- In 2007, after struggling with debilitating symptoms for almost 3 years, and 6 surgeries later, I had my first diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease. This was a very difficult time for me, as many Warriors know with Autoimmune Diseases’ the sooner the better to gain control over these complicated illnesses. Before getting a formal diagnosis, many patients go an estimated 5-10 years before actually hearing those words, Diagnosis! On average, a patient is seen by multiple physicians and specialist, who are all attempting to figure out exactly what’s going on at the same time. Making treatments complicated, and medication side effects difficult to manage, all in order to come to an appropriate diagnosis. During which time, patients are “SUFFERING IN SILENCE”, fighting the many symptoms of these invisible illnesses’ and being tossed around from doctor to doctor!
Autoimmune Diseases can vary based on which organs and tissues your body decides to attack and invade, turning it against itself, so patients can be referred to a broad range of specialist. Since the treatment & approach for Autoimmune Diseases can range it’s recommended to establish a primary doctor your comfortable with, if you haven’t already, and develop a team approach with other specialists, in order to manage care. Some of the specialists’ who treat Autoimmune Diseases are Rheumatologist, Oncologist, Endocrinologist, Gastroenterologist, Dermatologist, Hematologist, Nephrologist, Neurologist, Internists, Surgeons, & Primary Physicians to name a few.
Did You Know That? Having and being diagnosed with one Autoimmune Disease put’s you at an increased risk of developing another Autoimmune Disease, while your body is flared-up, untreated, under-treated, or just newly diagnosed. It’s like someone turned the light switch on in your body and while your immune system is weak and attacking itself, other autoimmune diseases come on board and try to invade, while the switch is still on and your immune system is already on attack mode! So, if you’ve already been diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disease, taking control early on, not allowing it to rapidly progress, seeking out treatment until an answer is found, and making serious life-long changes, is what it takes to gain control over these diseases before they quickly unravel.
* Yeah~ all that sounds really great, but seriously…..What does a patient do, who’s just received news of a new diagnosis? GOOGLE it of Course!!!! (#Google) By doing this, I immediately felt my stomach in knots, but quickly realized just how lucky I was and that it could be so much worse. And, I’ve tried to keep that mentality with news of several other Autoimmune Diseases I eventually found out I had later down the line. But remember when I said I “immediately felt my stomach in knots,” when I learned of my diagnosis, YES our brains are connected to our GUTS and when we get nervous, afraid, scared, stressed, or anxious it definitely affects our Guts. Literally! Controlling our emotions as Warriors can be difficult…when your always in some sort of pain, however this is exactly why I push for the importance of “Me Time” (upcoming blog post ;-), whether it’s getting a massage, going for a dip in the pool, or doing some retail therapy, anything to help manage chronic illnesses’, the up’s & down’s of life, to keep your sanity, stress down, and pamper yourself all at the same time. Why Not Warriors #LiveWithGuts!……………More to Come;-)
HOW DO YOU LIVE WITH GUTS?