“My brain fog and anxiety have disappeared – I finally have my life back”

David Brown picFor years Company Director David Brown struggled with lethargy, forgetfulness, anxiety and depression until he discovered he has an intolerance to egg white and egg yolk.

Since eliminating them from his diet, his symptoms have disappeared and says he feels ‘reborn’

Hard work and a determination to expand his transport company is paying off for David Brown. Since starting out in 2010 with him and a van moving large, heavy and fragile items between Britain and France, the business has been steadily growing and he’s added more drivers and vans to his fleet, which has given him the freedom to be based in his UK office.

David, 39, who lives in Handforth, Wilmslow, admits that the commitment this requires has taken up all his time and energy, so his personal life has had to take a back seat. “I’ve never been married and don’t have children, but I met someone last month, and while it is very early days, things are going very well.”

Happy, energised and full of enthusiasm for the future, it’s hard to believe that things were looking very different for David a few months ago. Working long hours was taking its toll on his health; he felt constantly tired and lethargic and complained of a ‘brain fog’ that made it difficult to focus and think clearly, which was jeopardising his expansion plans. David recalls, “I noticed my fatigue, irritability, confusion, lack of focus and motivation becoming a problem around the same time I employed my first driver in March 2014. Looking back, this must have been a coincidence, but I went from driving ten to 12 hours a day without any problems, to becoming very tired and unmotivated since becoming office based and spending my days staring at a computer screen. This also had an impact on relationships as I was always angry and irritable. On top of this, I often felt anxious and depressed.”

David tried to eat healthily and exercise regularly to banish his lethargy and tiredness – a struggle after his working day. During workouts at the gym, lifting weights brought on dizziness, even if it wasn’t a particularly strenuous workout. “I visited the doctors on several occasions and my blood was tested for vitamin and mineral deficiencies, as well as diabetes, and I also had my eyes tested to see if that was the cause of my fatigue as I was staring at a computer screen all day. A minor issue was found and since then I’ve worn reading glasses, but unfortunately this made no difference.”

Dave cannot pinpoint when his symptoms began – he recalls suffering bouts of mild depression since the age of 18, but simply ignored it, even telling himself to ‘get over it’. Then in 2004, he suffered a serious head injury, the result of an unprovoked assault while walking home after a night out. This attack resulted in short-term memory and hearing problems. “Luckily, I recovered and got on with my life. There was an increase in my anxiety after this event, but I figured it was to be expected after what I’d experienced, so I dismissed it. I was treating the anxiety and depression as one issue and separate from any other problems, such as the fatigue and brain fog.”

He found the doctors sympathetic and keen to help, but now concludes that he wasn’t explaining his symptoms properly. “Even when I searched the internet for answers, I was always using the words ‘fatigued’ and ‘lethargic’.”

Having tried everything he could think of to help the mental health issues, including hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy, he heard about YorkTest food intolerance testing through his mother who had had a positive experience. The process, which involves sending a finger prick blood sample to the company’s laboratory to test reactions to up to 158 foods, revealed that he was intolerant to egg white and egg yolk, with a borderline reaction to millet. After receiving his results, he also booked a consultation with their Nutritional Therapist, who advised him on how to eliminate trigger foods from his diet, seek healthy alternatives and stick to his new regime. However, David admits it was difficult.

“Beginning an egg-free diet wasn’t easy as I had no idea just how many foods contain it! My previous attempt to eat well had consisted of eating lots of eggs, so unbeknown to me, I was sabotaging my efforts. When I started to explain my symptoms to the nutritionist, she used the phrase ‘brain fog’ which immediately resonated with me. I thought, yes, that’s exactly what it is, like my brain is immersed in fog.” He looked it up later and it was as if the symptoms were written for him. “It was a huge relief to have a diagnosis and to realise I wasn’t alone and there were ways to tackle it.”

Despite his new-found awareness of his issues, David admits that at first he didn’t commit wholeheartedly to an elimination diet, although he stopped eating eggs and mayonnaise. But as he carried out more research, became more knowledgeable and discovered handy mobile apps to help him avoid his trigger ingredients, he resolved to have the willpower to stick to it. “Funnily enough, I haven’t found it as hard as I thought to make the changes. Shopping and preparing meals isn’t too tough, but I am more concerned about convenience than taste and variety! I am sure that with a little more imagination, my diet could be more varied, but I live alone and rarely have the urge to cook from scratch just for myself and I am fine with being a bit ‘boring’. I tend to have porridge for breakfast, sandwiches with egg-free salad cream for lunch and tea is chicken breast with steamed vegetables or steak and chips, or sometimes a carefully selected microwave meal. I keep an eye out for millet when reading ingredients, but haven’t found it in the things I buy – I avoid seeded bread just in case though.”

It didn’t take long before David noticed the difference in his symptoms. “After about ten days of being 100 per cent egg free, not only was the brain fog lifting, but my anxiety and depression also seemed to fade. This was a revelation for me, as I never in a million years expected such a complete and total change in my health. I honestly felt reborn, like my brain had been taken out, thoroughly cleaned and serviced, then popped back in!

“I am sharper, more motivated, focused and can think so clearly. I no longer get flustered or confused when things are getting stressful and most unexpected of all, my anxiety has gone. I can watch the news without becoming convinced that it’s the end of the world as we know it, I can be in a room full of people and not feel uncomfortable and finally enjoy deep conversations and debates with friends or family without becoming tongue-tied and flustered. Most importantly of all, I’m happy. All this from not eating eggs – I never would have believed it unless I’d experienced it. It is hard to put into words – I am a different person and the brain fog, anxiety and depression have now disappeared. I feel reborn and finally have my life back.”

YorkTest advise that you consult with your GP first if you are experiencing the types of symptoms mentioned in this testimonial.

About YorkTest

YorkTest Laboratories have over 35 years of excellence in laboratory diagnostic testing, and are Europe’s leading provider of food and drink specific IgG antibody testing programmes.
The expert team at YorkTest are passionate about offering health screening services that can support wellbeing, underpinned by the principle that each person’s digestive sensitivities are unique. Endorsed by medical professionals, such as GP Dr Hilary Jones and elite sports players, YorkTest use a scientific method to help pinpoint food triggers that may be affecting an individual’s health and lifestyle.

Beginning with the FirstStep Test and using a simple finger-prick blood sample taken at home, YorkTest’s qualified scientists measure food-specific IgG antibody reactions from its accredited UK laboratory. If IgG reactions are found, then clients can choose from a range of full programme tests which include colour coded results, alongside a 12-week food diary and guidebook, including help and advice about nutrition and optimising your diet.

For those selecting one of the full testing programmes, expert aftercare is provided by 1BANT-registered Nutritional Therapists who provide guidance on an individual’s ‘food fingerprint’ – advising on nutritional optimisation and how to safely remove ingredients, whilst ensuring a healthy balanced diet.

Three out of four people who undertook one of the full testing programmes, and tested positive for IgG reactions, reported an improvement in wellbeing after embarking upon their elimination diet, and for 68% this was within three weeks*.

Dr Gill Hart, Scientific Director at YorkTest, is a leading UK Biochemist and a media-friendly expert on food intolerance. She is a credible and respected authority on a range of related issues including use of diagnostic testing, biochemistry of satiety, appetite and weight loss, IBS and digestive health, nutrition and mental health, fertility, diabetes testing, inflammatory markers and vitamin D.

[1] British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy
*Hardman and Hart, Nutrition and Food Science (2007)