I'm healthier today than I ever dreamed possible!
Autoimmune disease sucks. Let’s not sugar coat it, okay? But you know what sucks worse?
I’m not discounting that you feel crappy. Seriously, I’m not. Like you, I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired all the damn time. Exhausted, depressed, foggy in the head, achy…none of it was fun anymore.
Regardless of the particular autoimmune disease you are struggling with, most of us experience many of these common symptoms:
- Aches & pains
- Brain fog
- Weight issues
- Skin rashes, dermatitis, etc
- Digestion problem
While you may not have cancer, you do have a bunch of other ugly stuff happening, right?
The good news is that you CAN drastically reduce your symptoms and oftentimes even put your disease into remission without having to take toxic drugs to do so.
The day I sat across from my doctor and got the news about what I needed to do in order to recover my health, I thought I was going explode into a heap of tears.
I was a total foodie. I lived in New Orleans! I was a chef and food blogger! It was like I was being stabbed through the heart.
Then there was denial. Nah. Not me. Gluten intolerance? I don’t have any gastrointestinal discomfort from gluten. That’s other people’s problem, not mine.
It took me 4 months to get up the courage to even try to give up gluten. 4 months! Within a handful of days of being gluten free I got a major bonus that I wasn’t expecting. My achy joints stopped feeling so… achy. The bottoms of my feet -- the ones that hurt when I stepped out of bed every morning -- they didn't hurt anymore.
Maybe this diet change wasn't so crazy after all.
For a culture that is addicted to pushing the easy button, there is nothing that feels easy about diving into the autoimmune protocol (AIP). It feels like a lot at once, but in fact, it’s a big fat onion waiting to be peeled back one layer at a time.
The vast majority of us with auto immune disease (myself included) spent a long period of time without a diagnosis, got an improper diagnosis or more likely a diagnosis that managed your symptoms temporarily rather than fixing the problem. Treatment may have abated your symptoms for a while, but you never improved your condition enough for you to actually feel better long term.
Brace yourself for what I have to say next.
The solution for many of the symptoms and problems
that plague those with autoimmune disease is S-I-M-P-L-E.
Cleaning up your diet & environment, exercising and reducing your stress are lifestyle choices we ALL can and should be making. It's not just for those of us with autoimmune disease. Is it EASY? Well, that’s another story, right?
Simple ain’t always easy.
Here is what I believe wholeheartedly. The universe is sending you a clear message and that message is… What you are doing isn’t working and if you want to feel better it’s time to change.
My ten (10) year journey to better health was riddled with potholes the size of Rhode Island.
Mis-diagnosed repeatedly, I was relentless in pursuing resolutions for my health issues.
Doctors wanted to give me prescriptions to alleviate my symptoms but none wanted to help me figure out what what causing my long list of nagging issues. None wanted to help me discover what my body was trying to communicate to me. I wanted to get to the root cause of my pain and see if I could fix it. They just wanted to placate my symptoms.
The vast majority gave me the "eye roll" when I wouldn't accept their prescriptions. I was being pigeon holed as a mid-life miserable woman who wasn’t actually sick but in need of a psychiatrist more than an MD. I had no interest in becoming a pill popping- money-making machine for big pharma. NONE.
My persistence paid off and I got the first crack in the door when I was diagnosed with leaky gut. That started me down another rabbit hole and a switch to another doctor who finally gave me the right diagnosis. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
My journey started over a decade ago, in July of 2007. When doctors refused to help me get to the root cause of my problems, I turned to educating myself. I read and researched EVERYTHING I could get my hands on. I dove into books and research papers. I found people who were getting results and did what they were doing.
- I took control of my health outcome.
- I became my own big fat guinea pig.
- I got a certificate in plant based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Foundation at Cornell University.
- I cleaned up my diet.
- I started sharing my information with others by blogging during my experience.
- I read more. I researched more and I PERSISTED.
Ultimately, I found a guide (chiropractor who specializes in thyroid issues) and he has helped me to slowly and steadily recover.
What I have learned along the way is that true health recovery doesn’t come from just changing our diet, but changing our overall lifestyle. In order to get better I needed to change a handful of things, not just my diet:
- Personal care products
Herein lies the interesting thing about autoimmune disease. It’s a disease of lifestyle and some of it catches up with us sooner than others. Seriously. I don’t know any human being that wouldn’t benefit from the autoimmune recovery protocol.
Eating better, removing toxic chemicals, exercise, meditation, and healthier relationships are some things we all need. Some of us just fall prey to the symptoms earlier than others.
I knew for a long time that my lifestyle would eventually catch up with me and it did.
Lucky me! I had another opportunity to get it right.
Just so you are certain I’m not trying to take a pile of shit diagnosis and turn it into a dark chocolate and black cherry forest cake, things got really ugly for me before they got any better. REALLY ugly.
Because allopathic medicine (traditional) is based in managing symptoms rather than getting to the root cause of health problems, I made no initial progress. I refused pharmacology and after visits with a couple of traditional doctors I decided to go the "alternative" route.
When I began this journey a decade ago, insurance didn’t cover much of my care. And today, the vast majority of insurance providers still don’t because functional medicine requires “too much time” with patients. Functional medicine succeeds because each patients full history is key to diagnosis and treatment. Sadly, I know of no insurance companies willing to pay for a 1-2 hour visit with your MD.
Real medical care ain't cheap.
After an 8 year period of out-of-pocket care, single and 52 years of age,I found myself in a federal courthouse in Pensacola, Florida on September 10, 2015, filing for bankruptcy. Yes, you read that correctly. I went broke getting healthy.
I was completely and utterly devastated. Stress slowed my recovery as much as my tight finances did. I was a hot freaking mess. I may have been down, but I was not out.
Just before the last of my savings dried up, I moved to Pensacola, Florida. I had to get out of New Orleans to successfully heal. I got a small studio apartment to keep my monthly overhead a low as possible and began the final leg of my journey to wellness.
None of it has been easy but overall the over all solution has been simple.
“Clean up your damn life and start living like you mean it.” — the Universe
Yeah, that’s the message I received, loud and clear. I heard you!
I am currently building a complete program to help those with autoimmune disease make the full transition to better health by changing their food and lifestyle.
You can find a bunch of valuable information in my blog posts and if you are interested in some one-on-one assistance with your journey, I offer coaching by the hour.
Please don't leave without signing up for my email list. There are some great things coming very soon and I’d like you to be receive info and get any early bird discounts that will be offered when my program launches. Meanwhile, sit back and get some helpful info in your mailbox weekly.
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