I know what it is like to get a diagnosis that you have an autoimmune disorder. Each autoimmune disorder comes with its own set of symptoms and ways that it will affect your body. Therefore, I know that having a plan of “next steps” that you need to take after you get a diagnosis can be extremely helpful.
Step 1. Learn all you can about your disorder.
Knowledge is power and this is not the time to put your head in the sand. You need to learn about how this disorder may or may not affect you. When you take the time to read about your disorder, don’t focus on the worst case scenarios. If you are getting your information from the internet, you may come across horror stories about autoimmune disorders that are scary and could make you fearful. Don’t fall into that trap. You have already had symptoms that led you to a diagnosis. Learn more about the symptoms you currently have and deal with any other symptoms that may develop in the future as they come along.
Step 2. Choose wisely who you will share your diagnosis with.
Choose a good friend who is a confidant, wise and a cheerleader. I have found that when I need to share information I preface it with this statement, “I need to tell you something and I just need you to listen.” Don’t tell someone that you know is a Negative Nancy. Negative Nancy will respond to you with how bad things are for you now and how bad they may get in the future. No, only speak with someone who will lift you up and speak positive words about you and your situation.
I was reminded of this verse and it stuck with me all day yesterday and I woke up thinking about it this morning.
Psalm 1:1-3 (NIRV)
1 Blessed is the person who obeys the law of the Lord.
They don’t follow the advice of evil people.
They don’t make a habit of doing what sinners do.
They don’t join those who make fun of the Lord and his law.
2 Instead, the law of the Lord gives them joy.
They think about his law day and night.
3 That kind of person is like a tree that is planted near a stream of water.
It always bears its fruit at the right time.
Its leaves don’t dry up.
Everything godly people do turns out well.
Step 3. Clean up your diet.
Every illness on the planet can be improved or cured by eating healthy. I have been posting foods that will help with different autoimmune disorders. Many of the foods you should and should not eat are universal for living with autoimmune disorders and reducing flares and inflammation.
I recommend The Whole30 Diet or the Paleo Diet. These are wonderful programs that will help you get rid of the foods that will increase your inflammation and put you on the path to a healthier you.
Step 4. Exercise!
Exercise is so important for you mind, body and spirit. There are many benefits to exercising and it is more important than ever after you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder.
- help with weight loss.
- help relieve stress.
- help combat depression.
- help you be creative.
My exercise of choice is walking. I have walked hundreds of miles with Leslie Sansone and this exercise makes me feel really good. If you have never walked with Leslie, you are missing out. She is fun, encouraging, inspirational and has a great walking program that is good for whatever level of fitness you are at.
Step 5. Start reducing your stress.
Stress is an enemy to autoimmune disorders. When you get stressed you will increase the inflammation in your body which you may not see. Flares that are brought on by stress you can see. My flares are canker sores, thrush, itching, rashes, and extreme fatigue.
Your diet in step three will also help reduce stress.
So, as you can see you have work to do. But, don’t give up hope. I have a community of great ladies who are living with autoimmune disorders and we encourage and support each other. You are welcome to join us, so we can support you too. Here is the link to my Autoimmune Disorders group on Facebook.