Seymour woman talks about her struggle with food allergies

Twenty years ago, Beth Ruth Gord’s doctors told her she was dying, but didn’t know why.

Doctors told the Seymour resident that she could die in six months, so he sent Gord to every specialist he could think of at IU Health in Louisville and elsewhere.

In 2002 she contracted West Nile virus and around that time her significant allergies began to appear.

“My hair was falling out, I had hives around my neck and I was having digestive issues like food poisoning,” Gord said. “I’ve had food poisoning before, but this time it was worse.”

She said the specialists were so frustrated that they didn’t know what to do with her, so they asked a local doctor what to do next.

“He said there was a new doctor in town, Dr. (Stephen) Windley, and he thought I should see him,” Gord said.

Windley is a highly trained family practice specialist in Integrative Medicine, which blends scientifically proven practices with the best of conventional medicine. He attended Indiana University School of Medicine, completed his residency at Ball Memorial Hospital, and is currently on staff at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour.

“Dr. Ms. Windley realized that I was eating to death and was eating foods I was allergic to every day,” Ms. Gord said. “It took me a while to figure out what was going on, but little by little I figured it out.”

She said she was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity because she was lightheaded at the time and had a high-pressure job.

“After about two weeks without diagnostic gluten, the fog in my head disappeared and my head cleared,” Gord said. “Dr. Windley told me that I’m still not as healthy as he thinks I was and that I should have been healthier as I was in my 40s at the time, but I was very sick.”

Windley said 50% of people with gluten issues also have a soy allergy, and Gord realized she actually has a soy allergy. Gord is primarily allergic to soy/soy lecithin, gluten, peanuts, dairy, and nitrates/sulfites.

“Twenty years ago it was really not safe to leave the house and eat, but although it is much better now, there is still a lot to improve,” she said.

Prior to 2002, the only allergy problem she had was lactose intolerance. Looking back, she said her terrible symptoms began when she was 10 years old, but Ms. Gord thought it was normal, she said.

“When I went to college, I realized it wasn’t normal and I often got sick,” she said. “When she entered nursing school, she thought she was going to die of cancer or something. .”

Ms Gord said that anything an allergic person eats affects her immune system, even if she doesn’t have a bad reaction to it, and her immune system has been hit hard.

“I have to be extra careful with everything because I can get infected very easily, so food allergies have a lot of side effects that people don’t think about.” she said.

Gord, who owns a restaurant on Sanibel Island, Fla., said he often stays there because restaurants are required by law to have chefs.

“A lot of cooks help you and understand allergies, but chefs really understand it,” she said. “Sometimes the chef likes it and makes it hard to come up with something great you can eat.”

Gord, 67, and her husband, Jay Gord, married on Feb. 4 at Tween Waters Island Resort in Captiva, Fla., where the chef did a great job, she said. Told.

“I usually have steamed chicken, steamed broccoli, and baked potatoes, but the chef there made me something with sauce and breadcrumbs, and it was delicious,” she said.

A week after the wedding, Gord and her husband went out to a restaurant that should have been fine, but it turned out to be one of the worst nights she’s ever had.

“At this other location, when I gave the waiter my allergy card to see what I could eat, he said, ‘Don’t you know I’m busy? “What’s wrong?” she said, “I’m usually not the type to cry, but I had to get up and go outside.”

Gord wondered if he would ever be able to eat out without fear, but fear that something bad would happen prevented him from enjoying his meals for years. She hated eating out.

Things are better now, and one place she believes it’s right is Rails Craft Brew & Eatery in Seymour, where the couple moved to Indiana about a month ago. He said he gathered his family and friends for another wedding reception.

Gord and her husband each have two children with their spouses. Her children are Dr. Chris Williams and Alyssa Proctor. Beth and Jay have eight grandchildren and were present at their wedding.

Gord said his daughter-in-law, Stacey Williams, was very kind and always prepared food for her at gatherings, which she was very grateful for.

“My husband was very kind and didn’t scare me with my food allergies,” she said. “For our wedding reception, I made a soy, gluten and dairy free wedding cake and it was absolutely delicious.”

Gord said all friendly restaurants love her food allergy card, but some treat her like she’s a picky eater.

“I eat anything that doesn’t kill me. It hurts when people make fun of this disorder,” she said. “Having food allergies is a disability. At IU, I was forced to apply for disability because I was in management and had to go to lunch with people and dignitaries frequently.”

Currently, she teaches online as an adjunct lecturer at Texas Tech University’s School of Health Sciences, and may be an adjunct lecturer at Indiana University, but has yet to teach since retiring a year ago in September. not

Ingredients and labels can change without notice, so people with food allergies or who may be cooking food know how important it is to read ingredient labels every time, says Gord. said it should.

“I do most of my grocery shopping online through Walmart or Amazon because I can read all the ingredient lists myself, which is very convenient when I have a lot of allergies,” she says. Told.

Gord recommends calling new restaurants a few days in advance to inform the chef of any food allergies and, when eating out, don’t be afraid to speak up with the manager or chef before ordering. Recommended.

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