Susanne Bennett didn't start out wanting to be an allergy doctor. Far from it.
Bennett was pre-med at UCLA and looking forward to a career in sports medicine. But when one of her professors abruptly left teaching to enter chiropractic school, Bennett was intrigued. An athlete all her life, she saw chiropractic as a great way to help athletes perform better, heal their injuries, ease pain, and generally make people better without pharmaceuticals. It was a trifecta of philosophy, temperament, and interest. Four years later, she graduated from the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic.
Within seven years, she had a busy and glamorous Los Angeles practice. She put in a stint with the LA Raiders, and worked extensively with athletes from soccer to rodeo. She ran a large rehab clinic packed with patients who needed her help. She got married, and had a beautiful son, Cody. She was living her dream.
Then Cody got sick.
Not just stuffy nose sick, mind you. We're talking head-to-toe rashes, hives, and reactions of all sorts. "At five months old he started getting asthma," she says. "He couldn't breathe. It was such a horrible experience. I could never go to sleep, I was so scared for him."
The symptoms piled up. One night, Cody's lips turned blue. The mystery deepened. Conventional medicine didn't have a lot to offer. "Their drug and hospitalization options just sounded scarier and scarier," she says. "Things got so bad our doctor advised us to carry an EpiPen-an emergency injection that could save his life."
So Bennett decided to take things into her own hands and went on a mission to find out everything she could about what was making her kid sick. "I became 100 percent committed to finding an answer," she says. "I read over a hundred scientific articles and dozens of books, and contacted doctor after doctor. Finally, little by little, I began to put the puzzle pieces together. I learned about foods that can trigger allergies and foods that can heal. I learned about how the water we drink can contribute to allergies. I learned about how to keep an allergy-free home, and how to clean the air we breathe."
By the time Cody was 4, he was allergy free. Soon, other parents began bringing their kids to see Bennett. She also tried out her nutritional theories and elimination diets on her athletes. They started losing weight," she says. "They could breathe better. Their performance went straight through the roof."
Her practice tripled. A book deal followed, and now, The 7 Day Allergy Makeover is coming to bookstores everywhere. (If you order directly from the7dayallergymakeoverbook.com, you'll get some special gifts thrown in for free!)
The power of Bennett's approach lies in her view of allergy symptoms. "Remember, joint pain, upset stomach, insomnia, anxiety, lack of concentration, fatigue-these can be ‘allergic' symptoms," she says. "Those over-the-counter pills you take for all those chronic symptoms you're putting up with? That's what this book is about."
"It's about getting at the root cause," she explains. "Find the hidden signs of allergies, and the hidden triggers. You can clear up so many diverse symptoms by being a good nutritional detective, and discovering the healing power of knowing what-and what not-to eat."
"It's about getting to the root cause. Find the hidden signs of allergies, and the hidden triggers."
Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, is a nationally known health, nutrition, and weight-loss expert. He is the author of The Great Cholesterol Myth and numerous other books. His website is jonnybowden.com.