trained to do to help your daughter."

Within a week of taking Emma off these diet products, Mrs. TL began to immediately notice a difference in her health symptoms.

"Emma is not as aggravated," said Mrs. TL, "She is calmer, and not as restless. She is sleeping better, too, and passing her urine more frequently. She does seem different!

"Emma would wake during the night a lot," continued her mother, "and would get into a terrible sweat. She was having nightmares almost every night, but this last week she has not done that at all."

The rush for healing before surgery became a priority for Emma and her family. They needed answers before the scheduled surgery and they wanted a return to a normal life for their young daughter. Because of the side effects of her prescribed medications, Emma's immune system weakened and she was unable to go to school, or anywhere else for that matter, where lots of people gathered. The situation was "desperate" according to Mrs. TL.

Mrs. TL completely changed Emma's diet and began cooking more foods from scratch. Meanwhile, she also paid close attention to the ingredient labels on the few processed foods she ate. The change was dramatic. One tooth that had blackened regained a healthy whiteness. Emma, who once became fussy after meals, began eating better and acting like the little girl they once knew and always loved.

Emma's physician agreed to delay her surgery. "He does not say very much," she added, "only that there is a remarkable improvement, and her eyes look very good." Anxiously awaiting test results at the end of November, the family was optimistic. The doctor witnessed the changes in Emma's health. While still not blaming aspartame consumption for her illness, he was open to exploring the family's belief that aspartame could be at the root of her thyroid issues. "At the moment, we are very eager to do blood tests, and even though we see such a difference, they will prove our findings - finally and hopefully. We can then start reducing her medication."

Emma continued to take her thyroid medication but, just as in Dr. Hull's case, the medication seemed to be making her sick. According to Mrs. TL, Emma said the medication was making her ill and she shivered every time she took a dose. Dr. Hull informed Mrs. TL of her experience with the same medication and suggested she consider weaning Emma off the PTU as long as her thyroid levels remained stable.

"Emma is so much calmer and relaxed. She is still sleeping well through the night. Her eyes do not push outward anymore. I have taken pictures of her to keep a record of how they looked before compared to how they look now. There is such a difference."

"Emma has not complained of any aches or pains in her legs or head any more, and her eyes are not hurting to the touch. She has two home tutors and they have noticed she is concentrating better and is more willing to learn, whereas before Emma refused to work with them.

"Emma is more confident on her feet and in everything she does now. She is happier with herself and a little sparkle has come back," shared Mrs. TL.

We soon received a note from Mrs.TL saying her daughter's test results came back showing significant improvement in her thyroid levels. Emma's test results had been consistent for the previous two years. It wasn't until her mother removed artificial sweeteners and processed foods from her diet that these positive changes occurred. Again, the doctors were impressed, but not convinced that aspartame was the cause of the initial problems for little Emma. The doctor told Mrs. TL the only way to know for sure aspartame was the cause of her thyroid problems she would have to reintroduce the chemical sweetener into Emma's diet.

According to Mrs. TL, she said "NO!" "I believe aspartame caused this problem and we will be staying away from it. Emma is doing well. She has regained a zest for life, and has lost the anxious look that we had grown accustomed to. All in all, she is a changed little girl embracing life with renewed vigor."

Emma's story continues. As this courageous family moves through the process of their daughter's recovery from Graves' Disease symptoms, they still encounter apprehension from the medical community and among those not informed on the true aspartame dangers. As Dr. Hull experienced during her complete recovery from "a disease with no known cure," and as many others falsely diagnosed with Graves' Disease caused by aspartame have experienced, it takes a deep well of faith in the unknown to march forward, especially if your traditional medical doctor isn't supportive.

Thanks to the courage and commitment of a mother willing to look outside the traditional medical paradigm, this 5 year old has a lifetime ahead of her. This is only one of many stories showing why it is prudent to explore all the healthy options to restoring one's health before permanently destroying such a vital gland as the thyroid.

Posted December 2005 | Permanent Link

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