With the Olympics in full swing, millions around the world watch each day as athletes from across the globe compete. For those of us who sometimes feel that allergies and asthma are a problem we deal with on our own, it is always a good idea to take note of how others who cope with these conditions continue to push and achieve. There are numerous athletes who have overcome allergies or asthma to shine in the Olympics, and perhaps Dana Vollmer is the brightest star in group.
_After struggling for years with a variety of ailments, including shoulder problems and a heart condition that required surgery in 2003, Vollmer continued to excel by winning gold as a member of the U.S. 4×200 freestyle team in 2004 and again in 2007. In 2010, Vollmer had to drop out of a race she had traditionally swum due to fatigue and unexplained stomach pains severe enough to put in her in hospital on three separate occasions.
_With no medical explanations for her condition, Vollmer was tested for allergies and food sensitivities. The results showed that one of the staples in her diet, eggs, may have been causing her problems. Vollmer was allergic to eggs, and was sensitive to gluten, dairy, and walnuts.
_After changing her diet, she began to notice her energy was returning and stomach pains were going away. Like in 2004, Vollmer qualified for the women's U.S. Olympic swim team. Just days ago, Vollmer swam in the final of the 100-meter butterfly, and bested the world record and won the gold. From health issues and failing to qualify for the Beijing games, to feeling better and winning Olympic gold, Dana Vollmer's story highlights a few important things for those who suffer from food allergies. Food allergies can affect anyone, including Olympic athletes, and their impact can slow even world-class swimmers. However, proper diagnosis and management of food allergies can mean the difference between feeling poorly and performing at your best, when it matters the most.
_Author: Kevin Gilmore