Gratitude for a facebook group and knowledge to not be sick all the time

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

There have been times in my life where I was thankful for a facebook group.  I've had a girls group I loved to share in and with, I've had a broker's group that's helped me and an few agent groups that were fun and helpful.  But a new group has taken helpful to an entire new level.  

For a number of years I have quietly gone about my daily life while dealing with health issues that my husband knew a little about (hard not to when you live in the same house) and my physicians knew about and were constantly throwing different pills at.  Blood pressure, acid reflux, arthritis, IBS, hives and rashes, coughing and severe fatigue,  among a long list of things I was taking pills for daily. And sorry to share my "gross" with you, but 2 to 3 nights a week I was getting up between 2 am and 5 am and vomiting.  It was my way of life and it was exhausting as hell.

Well a couple of years ago my mother was diagnosed with AGS Alpha Gal Syndrome.  It's a tick born disease from deer tick bites.   So when my mom was diagnosed I was determined to help her identify all the "sources" she could get AG from that would potentially be harmful to her and when I went to the CDC's site for more information on the subject....  The list of symptoms was there staring me in the face. 

  • Hives or itchy rash
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Swelling of the lips, throat, tongue, or eye lids
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • Severe stomach pain

Holy baby Jesus I thought, I have that shit too.  Now getting my doctor to actually give me the test was another challenge.  I had to actually look up the labcorp code and give it to them before my blood work.  And when I went in to the get the results of my blood work my doctor didn't even bring this up while looking at my labs, she was sitting there trying to get me on yet another medication for high cholesterol.  So I asked about the results and sure enough I have it too.

My doctor and the local allergist weren't much help.  Although you may know someone with AGS, you may not as it's only been diagnosed in 110,000 cases as of 2022 However the cdc estimates 70% of cases go undiagnosed because of lack of awareness among physicians and medical personal.  It can cause full blown anaphylaxis and death.

When you have a condition, disease, syndrome.... whatever the hell you want to call it... and your doctor tells you it's time for your 5 year whooping cough vaccine because they aren't aware it could actually kill you... you figure out you have to do an awful lot of research.  I can't have gummy vitamins or gummy bears for that matter or jello or marshmellows.  Things that you wouldn't normally associate with "red meat" and it's often said "oh you have the red meat disease", it's so much more complicated.  

So finding a group of people who are also advocating for themselves and have sometimes started their own research years ahead of me has been a God send.  There are a ton of things I've learned from those who have walked before me and suffered years longer than me.  And I'm thrilled to report I'm off of most of the medications that I was taking prior to my diagnosis. 

My new diet is mammal and mammal by-product free.  Sleeping through the night has returned and I'm so thankful for that.  I refuse to be "trapped" in my home, so I do still occasionally eat out and risk some cross contamination even though I am very clear with the servers about it, it's happened a few times.  I generally get hives first and can fight it off with children's benadryl.  I can't take adult benadryl because you probably aren't aware, but I am, it has animal product in it.  The only thing non animal that I react to (and all people don't) is seaweed, so my sushi has to be made with soy paper.   

In closing if someone in your family has a number of the symptoms on the list, suggest they get tested.  I cannot express how much better the last 6 months of my life have been since I made diet changes to keep me from being sick ALL the time and struggling to hide that I was literally sick ALL the time, both are exhausting. 

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Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner


Broker License # 169695  Lane Realty License # H-11420

Real Estate Instructor License # 355089

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Comments (19)

Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Wow never heard of that disease.  So good you had the opportunity to learn of it and treat the actual causes.  Good to also read you are now sleeping through the night.

Way too many doctors/health care practitioner want to throw pills at you.  Thankfully I do not take any prescriptions, but some supplements.

Nov 02, 2023 02:43 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Tammy,

I have never heard of this disease! You have really educated us on a disease that 90% of our members have never heard of! So amazing all the research you have done and you've gotten a hold on what is making you ill. Good for you for your persistence! 

Nov 02, 2023 04:30 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Tammy- I am so thankful that you're sleeping through the night and hopefully feeling much better.  It is a shame with all of our modern medicine that doctors have a hard time diagnosing what is wrong with a patient. Some doctors grab their prescription pads before trying to get to the heart of what's wrong. 

Nov 02, 2023 05:03 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Tammy - finding the health care professional and path to better wellness can be difficult.  Here's to improving daily life and living.   

Nov 03, 2023 04:32 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Oh my gosh, I have never heard of this disease and am glad you shared it. I will bookmark this page in the event I do hear of someone who has similar symptoms and can't figure it out. I am so happy you did get a diagnosis and are feeling better! phew!

Nov 03, 2023 05:19 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

You are definitely in my prayers, that does not sound good at all.  I don't like that doctors are not reliable and only seem to push pills.  It seems like there should be something natural that could balance your body in a better manner than pills.  I am convinced that our food supply has been poisoned and has been causing everyone to be sick all of the time in order to have them rely on pills.

Nov 03, 2023 05:39 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Oh Tammy Lankford, I have advocated for years, since my cancer diagnosis, that WE MUST be our own advocates when it comes to our health and medical issues.

I am so happy to know that you found solutions and are sleeping through the night and figuring out what you cannot eat! 

I am working with Integrative Medical Doctors who look at the whole body as a system. They prescribe non- pharmaceuticals that work! 

Cheers to YOU, woman, to your Health, and Happiness. 

Nov 03, 2023 08:23 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Nov 04, 2023 07:48 PM
Tammy Lankford,

Thanks Kathy Streib.  I certainly think more people need to be aware of this.

Nov 07, 2023 01:04 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Good for you for taking charge of your health! Doctors only know what they know - and it's been my experience that they don't even want to hear about anything contrary to their own beliefs and prior training.  I'm continually amazed that they know nothing about nutrition and the effect that food has on us - and they don't believe it! 

Nov 05, 2023 08:42 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
NC Real Estate Transition & Relocation 919-602-848

Tammy, Healthcare is so tricky these days. They practice under the constraints of insurance. We have to be our own advocates. Fortunately and Unfortunately, there's a lot of information out there. I know people with the same thing as you and it is frustrating for them.

I have my own things to contend with. I'm not totally mammal free but my primary diet is plant based. I also try to follow a diet that creates a healthy microbiome. Hopefully, my healthy lifestyle will pay off in the long run.

Nov 06, 2023 07:54 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Tammy Lankford, 

WOW! You have been through a lot. I learned long ago, a doctor may be smarter than me but they are not a God. As in buying property, a patient has to do their own due diligence! So glad to hear you know what you're dealing with and finally have peace of mind and getting back to sleep normally.

May you always be healthy and take care of yourself. Thank you for educating me. 

Nov 06, 2023 08:37 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I am so glad that Kathy Streib featured this post - I missed it the first time around.  This is a very scaty story of how much we depend on our doctors and they just don't know as much as we would expect them to know

Nov 10, 2023 04:23 PM
Tammy Lankford,

Lise Howe I also know that it has made my daughter a better nurse in the ER with this knowledge as she now knows to ask "have they had a tick bite" and what have they eaten in the last 24 hours.

Nov 11, 2023 09:00 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I have never heard of this disease. What you have described is horrid! I am so glad that you have for a better path than that "prescribed" by your doctors.

Nov 11, 2023 07:30 AM
Tammy Lankford,

I can't really blame them.  It's still pretty rare with only .1% of the population having it. However the thing I don't like that they don't seem to want to educate themselves when they hear of it.  My allergist has and I'm thankful for that.

Nov 11, 2023 09:02 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

I've heard of this disease because as a hunter in my youth, we were field trained to deal with injuries, snake bites, tick removal, etc. But, I'm glad you're slowly getting your health and sleep back and I never knew FB Groups could be such a great social benefit. I may be in to hostile of groups LOL.

Dec 05, 2023 06:00 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Tammy, for sharing your personal experience. I posted your blog on X.

Jan 20, 2024 09:45 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

In our neck of the woods , we’ve been dealing with Deer Tick Lymes Disease . All of my dogs have had it ( from running in the Woods).

Jan 21, 2024 06:32 AM
Tammy Lankford,

I also have previously had Lyme Disease ( a number of years ago) same ticks, more recently discovered disease and much worse in some people than Lyme.

Jan 21, 2024 12:20 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Wow, like so many others, I have not heard of this before. I'm glad you are finally getting the information and care you need. Isn't it crazy we have to do our own research and beg for what is necessary? I'm sure you've earned a lot reading food labels too. What is in our packaged food is more than a little scary.

Jan 21, 2024 07:20 AM
Tammy Lankford,

I have certainly learned that a LOT of people who believe themselves to be vegan are in fact not.  A ton of medications include mammal that is not disclosed in labeling at all.  I mean my vitamins for example.... who knew?  I have always taken D3 in winter when I'm obviously not getting as much sun, can't take that anymore and while they do make a "vegan" one, I found it didn't change my low level at ALL the way the regular ones did, so I was paying more and getting zero benefit.  I am now also on a low histamine diet which means I'm eating a lot of chicken, eggs, and some vegetables and fruit, but not much.  It's a 4 week trial run to see if it makes things better.

Jan 21, 2024 12:25 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

OMG, that site is better than checking out Dr Google, and for sure an embarrassment to the doctors that keep missing the symptoms.

Jan 21, 2024 07:54 AM
Tammy Lankford,

I get it, it was recently discovered ... actually when a chemo cocktail was making people with alphagal die.  It's just about 2008, 2009 and then a test for it had to be developed.  It's likely it's been around for much longer than that, but not diagnosed.  So for a syndrome discovered just 15 years ago.... most doctors I see were already out of medical school and even residency.  There was recently an article in USA today, so hopefully medical journals will be teaching them.

Jan 21, 2024 12:32 PM
Joyce Marsh
Joyce Marsh Real Estate LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Joyce Marsh Luxury Homes & Interior Designer

It sounds like you have been through quite an ordeal. I hope that you are doing much better. Just checking in to say hello.

Feb 17, 2024 09:42 AM