Rediscover your joy in life.
When living with an autoimmune disease, you can often feel on the edge of despair. The pain, discomfort, and other overwhelming feelings tend to arise frequently and continuously. Finding what you can do to feel better and get through the rough patch can be challenging.
All autoimmune conditions are different, and what might work for one individual may do nothing for another. With that in mind, here are our six tips for combating autoimmune conditions in different ways to help you live a healthier and happier life.
1. Eliminate potential toxins
Toxins can cause inflammation and exacerbate an autoimmune flare-up, especially when we are exposed to them often and continuously.
Pesticides, aggressive household cleaners, mercury, and cigarette smoke are some of the most common toxins. Consider how much you may be exposed to them and work on eliminating them completely.
2. Identify any allergies
Allergies can be a common trigger for autoimmune diseases, so make sure to ask your doctor about an allergy test. You may be mildly allergic to things like nuts, dairy, dust, or animal hairs without realizing it, and these allergies may be causing a never-ending inflammatory reaction in your body.
If you can pinpoint and eliminate them, chances are you will start feeling better.
3. Identify your triggers
Our lifestyle can also cause flare-ups. The longer you are faced with an autoimmune disease, the better you will get at identifying these triggers and knowing what to expect from them.
Pay very close attention to the foods you eat and the way they make you feel. Are there foods that make you feel sluggish or sleepy, foods that make you irritable, or foods that you can clearly link with feeling worse? Also, are there foods that make you feel better? (More on this down below.)
Monitor your sleep as well, and try to determine your sweet spot in terms of hours of sleep. While the recommendation is seven to nine hours per night for adults, you may find that seven and a half hours is ideal for you on regular days, and nine on days when you’re feeling unwell.
Stress is another major trigger, so knowing that feeling particularly stressed can make you feel even worse is a good reminder to do something that will soothe you.
4. Consider your diet
What you eat is directly linked with how you will feel. A lot of autoimmune diseases are especially linked to your diet, so working on a meal plan that is healthy and happiness-inducing for you can be your best first step towards feeling better.
Your diet can also be a way of getting over an autoimmune issue, as the autoimmune protocol has been found to work well for some patients.
When trying out a new way of eating, make sure you are carefully monitoring how you are feeling as well. Write all of this information down, as you won’t be able to memorize it all. Plus, being able to look at it on paper will help you make better choices in the future.
5. Work on your immune system
Improving your immune system functions can also help you combat your disease more effectively. Sleeping and eating better will help already, but you may also want to look at some supplements or up the intake of certain vitamins and minerals.
Don’t make any supplementation decisions on your own. Instead, consult a medical professional who will determine any deficiencies and help you get your nutrients in adequate amounts.
6. Start moving more
The human body was designed to move, but sadly, the modern lifestyle has made that less and less possible.
Try to get yourself to get up every hour – stretch, walk around for a bit, get your blood flowing. Ideally, you also want to take a 30-60 minute walk every day, preferably out in nature. But if that’s not possible, a quick stroll around the block will do as well.
Depending on your condition, it would also be good for you to try to work out – yoga, pilates, or even strength training and cardio can be good options. Again, make sure to consult your doctor, start slowly, and figure out a path that you are comfortable with and that is safe for your body.
No matter how difficult battling your autoimmune disease gets, try to remind yourself that you can get better, and that there are things you can do to ease the stress and the pain and discomfort. True, it may take some time and a whole lot of work, but there’s plenty of hope.