Coping with Autoimmune Diseases

Growing up I never imagined that at 21 years old I would be diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases.   This was a hard pill to swallow, no pun intended.  I was perfectly healthy and fine up till I started getting severe joint pain, and extreme fatigue.   Knowing what was causing all of this did help quite a bit though.

The issue, in my opinion, is dealing with the roller coaster ride that becomes your life.  As a side effect of the roller coaster ride, you are on quite a bit of medicine to help control the symptoms, and then more medicine on top of that to deal with the side effects of the original medicine.   If you look at my medicine cabinet, you would be suprised as to how many medicines I am on currently.  I take about twenty pills a day, and the problem was that the medicine was not really helping during my sickest time.  The battle with finding the right medicine was an 8 year battle.  When one medicine wouldn’t work I would be put on another medicine.   During the first couple of years dealing with lupus and RA, I lost almost all my hair due to the toxic medication that was supposed to be helping me.  Being 22 years old and having to wear hair pieces, because you have little to no hair of your own, is one of the hardest things to deal with.

After about 8 years of dealing with the medicine, I finally decided with the coaxing of a friend, to change my lifestyle and eating habits.   I read more and more about the amazing effects of changing your diet to help reduce the symptoms of autoimmune disease.   I decided one day to change my eating style cold turkey.  I cleaned out the cupboards and refrigerator and completely changed my lifestyle.   This was not easy by any means and took a lot of will power.  After a little of bit of time on this diet I began to see amazing results.  The crippling symptoms that I had been dealing with started to diminish.   This was truly amazing that by simply changing my diet has allowed the symptoms to take me back to a semi normal life.   I have been eating paleo now for a little over a year, and truly enjoy the results that I have experienced.  The craziest part of it is when I do eat what is not part of the paleo lifestyle, I can physically feel my symptoms returning.

I know a lot of people don’t truly believe that simply because of my diet I was able to change my lifestyle.  This is something that the medicine hadn’t been able to do in 8 years.  Thats a long time to deal with the symptoms and not have any relief.  I went from barely being able to walk to running races, something that when I was diagnosed I never thought I would be able to do.

One Response to "Coping with Autoimmune Diseases"

  • I too am learning the power of food! I am so happy that you are now able to enjoy life! Your story is an inspiration to us all!

    1 Sybil said this (January 9, 2014 at 5:37 pm) Reply

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