Living with an Autoimmune Disease – My Road to Remission
February 18, 2018
I can tell you the exact moment my life changed forever. It was July 27, 2015, and I was 10 minutes into a kick-boxing class at the YMCA, and I had to leave about 5 minutes in. As soon as the warmup started it was a matter of seconds before my body was completely covered in hives. Painful, throbbing, itchy hives. I walked out to get water and let my body cool down before I tried to continue with one of my favorite classes. This wasn’t the first time it happened. One of my former doctors prescribed an anti-histamine for me to take daily, just so I could work out, go on long walks, or make it through a hot summer day without breaking out in hives. This particular day, I had taken the medication, but still had an episode… which has also happened before. The medication wasn’t a cure… more like a “lets hope this helps today” kind of patch. Even though it had happened before, this day was different. I was in the middle of what I now recognize as a Hashimoto’s flare. I had been diagnosed with Hashimotos Thryoiditis six years earlier, but my doctor played it off like no big deal, gave me a medication, and told me not to worry… so I obliged.
Back to that morning, while I was cooling down, I grabbed my phone and opened up Facebook to get my mind off the itching. The first thing that popped up was an article by Hypothyroid Mom, and it was all about the relationship between Hashimotos, gluten sensitivity, and hives. My mouth dropped open and my heart started racing as I read the article. From that moment on I removed gluten from my diet. Four days later, I embarked on a journey following the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) and I’m never going back. On the AIP, you remove all inflammatory and possible allergens, but basically its no gluten, no dairy, no sugar, no legumes, nuts or seeds. It was definitely hard, but within days I was a completely new person and you could not have paid me to eat anything on the ‘no’ list.
When I say a whole new person, I mean it. In every way my body, my mind, my personality changed. For the first time in years I add energy, and wasn’t fatigued or lethargic throughout my day. My joint pain that would keep me up at night was gone. The weight, that continued to pile on despite numerous diets and workout experiments, began to drop immediately and within six weeks I lost 25 lbs of inflammation! My mood was happy and light rather than anxious, anti-social, and depressed. The brain fog that made simple everyday tasks impossible, was lifted. My nails got stronger, and my hair falling out slowed to a normal pace. And my non-existent libido… magically reappeared! Now I can talk for hours about the benefits of the AIP, and how it’s changed my life, and if you follow my blog you’ll end up hearing it all, but my reason for telling you this story today is to share why I am here.
We all need an ah-ha moment that finally triggers us into action. Someone telling me to make a change isn’t going to do any good until I have complete buy-in. That hive breakout in 2015 was my ah-ha moment. Since then I’ve spent every spare moment learning more about my disease, and how to truly treat and put it into remission through food and lifestyle changes. When I came across the training program to become a Nutritional Therapist Practitioner, my life course changed completely. I am now not only living with an autoimmune disease in remission, I am also training to help others do the same.
So don’t be scared. If you, too, have an autoimmune disease and struggle with countless symptoms with no reprieve, lets call this your moment! Take a chance on your self and your health…and your LIFE! You are worth it.