Many of us wait for symptoms to show before we start taking our health seriously. This means that we often ignore the minor irritations or get rid of them with medications rather than delve deeper.
If you are dealing with chronic conditions, especially autoimmune diseases, this is a very common problem. And, due to the complex nature of this disease, even when symptoms do show up, getting an accurate diagnosis can take years if not decades.
In the meantime, you can end up with worsening symptoms and overall poor quality of life. You see, it doesn’t really have to be this way at all. It helps if you understand better what is behind this exponential rise in chronic conditions and what have led you here.
Our typical modern lifestyle
Our modern lifestyle leaves little room for error. There is a combination of factors at play that contributes to disease progression and they are (in no particular order)
- A nutrient poor diet
- Chronic and high stress levels
- Poor quality and less sleep
- Unprecedented exposure to toxins
- Numbing recreation practices like binge watching and social media scrolling
- Growing risk of infections due to antibiotic resistance, viral infections
Toxins – the elephant in the room
Here I would like to highlight the role that toxins play in your life. Your immune system gets activated whenever you are exposed to any kind of environmental triggers. This can be toxins like mold, toxic chemicals in the air, personal care products and cleaning products, additives and food colouring and much more. They are everywhere!
But you don’t feel anything because your immune system is designed to work in the background. However, over time if the level of insult (the amount of exposure) increases, you might experience some kind of mild irritation, like a runny nose, sore muscles, or brain fog. Most of us tend to ignore these minor irritations or try and medicate them away.
The role of chronic stress
Another major factor in disease progression is the role of chronic stress. Stressors like poor quality or less sleep, worry and psychological triggers, junk foods, food sensitivities, medications can all have an adverse impact on your immune function.
Eventually, these contribute to underlying imbalances and immune dysregulation. Over time you develop more and more symptoms until you finally get a “disease diagnosis”. This is yet another reason why you should not wait for symptoms to show before you start taking care of your health.
You simply don’t wake up one morning with a “disease”. These are results from decades-long processes that develop in a step-by-step sequence.
The good news is that you can “nip it in the bud” long before major symptoms develop.
Spectrum of autoimmunity and symptom development
This is how we suffer damage to our tissues long before symptoms develop. If you want to have a deeper understanding of how the autoimmune spectrum works, read the article here.
You should not wait for symptoms to show
When there is a slight elevation of antibodies, some people may experience some symptoms, while others with very high levels of antibodies may show no symptoms at all. Yet both these types of people are on the autoimmune spectrum. If they do not address the underlying factors, they will continue to progress along the spectrum until they are diagnosed with a chronic or deadly disease.
It does not matter whether you notice symptoms or not. The presence of elevated antibodies will continue to cause tissue damage with or without your realisation. You need to start taking action as soon as you realise there underlying imbalances or immune overreactionAnindita
If the underlying factors continue to trigger your immune system, the immune system will respond more aggressively, causing inflammation. Ongoing and excessive inflammation leads to cellular damage. Continued cellular damage leads to tissue damage, which eventually leads to organ inflammation. Continued organ inflammation increases the severity of your symptoms, as you develop elevated antibodies to that particular organ.
Your symptoms are a “gift”
Your symptoms are in effect a message from your immune system letting you know that something is wrong.
When you experience minor irritations or symptoms then take it as an opportunity to take action. This “gift” of having even minor symptoms is that it will force you to take notice and do something to address a problem.
It is your window of opportunity to do something about these often seemingly unconnected symptoms before there is further tissue damage. Your recurring symptoms like fatigue, bloating, lack of energy, memory lapses, and other such variety of symptoms that come out of nowhere can help you address underlying imbalances and calm your immune system.
I have written more about this in an earlier post and you can read it here.
If you already have a diagnosis, this is what you can do
- Build awareness about which key areas you need to focus on rather than trying out many different things all at the same time. A focused, step-by-step approach is key to creating long term health without becoming overwhelmed.
- Learn ways to reconnect with your body and give your body what it truly needs to heal. This can be in the form of certain foods, more sleep, more relaxation, less exercise, and all kinds of other unique requirements for healing.
These are 2 key areas that I cover in my coaching practice where I help women to take the next steps while they are waiting for an exact diagnosis of their autoimmune condition. You find out more by clicking on the link shared at the bottom of this post
As Neale Donald Walsch had said so beautifully,
Good health is not the absence of symptoms, it is the presence of peace
“AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE 101”
A carefully curated and comprehensive collection of carefully selected books, podcasts, websites, blogs, and other resources from the field of Functional Medicine with a focus on autoimmune diseases
If have been looking to get ANSWERS to questions like
-Why do I have this disease?
-Will I get any better?
-Can anyone help me? Nothing is working
-Is there any hope for me to get my life back?
-I am still waiting for a diagnosis, which direction do I need to move towards?
then this GUIDE would a game changer for you!
“Autoimmune Disease 101” is a carefully curated and comprehensive collection of carefully selected books, podcasts, websites, blogs, and other resources from the field of Functional Medicine with a focus on autoimmune diseases.
The Functional Medicine model of care for chronic diseases seeks to answer the question “Why do you have this disease” so that you can get personalised and effective care for your unique condition.