If you are one of the 24 million Americans who suffer from an autoimmune disease, then you are probably familiar with the the worry of “what’s happening to my body”, followed by the frustration of getting an accurate diagnosis. The average person with an autoimmune disease will see a doctor 6 times before being accurately diagnosed, and it can take years. The signs of autoimmunity are vague: fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, anxiety, depression, neuropathy, anemia, weakness, flu like symptoms, digestive issues, rash…and the list goes on.
Autoimmunity comes in many shapes and sizes, it can be Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Type 1 Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s…there are over 100 autoimmune diseases. But all autoimmune diseases begin with the same process, the immune system has lost the ability to discern self from non-self. While trying to protect us from an outside invader it accidentally attacks us instead.
In my case, the first symptom was a crushing fatigue, I had two small children and a full time job at the time, so I chalked it up to life’s stress. Then I began having body aches, weight gain, flu like symptoms, and a rash that would come and go like the tides. It took me 5 years from the start of my symptoms to reach two separate diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Discoid Lupus.
In those 5 years I saw a lot of doctors, was prescribed a lot of antianxiety medication, and was told they didn’t know what was wrong with me. I believe it was the fact that I had a rash that doctors persisted in their testing …because it was visible. Those 5 years were a hard road, not knowing where to turn or feeling like I had any control over my life. There were many dark times where I was in despair that my life would ever improve for the better. The years that followed I began to slowly take back control of my health and my life, and that’s the part I’d like to share with you.
What leads us to the door of autoimmunity isn’t one thing, it’s a cascade of events…a genetic predisposition, a lifestyle that may be full of too much stress and too little rejuvenation, a diet that raises insulin and inflammation and doesn’t feed your cells the building blocks they need to heal. You can’t control your genes, but you do have control over the way you choose to live your life and the food you put into your body.
That control is empowering and the results are life-changing. By nourishing your body with anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense foods you can rebuild your health from a cellular level. I know, because I have, and I’d like to help you do the same.
We will be providing real-life tips of how to combat Autoimmunity-related diseases in future posts.