There, I said it. Autoimmune disease stinks! And if you’re one of the 50 million Americans who also suffer from an autoimmune disease, you know what I mean. When the chronic inflammation that you’ve been living with for some time makes your immune system go haywire, it isn’t fun. I never knew too much about autoimmune diseases until a few years ago, but I believe I had been on the autoimmune spectrum for a while. I wish I would have known back then what I have learned today. I might have been able to prevent it from getting to full blown autoimmune disease. I didn’t understand the risk factors, or know the symptoms that could lead up to it.
I have been going down this health journey for around 10 years now. A couple of years into it, I realized that traditional MD’s weren’t going to be able to help me, let alone fix me. I am so thankful that the Lord sent me in a different direction. I was introduced to other doctors who were able to get me on a better road to health. I have been blessed to have learned from numerous doctors who have aided me in my recovery.
You Cannot Cure Autoimmune Disease
According to Dr. Amy Myers, you cannot cure autoimmune disease, but you can try to reverse it, meaning that it is still there, but it doesn’t show symptoms. Many factors go into reversing autoimmune disease – proper diet, removing toxins, clearing up infections, healing your gut and reducing stress. All of these play a major role in ultimately getting better. It is best, of course, to try to prevent autoimmune disease in the first place because if you have one autoimmune condition, you are 3 times more likely to develop another one.
I wish I would have started with healing my gut 10 years ago. I may not have gotten to the point of autoimmune disease if I had known that. However, I, along with many others have learned a lot over the past 10 years. Research has come a long way and the amount of patients who have various autoimmune conditions has increased over that time.
The instance of autoimmunity has tripled over the past 50 years in the United States.
I have come to realize that our immune system, when functioning properly is fantastic, but it can also be rather finicky. If something goes out of whack, look out! The same rings true with our gut bacteria (which there are trillions of). Keeping the good and bad bacteria in check is key.
My Life Has Changed
With autoimmune disease, I have come to realize that my life in the way that I used to know it, will never be the same again. In order for me to live as “normal” as possible, it takes work. Gone are the days of eating whatever I wanted. Gone are the days of being able to go into an office to work everyday. Gone are the days of running myself ragged without thinking too much of it. Gone are the days of spontaneous weekend trips. Gone are the days of not caring what I was putting on my body in the way of personal care products.
Currently, I am at a point where I would say I’m in semi-reversal. I can live a pretty “normal” life most days (at least my new normal). However, if I have what I call “the perfect storm”, different symptoms start returning and I’m taken down for a few of days. That’s when I am reminded that autoimmune disease stinks.
The Autoimmune Protocol
If you haven’t read The Autoimmune Solution, I highly recommend it. In her protocol, The Myers Way, Dr. Amy Myers suggests you have to heal your gut, remove foods which cause chronic inflammation, tame the toxins, and heal infections. Well, for me personally, my diet has changed 180 degrees over the past 5+ years. Also, I am the queen of minimizing toxins (as this blog can attest). But I still battle with totally healing my gut and chronic infections. I have worked on healing leaky gut and SIBO, but my gut can go out of whack after a “perfect storm.” I also deal with chronic infections. As a result of Lyme disease and other issues, I deal with co-infections.
As someone who has autoimmune disease and has this blog, I come across many people in person, or online who are dealing with various health challenges. Many, like me, not realizing that they actually have an autoimmune disease (as there are over 80 of them), or that they are on the spectrum of getting autoimmune disease. That’s why it’s important for me to share information with you, so you can either prevent it, or get the needed support that you need. I also want you to know that you’re going to have good and bad days. To be totally honest, reversing autoimmune disease takes a lot of work and dedication. You can ask my husband, it seems like I am constantly taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back. However, through all of it, I am grateful to have learned the things that I have, so I can live a healthier life going forward. I’m still a work in progress and will have those days when I will say that autoimmune disease stinks, but I am here to tell you that it is possible to get better and live a productive life.
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