"You can take a step back and realize something in your own environment (food intolerances/allergy, gluten, toxins, bad water, stress and so on) is making you sick"
This quote about change resonates with me. I think back to when I was first diagnosed with colitis and how helpless and powerless I felt. Quite honestly I have felt this way through the entire duration of this disease until the last three years. Mostly because medications were the main thing in my doctors toolkit and for me numerous approaches didnt seem to help. I tried to educate myself some, but back when I was diagnosed all I read was that, yes this disease is what it is. You are stuck with it my friend! Colitis and autoimmune diseases are very stubborn diseases and go into remission and come back. For some this may happen over and over, but I know for myself and others that I have worked with, there is typically a trigger that causes the flare and ultimately with some very methodical things, we are not helpless to impact to stop or reverse this.
Each person that has an autoimmune disease has to go through their own hell to find peace. For me something just clicked in 2015. I was going through my umpteenth flare and this was a bad one. I had just went through the worst two years imaginable and everything came crashing down on me. The bleeding just would not stop! Remicade was the next cocktail on the menu, but something inside me said NO. I think it was the last interaction with my doctor that left a very sour taste and I found myself in new territory. Something inside me wanted something different. Something where I was in the drivers seat. The alternative care team that I found helped me to realize some very key things about this disease. They helped me to understand that I am not powerless, that I can make some course corrections that can give me the upper hand with this. I believe that absolutely anything is possible in this life if you fully believe it. Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve right.
The message here is this, dont ever allow yourself to be caught on the side of majority if it doesn't feel good to you. Over the years while I was in a state of just being "good with accepting the disease", something just felt off inside. I felt restless. I think like anything in life, when you feel like you have no choices or options, it makes you depressed. Negative thinking and autoimmune disease is a bad combo. Even if you dont realize it fully, we as human beings always want something better. Thats the stirring inside that you feel. What I felt. You have it inside yourself to reform. To make changes that can give you back some power to take control of your own situation. I really enjoyed the post by @mybodymysoul_co about Choice + willpower = individuality! This is brilliant and really made me reflect on my own path today. It makes me think how I am grateful that I realized I had a choice and proud that I mustered up the willpower to stand out from the crowd on this one. I now always read one off stories about people who found some new and controversial ways to heal from their autoimmune diseases. I was limited in my thinking back then that I couldn't progress past where I was at. In fact, it felt like the people I trusted (doctors) were telling me to expect the worst. Maybe it was just these specific doctors, but I began to read about others that experienced the same things. Were told the same things. Were left hopeless! I know we are bio-individuals and that what works for one, may not work for another. But the core reason for autoimmune disease is the same regardless. 25% genetic. 75% environmental. That says to me that a good part of this disease can be something that we can change. Just think about that for minute. Try to relate it to your own situation. You can take a step back and realize something in your own environment (food intolerances/allergy, gluten, toxins, bad water, stress and so on) is making you sick. There are so many success stories out there. What do you have to lose? Hope this helps someone out there that is at the same point I was at years ago. You can do this! If you do feel lost, please do reach out for guidance. Someone that can help you make course corrections whether it be a friend, family, functional medicine doc or someone like myself who looks outside of the box about healing. Take care!
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Ian Sandage is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner who speaks from the personal experience of someone with autoimmune disease and the highs and lows of a health journey