For five years, Nora Kilroy, director of Off Campus Life at UF, suffered from chronic itching skin, a condition known as dermatitis. Her doctors said it was related to a pollen allergy, but Kilroy was also suffering from other symptoms such as aching joints, acid reflux and fatigue. Not satisfied with her treatment plans, Kilroy turned to physicians at UF Health for help.
Anna De Benedetto, M.D., a UF College of Medicine dermatologist, was the first doctor to really listen to Kilroy. De Benedetto knew the treatment plan of only allergy medications was not the right course of action. She referred her to Mario Rodenas, M.D., UF Health Allergy at Springhill medical director, to get to the heart of her symptoms.
After numerous tests and an in-depth analysis of Kilroy’s food diary, Rodenas discovered she had allergies to dairy, eggs and bananas. All of these foods had been part of her daily diet.
Kilroy has since eliminated these three offenders from her diet. She began seeing changes within two days. Her dermatitis calmed down, her acid reflux improved and her joints weren’t as achy. One week later, she was down 10 pounds and had lost two inches from her waistline.
Now, 11 months into her journey, Kilroy is down 53 pounds and four sizes. She no longer takes allergy medication and her symptoms have disappeared. Her goal is to lose another 60 pounds in 2019.
“More than anything, I feel better physically, and that’s all the motivation I need,” she said.
Kilroy’s diagnosis was her turning point. She realized that she could live a better and healthier life. What contributed to her success? She said she started setting new goals for herself — doing something new each month. Her first goal was to adjust her approach to nutrition. She tracked what she ate and focused on eliminating challenging foods from her diet.
As the months continued, she added goals such as weekly food prep, going to the gym regularly, walking more and discovering new recipes.
Kilroy also engages in the UF-UF Health Wellness challenges through GatorCare. She said the resources from this program make it easier for her to track her goals and challenge herself. She has now participated in numerous walking challenges, and she recently participated in an ab challenge with her UF department colleagues. She also participates in body composition screenings to help keep track of her progress.
Kilroy’s New Year’s resolutions include running a 5K, playing tennis again and lifting free weights.
Her advice to someone starting their own health and wellness journey is to set small goals and try new things. She hopes that by sharing her story, she will inspire at least one person to make a change for the better.
Kilroy shared that her experience with her UF physicians has been life-changing.
She said, “I am a happier, more balanced person because of them.”
Ready to make a change? Visit gatorcare.org to learn what UF-UF Health Wellness can do for you.