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Wellness tips for living your best life with autoimmune disease

35051574_SYou have an autoimmune disease. If you just found out, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the information. It can be a hard diagnosis to swallow. But, while it is an adjustment, life can (and will) go on. There are a number of things you can do to help deal with this new diagnosis and live your life in the best way possible.

Acceptance is crucial

When you accept that you have an autoimmune disease and that you have different needs than you used to, you will be ready to move forward. Acceptance is key for this process. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to open yourself up to new possibilities. You can find solutions to help you live better with your autoimmune disease. Life may look different now, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be wonderful and full of possibility! You will have great times and make blessed memories. Joy and hope don’t have to be left behind because of this diagnosis.

Make health a priority

You’ll need to figure out what changes are needed to make your health a priority. Talk to your physician and follow their recommendations. Keep in mind, it may take a little more work on your part to maintain you health and feel your best. This may mean you’ll need to step up your game when it comes to sleep, dietary needs, and stress management.

When you have an autoimmune disease, you need to do your best to not take on more than you can handle. If you’re someone that says “yes” to everything, you simply can’t do that anymore. Of course, you can say “yes” to some things, but not everything. You’ll have to develop the ability to say “no” when you’re not feeling your best. Get to know your body and know what it can handle.

Since stress is a huge trigger for flares, it’s important to manage it as much as possible. Find tools and techniques that work well for you. That could be writing, taking a bath, reading a book, listening to music, etc. Try breathing exercises when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Have a support system you can turn to in times of stress. If you’re looking for additional support, you can look for online forums, local support groups, or even groups on Facebook to join. These are also great ways to become more knowledgeable about your autoimmune disease. Other people with a similar diagnosis can help provide additional resources and recommendations for moving forward.

Make sleep a priority. Seriously. Do your best to get a better night’s rest. If you can, aim for 7-9 hours, or whichever amount helps you feel your best. Your body needs this time to recover and heal. Plus, a good night’s sleep means that stress will be less likely to sneak in.

Dietary changes will most likely be needed. You can talk with your physician to figure out how you should proceed. A naturopathic doctor or nutritionist may suggest quality supplements to add to your daily plan. The autoimmune protocol diet (AIP) may also be recommended. This is typically a good place to start for many with a new autoimmune disease diagnosis.

Is it just this autoimmune disease or is there something else going on?

If you think something else is going on, talk with your physician about testing for potential underlying infections. This could include testing for parasites, Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO), H. Pylori, and Candida. And, if you suspect that you may have another autoimmune disease, talk with your physician about this as well. When you have an autoimmune disease, it can make you more vulnerable to having another one.

Make any lifestyle, dietary, and other changes needed to help you maintain a healthy life. These changes are needed to live a better life (and so is movement by the way), so make some time to get in a little exercise, even if it’s slow going. Yes, it can be a lot of changes to make at once, but take your time and give yourself grace during this process. Even small changes mean you’re heading in the right direction with your autoimmune disease.

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