Newly Diagnosed? Experiencing some strange symptoms that don’t add up? Knowing more about the Autoimmune Epidemic & what questions to ask might just save your life & a great deal of time finding treatment.
When I was first diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis I didn’t know which way to turn so naturally I googled. I googled & googled & googled until I was completely discouraged & overwhelmed by the vast amount of information. It wasn’t pretty. However, 5 years post-diagnosis I can tell you there’s a few things I could have done to help myself feel more in control about what was going on with the dysbiosis of my body at the time.
#1 LABS-Most Doctors will run a normal CBC panel on someone that’s exuding signs & symptoms of inflammation. However it’s important to get your Rf (Rheumatoid Factor) & Anti-CCP Antibodies tested. CRP (C Reactive protein), & ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) which both measure inflammation & can be another common indication that something’s up. An ANA profile is also helpful for those with RA, Lupus & other similar immune attacking disorders.
#2 Food Sensitivities-Do you have a low energy level? Maybe “brain fog” that never parts? It’s possible that you’ve eaten something that your body does not process well & it would be best if you cut it out of your diet. The first two biggest culprits for aches & pains, tummy troubles, & IBS symptoms are wheat (gluten) & dairy. Get to an allergy specialist & get tested for sensitivities, you’ll probably be surprised at what foods are optimal for your body & you never even knew it. If you’re experiencing any other types of symptoms that might be categorized as an autoimmune condition (i.e. fatigue, insomnia, joint pain etc.) then it’s time to get tested & run some blood tests. You could be saving yourself a lot of time & discomfort just knowing what foods to avoid.
#3 Pain & Food Journaling-Pain Journaling is THE way to discover food sensitivities & make heads or tails if you’re making headway while you’re going through the initial medicine “guinea pig” phase of trial & error. Pain Journaling is actually a growing trend. It can help you discover certain triggers that cause episodes in your pain, the duration, the severity. It also can assist you in monitoring your medicine when that time comes & whether or not it’s working. It’s also a very cathartic act of emotional well being to record your thoughts about the pain in relation to your everyday living. Think of this journaling as a map, as you continue on your journey of health & understanding writing things down, recording what you’re experiencing may prove to be a great teacher. We learn best through self discovery.
#4 Head to the Dentist-Often times when we are having physical signs & symptoms that just don’t add up or we are seeking a diagnosis in the autoimmune arena dentistry work can prove a helpful indicator of whether or not your body is functioning appropriately. It is not uncommon for those with autoimmune diseases, & cancers to suffer from a high level of toxicity in the blood & therefore a high level of bacteria in the mouth causing all sorts of problems ranging from mouth sores or cavities & decaying teeth.These all reflect an imbalance in Ph. Read about the Acid Alkaline Balance & how detoxification is critical here.
#5 Do a Litmus Ph Test-That’s right, urinate on a stick & read your results right there with a key. You can read more about the importance of Ph in the body here. If your Ph reflects that your acidity level is high it’s time to get to the Doc for some of that blood work listed above. In the meantime before your appointment limit caffeine, alcohol, soda, & work on drinking plenty of water. Until you know what you’re dealing with there’s no sense in getting worked up, but consider taking better care of yourself. Your body has worked hard for you your entire life, maybe it’s time to repay the favor.
Hindsight is 20/20 so don’t worry if you’re in the thick of things & it’s just not making sense, that’s normal too. Above all things trust yourself & your intuition & seek help. There’s so many great resources today that can guide your through the maze of diagnosis & support you afterwards.
Here’s a few place to start: