The short answer to the question can you heal your Autoimmune Disease is NO
But I firmly believe you can TAME it!
So first of all what is an auto-immune disease?
Your body’s immune system protects you from disease and infection. But if you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake. Autoimmune diseases can affect many parts of the body. No one is sure what causes autoimmune diseases.
There are approximately 100 Autoimmune diseases, and then there are other diseases which do not come under the autoimmune umbrella but have very similar characteristics such as fibromyalgia.
Around 5 years ago I was diagnosed with psoriatic spondyloarthropathy which comes under the Rheumatoid Umbrella but it is NON-Rheumatoid. Work that one out. Anyway, regardless of all of that it meant that I struggled to dry my own hair, drive and cook.
I believe it manifested itself when I fell and broke my Collar Bone, which unfortunately was not picked up at the time. I now have a slightly dodgy collar bone 🙂 I also know that it is linked to a fairly bad bout of Psoriasis I enduring during my early 20’s. The cause of that stress and Anxiety. But that’s another story.
Following on from my diagnosis by my GP I was referred to a Consultant.
I have to say that I am extremely blessed to have received the help and support I have been given from my GP’s and Consultant, so whatever I will say from here on in my medication has played a massive part in my recovery. Yet not the only part.
When I was informed of my diagnosis, I did what I always do and went on a mission to ensure that it did not control my life. Although at times it was extremely painful and difficult it would not beat me. One other issue I had to add into the mix was that I was also diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, and also GERDS ( Acid Reflux). I then discovered that Polycystic Ovary Syndrome which I encountered prior to having my daughter is also Autoimmune as is Graves Disease which I had prior to becoming underactive.
I bet your thinking This Woman Needs Help…
Okay, so what steps did I take in my quest to tame my autoimmune disorders, and have they worked. Well before I begin I want to encourage you that yes they have. I don’t take any medication for my GERDS, I am on the lowest dose possible for my Underactive Thyroid, and I was recently informed by my consultant that I could come off my Methotrexate for my PS as I am now in remission !!!!!
I GOT HEALTHY
Yes, I started to train. I ran, danced and lifted my way out of poor physical health. Regular daily activity whether that is climbing (or not climbing) a pole, throwing yourself around a room full of Zumba crazed individuals or taking a long walk really does make a difference to your physical and mental health. I spend most of my days behind a desk so the last thing I want to do at night is to slump in front of the TV. We all need fresh air and Vitamin D to aid the reduction of stress-related cortisol. Now I could not imagine my life without any physical activity.
One thing that will bring you down is being negative. I am not saying that there are times when we don’t struggle. I mean I did recently when I started going through the Menopause
But if you allow that negativity to consume you it will shut you down. And your mind plays a very big part of your immune system. Take for example the common cold. If you sit inside with your heating on, wrapped in a blanket with the TV on all that you focus on is how ill you feel.
But if you take steps to sort out that cold. For example, wrap up warm and take a walk in the fresh air. Prepare yourself a nightcap with Honey, Hot Water, Cloves, Lemon and a drop of Whiskey. Take a relaxing bath with some essential oils. In other words Self Care., I know that is such a thrown around statement these days, but it really does matter that you look after yourself and that you are positive.
Be grateful for what you have and the everyday joys of life.
Be kind to others and greet people with a smile.
If you are not happy with the treatment you are getting, do your own research and then ask to try out what you have researched.
One book that I found to be extremely useful was the Auto-Immune Protocol book. It explaining how food affects your Auto-Immune. This brings me to my next point.
Toxins, Proteins, and Bacteria all leak from your Gut. I recently visited my GP with a list of possible causes for my auto-immune disorders. One thing I told him was that I believe that I have small holes in my intestines which leak. I think he thought I was mad. But agreed to check me for Celiac, which I don’t have. But I do know that I have an issue with breaking down Wheat.
So what I am saying is look at your diet.
There are plenty of online tests that you could use to check for allergies which may help resolve issues with diet. I know that eating too much dairy can cause a flare-up of my GERDS so I stay away from it as much as possible. Also eating bread gives me stomach cramps. So I ensure that my consumption is kept to a minimum.
So what am I trying to say from all of this? We are in control of our mind, body, and health. There is enough information on the internet to research various ways in which you can help yourself. Friends and family can also be a great support and comfort. Listen to their advice and accept their help.
JOINT SUPPORT GROUPS
Love it or loathe it the Internet has helped so many people when it comes to support. I know from my own experience and set up a local menopause group women who would never know each other have been able to form friendships and offer support and advice. Something that may never happen otherwise. So look for an online and a local support group.
I know that some of them you may have to go on a waiting list but put yourself on there, be positive about what they can offer. Join online groups, they are free and people are only too willing to share their experiences. Also if you feel a little embarrassed maybe about asking your GP about specific issues, fire away online.
Enlist a friend to do something positive with you.
Why not join a local Couch to 5k running group, or take up Salsa, or learn to paint. It doesn’t matter what it is. What matters is that you are doing something positive for yourself, and often fun and laughter eases the pain. And if you are really struggling with pain then ask for help!!
This information is no means exhaustive, and I am sure there are many people with various auto-immune disorders that may well have very different coping mechanisms. This one has helped me immensely. Fortunately for me, I am a fighter, not a fighter. Which means that I am now in remission.
Hope to hear from you soon ♥
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xx Sarah xx