Autoimmunity has been a part of my life since I can remember. My father was diagnosed with MS when I was two, so it’s presence was made known to me at an early age and it continued to cast a shadow over the years that followed.
My father was a physician and superb athlete, even playing football for the University of Michigan at one time. The world was his oyster, it seemed, until he received his diagnosis in his early 30’s. Trained in Western medicine himself, my dad followed all the conventional treatment paths for MS…for years. But his health continued to decline, so he began his own research; which led him away from Western medicine and closer to a more holistic, nutrition based healing path. He read the work of Theron G Randolph, a pioneer in the field of Clinical Ecology and the environmental causes of physical and mental illness. He began working with Dr. Robert Saul, an expert in the field of MS who believed that our environment and food directly impact our health. Our family began to eat organic foods. My grandparents grew an organic garden, canning and preserving what they could for the long winter months ahead. My parents would travel long distances to procure organic meat. All our food was made at home, using the purest of ingredients. It was a lot of work for the entire family, and it was all worth it.
Unable to walk without a cane for years, my dad could now walk unassisted.His mood improved dramatically, his humor returned, his hope returned. I became a believer. And then I left for college. Dorm living and cafeteria food become the norm. I graduated, began a busy life and ate for convenience. Life went on that way, as life often does, until I became sick. At first it was an appendectomy, then a gallbladder removal, and then weight gain, depression, crushing fatigue with a rash that refused treatment. I went on this way for several years, when I received a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and later discoid lupus. Two autoimmune disorders, something I knew well. I, like my father, began to read everything I could lay my hands on, and luckily there was a wealth of knowledge that my dad never had access to.
I am healthy today through the food I eat and the environment I live in. My dad’s experience and my own have taught me how to live a healthy life with an autoimmune disorder. It’s taken several generations for me to come to this knowledge base, I want nothing more than to share what I have learned and make the path a little easier for those with autoimmune disease or just those looking to create the healthiest life possible.
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