I have learned a lot the past 5 years, not just about my autoimmune disease, but about myself and about how to face challenges that are overwhelming.
And you definitely know this ---> Having an autoimmune disease is OVERWHELMING.
First, it's a problem with no end, a chronic condition that you face the rest of your life. It doesn't follow a set schedule...especially YOUR schedule. Flare ups come out of nowhere and symptoms like pain and fatigue make it hard to function on a daily basis. Then, there are the recommended treatments... steroids, methotrexate, biologics.
These aren't tylenol, people.
These are powerful medications that wreak havoc on your entire body.
this is what I would do differently...
• I would seek SUPPORT FROM OTHERS with autoimmune disease and not try to brave my situation alone
There are so many people in this world with your diagnosis and they are ready to talk to you and support you. My parents' neighbor has my diagnosis. He and his wife invited me and my husband into their home and explained my disease and told me his story. I was filled with so much hope after that. Since then I have found multiple groups on social media with people asking questions and supporting each other everyday.
• I would choose to have HOPE and CONFIDENCE in my body’s ability to heal.
After getting diagnosed, it's easy to start viewing yourself as "sick" or "broken." Even though autoimmune disease is chronic, you don't have to be chronically "ill" all the time. There is a lot you can do to improve the way you feel and drastically decrease inflammation.
• I would try HOLISTIC WAYS TO HEAL instead of only trying western medications
There are many ways to treat a disease. Western medications like biologics, steroids, and methotrexate can be helpful short term but you should always reevaluate what will address the ROOT of the problem for long term healing. Other therapies take a holistic approach like herbal supplements, non-inflammatory diet, chiropractic care, massage, and acupucture.
• I would be PATIENT and CONSISTENT with my healing
When I first started eating paleo, I felt terrible. Eliminating sugar and the majority of carbs was difficult for my body because I was used to eating unhealthy foods. At 1 week, I wanted to quit. At 2 weeks, I was feeling better. At 3 weeks, I noticed an increase in my energy levels. At 4 weeks, my pain was gone, like GONE. If I had decided to quit after 1 week, I would have never experienced how good my body could truly feel.
• I would use setbacks as an educational opportunity instead of beating myself up for making “a mistake.”
I would eat a different type of food then BAM... my gut would hurt and start swelling. I wouldn't drink enough water and then feel exhausted the next day. I would over do it in a workout and feel sick later. It happens. Now, when I do something that results in unwanted symptoms, I learn from it. I know that if I keep trying new things and continue to learn how my body reacts, I will continue to feel better. And that is the goal with autoimmune disease isn't it? To FEEL BETTER
I hope this helps you and gives you hope whether you have just been diagnosed or you have lived with your autoimmune disease for years.
Share this post with someone you know with an autoimmune disease and let's support each other!