An autoimmune disease causes the body to attack itself. More specifically, the body's immune system fails to recognize normal body tissues and attacks and destroys them as if they were dangerous or foreign.
From Lupus and Thyroid Disease to Celiac and RA, there are different degrees of autoimmune diseases. A flare up, which is a return of symptoms or worsening of symptoms for a period of time, can cause crushing fatigue, pain, brain fog, skin problems, headaches and gastrointestinal issues. But that's NOT all. Many autoimmune diseases offer a variety of symptoms. In fact, there are over 100 symptoms associated with autoimmune disease.
I think of it as an all you can eat buffet. There is a little of everything thrown into the mix, and everyone's plate is different. Unfortunately, you don't get to choose any of it. And worse, every flare up can be different.
There are more than 80 different autoimmune diseases. It is estimated that 23 million Americans live with autoimmune disease and 80% of those Americans are women. Read more on that here: https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/autoimmune-diseases and here:
You can read more about statistics here :https://www.aarda.org/news-information/statistics/
When you live with autoimmune disease, you can experience months of remission (healthy, good feeling days). You can experience even longer periods of feeling healthy if you are fully focused on taking care of yourself. Some types of autoimmune are more advanced than others, leaving some people with way more flare ups. Realistically, we have lives outside of our disease. And we should be able to enjoy our lives!
So, how does one stay positive and practice self care when there is zero energy to be found? Here are some super low energy needed suggestions that have worked for me, that will hopefully help you, or someone you love.
1- Hot shower and clean sheets. Sometimes even a shower can be too exhausting, but if you can just muster the energy to stand in the shower and let the water trickle over your body, it can help you feel human. Laying in clean, fresh sheets after is such a fantastic little luxury, it always brings a smile to my face.
2-Comedic entertainment. Never underestimate the healing powers of laughter. A funny movie, a joke book, a stand up comedy special- all of these can induce laughter. Laughter is good for the soul and can boost your mood, strengthen your immune system and even diminish pain. Read more on that here: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm
3- Slather a face mask on... your feet! Really, just take that face mask and slather it all over your feet. It will soothe your soles! A nice warm, moist towel can be used to remove it.
4-Nourish your body. Choose good foods and hydrate. I can't express this enough. You may be to tired to even sip water but force yourself to do it. Hydration is always helpful. Always. As for good foods, anything anti inflammatory is usually good, from green teas, blueberries, spinach and Brazil nuts, there's tons of options out there. (Remember to always adhere to your doctors advice.)
5- Prayer and meditation. By simply thinking better thoughts or thinking no thoughts at all, you are raising your vibrations. The healing power of prayer/meditation is documented as far back as pre-biblical times. This practice helps manage stress and can also help with much more. Read here: https://www.sonima.com/meditation/autoimmune-disease/
Share this with someone you know suffering from an autoimmune disease. And remember, this is not medical advice or meant to take the place of your doctors orders. Always discuss your medical concerns with your doctor.