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"Move" to Make A Difference
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5 Years running
Rachel is 14 years old. When she was seven, she was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Melanocortin 4 Receptor Defect. Since that time, we have modified our lifestyle per recommendations of her physicians at Duke. This has been a long ...
Rachel is 14 years old. When she was seven, she was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Melanocortin 4 Receptor Defect. Since that time, we have modified our lifestyle per recommendations of her physicians at Duke. This has been a long process and a huge learning curve. M4RD inhibits the feeling of satiety, which means that when she eats, she doesn’t realize the feeling that she is full, or worse, constantly feels that she is hungry. There is no treatment or cure, no magic pill or surgery that will resolve this genetic disorder. This is something that she, and we, struggle with every day. My child has been morbidly obese her entire life which has caused not only acute medical issues, such as orthopedic problems, but chronic issues such as insulin resistance and fatty liver disease, and triggers social issues such as rejection by her peers, depression, and more. In addition, she has suffered from migraines since she was six, has developed acanthosis nigricans because of the insulin resistance, and has a history of being Vitamin D deficient. Historically, Rachel has gained weight steadily her entire life, tipping the growth charts at well over the 100th percentile for her weight and BMI (Body Mass Index).

On June 1, 2012, Rachel’s specialist at Duke Children’s Hospital recommended MindStream Academy, a health and wellness based program geared toward adopting a healthier lifestyle focusing on nutrition, exercise, building self-esteem and making healthier choices in daily life. Rachel attended for five weeks, exercising four to six hours a day in 100 degree heat. She lost an average of 3 pounds per week, which is monumental for her, as she has never ever lost any weight in her life. Rather than dreading PE class when she returned to school last fall, she could fully participate for the first time and she was proud of that. She even stated that she enjoyed it.

The other recommendation we were given at Duke was to increase plant sterols in Rachel’s diet. Having never heard that term, I began doing a little research. Plant sterols are basically plant molecules that interfere with cholesterol absorption. Within a week, I met someone at a business event that introduced me to stabilized rice bran and its health benefits, and how it works in the body. For the last year, we have introduced stabilized rice bran (MORE from Nussentials) as well as a few other supplements into our diet. We have eliminated soft drinks (even the sugar free ones), drink more water, and eat less carbohydrates. These changes have made a significant difference. At my daughter’s follow-up at Duke on June 11, 2013 I couldn't have asked for better results. Her weight is down, her BMI is down, her acanthosis nigricans has diminished. Lab results show that with the exception of her insulin, which has come down drastically in the last year (from 32.1 to 26.4) EVERYTHING ELSE IS NORMAL! Kidney/liver/inflammation/triglycerides/LDL/glucose/total cholesterol and Vitamin D levels ALL NORMAL. She said that she would like to see a little bit higher HDL (good cholesterol) but she is not worried at all. Rachel no longer has to take Metformin for insulin resistant diabetes! Lifestyle changes and great nutrition do heal the body!

Rachel has had a much better school year. Her attendance has been substantially better and her health has been much better overall because of the many adjustments we have made. I am a very happy parent of a much healthier child, thanks to Nussentials, MindStream Academy, and our caring professionals at Duke. They have all literally helped me save my child’s life.

Rachel’s physician is strongly recommending that Rachel attend MindStream Academy for the fall 2013 Semester. She has worked very hard to take control of her health, and participating in the intense therapeutic lifestyle program at MindStream would be KEY in solidifying Rachel’s progress. To quote Dr. David Katz, “By any reasonable reckoning, the restoration of self-esteem; the considerable (indeed, often dramatic) loss of weight; the renewal of health; the endowment of “skill” power to last a lifetime; and the reestablishment of a young person’s full potential and promise for the cost of a semester at Mindstream must count among the great extant bargains of modern public health.”

Thank you so much for your support. We could not make this happen without the help of our community.
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