Monthly Archives: November 2013

27 Nov 2013 Autoimmune Disease Basics

I’m so excited about this book! (The Immune System Recovery Plan)  I finally feel like I have some control in my life.  To have a professional who’s been there, understands and can explain step by step.  I want to just sit here and read the whole thing, but I also realize that I need to take my time and do it right.  The last episode I had with exhaustion (almost 3 months) was so scary and debilitating I wanted to die….seriously.  I’m better now, but I know there are things I need to do differently or add to my life so I can be free of this for good.  So here I go.

Chapter 1, Autoimmune Disease Basics.  Susan Blum explains the processes in the body that create autoimmune diseases simply and easily.  Things that surprised me were that there are at least one hundred autoimmune diseases and that MS is among them.  My Mother had MS and I never realized that it was a autoimmune disease.  I always felt so lucky that I didn’t get MS, and I’m still grateful, but looking at each of us five kids I realize we just have different forms of autoimmune… I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, my brother had Thyroid Cancer, my sister has Raynaud’s, and one brother has Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Next she presents the triggers:  gluten, chronic stress and hormone imbalance, an imbalance of good bacteria in your gut, toxins, and infections.

Then the most common autoimmune diseases and symptoms:  Celiac Disease, Graves Disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Lupus, MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren’ Syndrome.

Looking at the symptoms of these diseases I seemed to have more symptoms of Graves Disease than Hashimoto’s and quite a few for Sjogren’s.  Kind of surprised me.

Then she lists symptoms by: general symptoms, fever/body temperature, hair, skin, eyes, throat, muscles/joints, weight changes, digestion/gastrointestinal, mood and thinking, balance and neurological.  The instructions being:  If you have four or more of the nonspecific symptoms and they are all consistent with one condition, then you should have the test suggested or an ANA screening.

The areas for testing that came up for me were Sjogrens and Lupus.  Not to say that I have them, but that I should ask my doctor for these tests.  For Sjogrens the tests are ANA, Anti-SSA and Anti-SSB for Lupus they are Anti-nuclear antibodies, Anti-phospholipid antibodies, Antibodies to double stranded DNA and Anti Smith (Sm) antibodies.

Next Chapter Using Food As Medicine Workbook….by the way, I was looking at her web site and some of the products and packages sold and was concerned about the cost.  I e-mailed them the question of how to do this on a budget and they responded the next day, explaining that her book describes how to heal with food alone, but if you’re not seeing the results, then try adding at least one of the recommended supplements and go from there.  Sounds doable.  She also has scheduled programs for each chapter that you can do together with others, and a blog….. lots of help here.


My Hashimoto’s Disease and The Immune System Recovery Plan

Arghhhhh!  Autoimmune problems really suck!  I’m tired of being tired, missing out on my favorite things because I don’t have the energy to do them. I have a great diet, I exercise every day, going broke buying supplements….and yet I still have episodes of extreme exhaustion.  The exhaustion was so bad a few months ago I felt like ending it.  Well, slowly, very slowly I did get better…at least to the point that I can function and take walks again, but I want a better life and I don’t want another episode of exhaustion like that ever.  So, I’m using this blog as a means to track my recovery using Susan Blum’s book, The Immune System Recovery Plan.  She’s a doctor who developed Hashimoto’s disease herself and over a period of two years cured herself.  Realizing the need for functional medicine she then developed a 4 step recovery plan:  using food as medicine, the stress connection, healing your gut and supporting your liver.  So here we go.  My intention is to post at least once a week what I’ve learned and the progress I’ve made until I’m also cured.