My Autoimmune Story
My first introduction to autoimmunity was my own. When my youngest daughter was 15 months old, I started feeling a deep pain in my hips. Over the course of 3 months, the pain worsened dramatically and moved upward into my shoulders and neck. I couldn’t turn my head while driving, it was torturous to pick up my children, and the simple act of pulling my legs out of my pants sometimes made me collapse from the pain. It also came with flu-like symptoms, with achiness and stiffness all over my body. I often felt like I had sand in my joints, making it slow to walk and move. It took 6 months to get a diagnosis of polymyalgia rheumatica and start on prednisone. I knew it wasn’t great to be on prednisone long-term, but I was begging for relief. At least I could function for my family, even if I never felt well.
Why does the body turn on itself?
I didn’t understand the concept of autoimmunity. The doctors didn’t know the cause. I felt like my body had betrayed me. After all, I had always focused on eating well and exercising. In the end, my disease subsided after 3 years and the worst of my symptoms went away. But I continued to have a lot of inflammation in my joints.
I have seen too much autoimmunity among my friends since then. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Sjogrens syndrome, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Wegener’s disease, CNS vasculitis. There are over 100 autoimmune diseases. Some are life-threatening, and most are life-changing.
The Autoimmune Protocol
If you’re reading this page, you may have heard of the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). You may think it’s only a special diet. In truth, it is the gold-standard for using both nutrition and lifestyle to manage the symptoms that come with autoimmunity. This holistic approach includes six pillars. As an AIP Certified Coach, I help you address each one.
The beauty of the Autoimmune Protocol is that it is a template. Every person is bio-individual with unique life circumstances. The AIP template takes this into account. We consider everything going on in your life to create your individualized plan that addresses the six pillars.
I was suffering with tingling in my hands and feet, and had numbness in my legs and most of my torso when I began my nutritional program with Therese. The pain I was experiencing made it impossible to sleep, workout, and run more than a couple of steps. My neurologist confirmed that I was having an autoimmune attack on my nervous system. Working through my program, I saw noticeable improvements in my MRIs at 3mos, 6mos, and at 1 year was declared condition free. The pain in my hands and feet are gone as is almost all of the numbness. I can now sleep, run, workout, and live my life pain free. An additional benefit has been a realignment of my gut health, and digestive issues are a thing of the past.