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Only People With Autoimmune Diseases Can Relate to These 5 Things

Only People With Autoimmune Diseases Can Relate to These 5 Things

According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, at least 50 million Americans alone suffer from a range of illnesses where their own immune system attacks healthy cells within their body. Medical professionals are just beginning to understand the scope and effects of each subcategory. There are as many as 80 types, with some common ones being lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases and type 1 diabetes. For decades, celebrities have been shedding light on their own struggles with these illnesses in hopes of bringing more attention to finding a cure — from Lady Gaga who suffers from lupus to Jack Osbourne, who has been diagnosed with MS.

Read on for a few misconceptions about autoimmune diseases that need to be cleared up.

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They are not allergic reactions

It is incorrect to classify autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease simply as allergies. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the consumption of gluten leads to serious damage throughout the small intestine. Having a gluten-sensitivity is a common allergy, but being diagnosed with celiac disease is a lot more complicated. One of the biggest differences is that with celiac the smallest trace of gluten can send your body into an severe autoimmune response that can lead to nutritional deficiencies, intestinal damage and even being at risk for certain types of gastrointestinal cancers.

They can take years to diagnose

Autoimmune diseases are difficult to diagnose because in most cases there is not a singular test that will determine a diagnosis. Often times, there are a lot of incorrect diagnoses before a patient is finally told that they do in fact have an autoimmune disease. Another reason it takes so long to properly diagnose these diseases is that depending on the illness, some symptoms may come and go. Variance in diet and lifestyle factors (including stress) can also greatly influence an individual who is suffering from an autoimmune disease.

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They do not include chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia

These two illness should not be confused as being autoimmune diseases, even through they share many similar symptoms. Medical professionals understand even less about these two, but realize it is possible for individuals suffering from either illness to also have associated autoimmune illnesses. Some similar symptoms can include constant fatigue, muscle pain and constant headaches.

They can be reversed

Contrary to popular belief, some autoimmune diseases can be cured with the proper diet and lifestyle changes. It is true that autoimmune diseases are genetic, but they need an environmental factor or a change in lifestyle to trigger that gene to react. One of the biggest healing factors is focusing on intestinal health, since that is where 80 percent of the immune system cells are. Focusing on healing the gut with probiotics, finding ways to cope with stress and eating a well-balanced diet that contains as few toxins as possible are all ways that can help reverse some autoimmune diseases.

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They can only be treated with conventional medicine

One of the biggest misconceptions about autoimmune diseases is that only pills will help with the symptoms. The problem with taking prescribed medication is that there can be major side effects that result — for example, using chemotherapy drugs to treat lupus. While some pills are necessary to treat certain autoimmune diseases, other natural alternatives are worth looking into. Certain restrictive diets like the Whole30, which eliminates any sugar, alcohol, grains and legumes from the diet for a month is one way to see how drastically altering your diet can help reverse an autoimmune disease without any negative side effects.

The role of Eastern medicine, like acupuncture or Chinese herbs, can also be worth trying out to see if it has a positive effect on the illnesses.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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