If you’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, it’s no small task to take on. The auto-immune system is designed to protect us from danger and invaders, but when it starts attacking its own healthy cells, complications arise. Since autoimmune disorders are considered incurable, treatment tends to focus on controlling symptoms and slowing the progression of the condition.
When I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, an autoimmune disease that affects the large intestine and the digestive system, I felt completely alone. Until I realized:
“You are not alone in this.
You are a WARRIOR!
“Don’t you dare give up because it’s only going to get harder and more isolating if you do.”
What it takes is simple: STRENGTH.
Every single day, we face challenges that are bigger than we think. We look around at other people, who seem to have it all figured out, and they seem to be able to handle anything. But how?
We’ve been taught from a young age that there are “easy” things and “hard” things. But for a lot of us in the autoimmune community, we’ve been dealing with the hardest things on Earth for years and don’t even realize it.
“An autoimmune condition throws you into a whole new world that no one else can understand, and it is your job to make sense of this new place.”
There are a lot of things we need to teach ourselves when we get diagnosed. We’ve had to learn what’s safe and what isn’t. We’ve had to learn how to be alone in a crowd, or how to make friends while hiding the ugly parts of ourselves.
It’s all exhausting, but we’ve learned how to do it so that we can continue living our lives without having the anxiety of not knowing what will happen next in our bodies.
Being diagnosed with an autoimmune condition doesn’t have to be a death sentence, you can still live a full and happy life. There are so many things that people with an autoimmune disorder can experience today when compared to 20 years ago. Support groups and online communities can help connect you to others who are going through the same challenges as you, leading to positive reinforcement and encouragement from others who are just like you.
Holistic health and lifestyle changes can impact your quality of life, allowing you to have a positive outlook on life and shield against future complications. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods and being physically active can help prevent flare-ups by keeping your body from being overworked or having any inflammation. A healthy diet, vitamins and supplements are also important for autoimmune diseases because they help regulate the immune system.
You can get help from holistic health coaches like myself who specialize in autoimmune disorders to guide you through the journey of living with a chronic illness. I highly encourage anyone going through this struggle to take the necessary steps to live a full and happy life.
With your support, I hope that all those who are suffering from autoimmune disorders, especially those with inflammatory bowel diseases, will learn how to be strong, resilient and enjoy being able to live life without limitation.
And if you come across a person who is struggling with health issues and is sick all the time, don’t dismiss their illness as being “in their head” or “not being a real illness”.
Instead, offer them hope, support and encouragement. Tell them that you are there for them if they need to talk about what they’re going through so that they can feel less alone in the world.
Since March is Autoimmune Awareness Month, let’s Celebrate, Support and Inspire each other by spreading awareness and knowledge about autoimmune disorders. And sharing our stories with the world.
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Yours in health and wellness,