Not feeling well is difficult. But, not feeling well without a diagnosis is confusing, frustrating , difficult… (you fill in the blank.)
Autoimmune symptoms can be mild, general, and similar to many other conditions. It takes an average of 4 years and seeing 4 different doctors before someone receives an autoimmune diagnosis.
Here are some steps you can take if you don’t have a diagnosis but you suspect it to be autoimmune.
1. Become your own self advocate.( I know I preach this a lot!) You are in charge of your health, not a particular doctor. Listen to your body and keep seeking answers.
2. Track your symptoms. This doesn’t have to be too detailed or complicated. Keep a journal of how you are feeling and what you are doing each day.
3. Organize your medical records. If you have had any previous testing, keep it on hand, noting the date. This will be especially helpful as you receive more testing to compare your results over time. Also, take notes and ask questions at your appointments.
4. If you have hit a dead end with your doctor, ask for a referral or look online for another doctor. This is not betraying your doctor; this is continuing your search for answers.
5. Take care of your inflammation. You don’t need a prescription to do this. Start a non-inflammatory diet and continue to seek your diagnosis. (The only exception to this: don’t eliminate gluten if you are being tested for celiac disease.)
The benefits of having a diagnosis (from The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook by Mickey Trescott and Angie Alt):
It helps you connect with the right medical specialist for your condition.
It helps medical practitioners decide which testing to pursue regularly to gauge progress.
It helps you and your doctor decide which treatment option (medication, surgical, or other) is best for you.
It helps you connect with others who are suffering fro the same condition.
It helps complementary care practitioners tailor their programs and protocols specifically to your needs.
It enables you to research and educate yourself about your disease.
It helps you and your doctor practice good preventative care, order testing to gauge progress, and anticipate potential issues.
It helps you understand what disease progression might look like as well as signs and symptoms to be aware of.
It give you peace of mind knowing what is causing your symptoms.
The good news?
You don’t have to have a diagnosis to get coaching.
I will help you through this process.
Finding answers is very important, but feeling better is absolutely necessary.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are on the road to diagnosis and would love the guidance and support of your very own autoimmune coach.