Top 3 Myths About Autoimmune Conditions
Autoimmune Myth-Busting Time!
There are so many misconceptions about autoimmune conditions and it’s time to set the record straight. Here are the top 3 myths that people repeat back to those of us living with autoimmune conditions.
Myth #1: Losing Weight will cure my autoimmune condition - FALSE
Losing weight isn’t a cure-all, it’s a tool to make sure that your body’s hormone balance is correct. And I don’t mean gender hormones, there are 64 hormones in the body (not including cortisol or gender hormones which are technically steroids).
Balance of these hormones is necessary for efficient body processes. Hormones regulate many bodily functions including digestion, sleep, growth, metabolism, fertility, immune system, and even our behavior. Hormones also play a key role in the fight or flight response. Allowing us to respond to stress, bodily threat, or other intense moments with enough resources to handle the problem.
Losing weight doesn’t guarantee that you will achieve optimal hormone balance. One of the biggest indicators of hormone imbalance is chronic stress. Chronic stress will cause your body to release cortisol and other hormones to fight the incoming threat...but if that threat is just looming work deadlines and not a tiger chasing you, the higher levels of these hormones result in chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is the cause of most medical conditions including autoimmune conditions, high blood pressure, kidney disease, cancers, strokes, and others.
Focus on reducing chronic stress and inflammation first.
MYTH #2: [insert fad] will cure your autoimmune condition - FALSE
No fad diet, magic supplement, or any other trend will cure your condition. Sorry to break it to you, but the best you can do is remission, there is no cure for autoimmune conditions. Remission is a reduction of frequency and intensity of autoimmune flares. You can also slow or stop disease progression with sustainable healthy lifestyle changes. Many autoimmune conditions require medication to help slow or stop many symptoms and should be a part of a healthy autoimmune lifestyle regimen.
No two people even with the same autoimmune condition will act, feel, or look the same when experiencing an autoimmune flare. Which also should reinforce that there’s no magic pill, diet, or other trends out there to cure an autoimmune condition.
MYTH #3: You look too young/healthy to be sick - FALSE
Oh, how I hate this one! I was told by a doctor I was too young to have an autoimmune condition. A DOCTOR.
I never went back to her. Autoimmune conditions are invisible illnesses...our outer appearance might look 100% normal or “healthy” but inside we’re crumbling. Our immune systems are doing a number internally. Our immune systems are attacking organs, tissues, blood cells, whatever they want to as if they were a serious invading bacteria or virus.
We can literally go from swimming 400m daily without any symptoms to suddenly so ill we can’t get out of bed for a week. Just because we look normal doesn’t mean there isn’t a war raging below the surface of our skin. The majority of autoimmune conditions are diagnosed between 15-55 years of age. But that doesn’t mean a newborn, toddler, or someone 80+ doesn’t develop them either. There is no starting or ending point for developing autoimmune conditions.
What’s the most annoying myth or thing you’ve heard about your autoimmune or chronic health condition? Comment or send me a message!
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