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Last week I wrote an article about having to file for medical bankruptcy because of my autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s a/k/a Hashi’s). The resulting emails I got from you all asking me what I might have done differently made me realize I needed to write a follow up post.
First and foremost here’s the good news. There is a ton of credible and easily accessible information on the web now about autoimmune disease that was not so readily available when I started my journey. Because of this, it can speed your process up a bit.
Uncovering the right information and trusting the source can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, but that’s why you have me!
I work hard to do gain your trust.
Everything I post here and on my Facebook Page I read for credibility before I share. You can trust that I have done my due diligence to be sure that the info I am sharing is the most reliable info I can find.
If you’ve been diagnosed but struggle with finding someone to treat you successfully, do some research. While it’s normal to expect that shouldn’t be your job, it is.
There are good and bad auto mechanics.
There are also good and bad doctors.
You need to ask friends for recommendations and google, google, google. You should know who the people are that you seek advice from concerning your health. You should also know what to expect when make an appointment for a visit. You work hard for your money. Your time is valuable. Get the best bang for your time and money, always.YOU are paying for your visit. You are a consumer first, and a patient second. It would benefit you greatly to start integrating some consumer tactics into your health care visits. Click To Tweet
Here are my 7 tips to help you stay in the black while dealing with autoimmune disease…
1. Know where you are right now, before you even start.
Do you really want to heal and potentially reverse your symptoms, or are you just looking for someone to stop the horrible symptoms you are experiencing? Yes, there is a difference. A prescription drug will oftentimes abate your symptoms for a window of time. They will NOT, however, remedy your illness. If you don’t get to the root cause of your problem and fix it, the likelihood that your condition will worsen or multiply (new autoimmune diseases will show up) is great.
2. Do some research before you go to the doctor.
It is imperative that you are able to ask questions and advocate for yourself during your visits. No one else is going to do it for you. Coming to a meeting prepared with questions (they won’t likely enjoy this) is going help weed out the good doctors from the bad ones. If you are caught up in the industrial medical complex (IMC) a/k/a traditional medical care, it’s likely the doctor won’t be able to provide you with the time you need to ask questions. You’ve been warned.
3. Go the functional medicine route first, don’t wait until you’ve exhausted all other avenues.
If you have health insurance it is very easy to get stuck in their system of “care.” There are no real options here, you choose what they offer or you don’t. Typically this means shutting your body up when it talks to you (silencing your symptoms). It doesn’t mean your illness is being treated or improved it means that your symptoms are being “managed” with drugs until the time when your drugs will need some review because they are no longer effective.
You will get nickel and dimed to death with multiple visits that yield you no answers. I say cut to the chase and spend the money up front if with a doctor who is focused on getting to the root cause of your symptoms, not placating your symptoms. In the long run, it saves you time, money, lost days and hours sitting and waiting in offices and stress.
You can read about the difference between traditional medicine and functional medicine HERE.
4. Don’t be penny smart and pound foolish.
Do vitamin & mineral testing to see where you are at. This way you aren’t spending money on supplements you don’t need. Supplements aren’t cheap but they are necessary in the early stages of healing. Because most of us come to the table with a lot of deficiencies, supplements speed up the process of getting our nutrient stores back to a level where we can heal.
5. Eat real whole foods. Organic if you can afford it.
Deficiency plagues most newly diagnosed autoimmune patients. Your body needs nutrition to function. You need to feed your body with nutrition. Filling and feeding are two entirely different things. Every time you eat processed junk food, you set yourself back with whatever progress you may have made healing.
6. Be a better consumer. Buy what’s on sale and what’s in season.
Buying what’s on sale helps to keep you of of the rut of eating the same thing over and over again and saves you money. Seasonal items are usually plentiful and priced to sell. Ethnic markets generally have great prices on conventional foods. If you can’t afford organic, start your shopping at your local ethnic market. The prices and variety will please you.
7. Freeze what you can when e prices are low.
Here’s a quick video to help you make green smoothies easier.
In the long run, healing (not symptom reduction) is what mattered most to me. I could have chosen the path that the system wanted me to choose, but it didn’t make much sense to me. My body was talking to me by presenting symptoms that needed my attention. I wanted some guidance in listening to what it was trying to tell me.
The medical industrial complex wanted to basically tell my body to shut the hell up by giving it drugs to placate my symptoms. That made no sense at all to me. Still doesn’t.
My biggest crime? Wanting to figure out what was actually wrong with me and how I could fix it. Seems silly that I had to financially suffer in order to get the answers I sought.
I didn’t start healing until I got to the root cause of my health issues. I wish I had known about functional medicine sooner. If I had, I might not have ended up bankrupt.