Unpredictable autoimmune flares disrupt life, but they signal your body needs support. Tune in as host Anindita explains a step-by-step method to understand symptoms, identify shifts early, and create habits so your body’s innate healing abilities can restore stability.
Are frustrating autoimmune flare-ups making you feel powerless and anxious about the future?
Pushing through pain and exhaustion is not helping. And masking your symptoms is NOTthe solution.
There is a better way. And it starts by developing a healthy relationship with your body and letting its wisdom guide you.
BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING TO THIS PODCAST EPISODE, YOU'LL DISCOVER:
You see, autoimmune diseases are not just about the physical symptoms; they encompass an intricate blend of physical, emotional, and perhaps even spiritual disharmony within the body. And it's easy to feel powerless against the unpredictability of these conditions, especially when conventional approaches often focus solely on symptom management rather than addressing underlying causes. However, I want you to know that there is a path to empowerment and healing that goes beyond medications and traditional treatments.
Join me as I explore the intricacies of autoimmune disease progression and activation, and share with you the importance of understanding the autoimmune disease spectrum.
Also, in this episode you will hear discover the DOTS model—a revolutionary approach that offers a step-by-step process to develop a healthy relationship with your body, honor your healing journey, treat your body with care and compassion, and start simple, healthy habits.
This model brings clarity among confusion and acts a guide to tuning into your body's own wisdom.
By incorporating this into your life you'll learn to recognize the signals your body sends, understand the interconnectedness between different aspects of your health, and, most critically, how to create a healing environment that supports your body's natural ability to heal.
This episode isn't just about managing autoimmune flares; it's about transforming your relationship with your body and embarking on a journey to wellness that integrates all dimensions of health.
To help you with this, I've created an Autoimmune Symptom Relief Guide that will help you weather storms with more ease and self-compassion.
It is a non medical guide that contains top tips for managing autoimmune flares and finding daily relief without the help of medications!
Learn how to manage episodes on YOUR terms - through self-care rituals, adaptogenic herbs, lifestyle tweaks and more.
So if you're ready to weather autoimmune storms with more ease and self-compassion, click the link below to sign up for the guide!
CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE GUIDE
OTHER LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
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LEARN MORE FROM ANINDITA
02:35 - What I did out of sheer desperation as a mother
08:01 - If this is your experience when you are going through a major flare up
09:45 - The is the REAL problem here
11:29 - What can happen to a hyper vigilant and long activated immune system
14:12 - Supporting your body’s healing process is YOUR responsibility
15:33 - Discover the DOTS model—a revolutionary step-by-step approach
17:35 - What you need to understand about autoimmune flares
19:25 - The straw (trigger) that breaks the camel's back
In today's episode, I'm going to share with you what you need to know to take back control. When you're dealing with an autoimmune flare up without relying only on medications. That's all coming up next right here on Embrace Your Healing Journey podcast.
Welcome to Embrace Your Healing Journey, a podcast for women with autoimmune and other chronic conditions to help them navigate the illness without fear of isolation and uncertainty, and find relief from the symptoms. Your body is your guide and ally in healing. If you're ready to embrace this journey with compassion and awareness, then the show is for you. Tune in as I, a Functional medicine Certified health coach, delivered tips and insights that demystify the healing process, guiding you towards the relief you deserve so that you can feel healthy and happy once more.
So, um, I remember clearly when my eight year old daughter was going through a major flare up. Uh, you know, over time, uh, she had dealt with quite a few flare ups. They were quite frequent, and some of them were very intense. And so we were used to dealing with those frequent flare ups. But I remember that particular time. Nothing seemed to work for her. And by that time, she had already been on two years of oral steroids and immune suppressing medications. Right. So, uh, either this or that? Uh, not, of course, at the same time, but her eczema was sort of not under control, really. Uh, we were just about managing. And then on top of that, she used to keep having these flare ups, and that flare was particularly bad. And her skin got infected, and she was given two rounds of antibiotics. Uh, and even then, I could see that her skin was breaking out again. And that's very common with eczema because you're constantly scratching. And then your skin gets infected very easily. It's a staph infection, as they call it. Um, and then, you know, they if it's really bad, then they give you antibiotics. And she already had two rounds, and I did not want her to have any more rounds of antibiotics because I knew it was not really going to help her and it was not bringing her situation under control. And so you can imagine how hard it was for a child to have to deal with this on a daily basis, to not be able to sleep at night, to have to wake up in the morning and go to school and, you know, so life sort of comes to a standstill, but you sort of just push through. And in this flare up. It. Things were just not coming under control. And so that's where we were. And I distinctly remember one evening when, out of sheer desperation, as, as a mother, as somebody was trying to, uh, you know, bring things under control for her child that I finally gave in and decided to try out the bleach method. This is where, um, you know, where you put liquid bleach. You know, a little bit of liquid bleach into a bottle of water, and you immerse yourself in it, right? This is one of the most severe, uh, and I would say desperate measures that, you know, people resort to when they have skin infections. And I had resisted doing this because I knew how, you know, it would sting so badly. But you can imagine how desperate I was by that time. So I decided to sort of just see, you know, out of sheer desperation, you end up doing things which you regret later on. And I wish, um, you know, I had, you know, uh, the information that I'm going to share with you today anyway. So she, uh, you know, I remember her sitting into this plastic yellow bathtub that she had had, as you know, since she, uh, since my son was a baby. Um, you know, they have a four year gap. And I made her lie down in it, and it was stinging so badly, and she was howling, you know, uh, with the pain. It was terrible. It was something that no parent should have experienced. And no child, of course, either. Anyway, so she sort of came out and I honestly don't know whether it worked or not, but I decided that this was not the kind of torture that I would put my child through once again. So I started to figure out if there was anything else that I could do. And, you know, I sort of, uh, found that solution. And to cut a long story short, I came across therapeutic grade essential oils through an online, online summit on, uh, taking a holistic approach to chronic conditions. And I think that sort of started my journey towards finding alternative and, you know, um, less harmful, but equally and maybe sometimes even more effective ways of managing and reversing, you know, uh, chronic conditions like autoimmune disease and using those therapeutic grade essential oils, which I immediately placed an order for, uh, I remember it was Amazon us because they were not available in India. And I'm talking about, uh, 2014 at that point in time. And I ordered them and I started I figured out a way to use them. And I'll share some resources below if you want to check up on that. And doctor Josh Axe stands out for me. And there was another person who I went through his blogs, I went through and I figured out, okay, a bit of lavender, a bit of tea tree. I think this is where I started. And these. What I did not know at that time is essential oils are extremely therapeutic. They are very powerful, and they have immense healing properties. And that's what we do. They are basically extracted from different parts of a plant. So it can be leaves, it can be stem, etc.. Um, and uh, that's what or flowers for that matter. And then they're extracted and very, very concentrated and pure forms are used for these kinds of purposes. And when I started using those oils her skin infection healed that, you know, the antimicrobial properties kept her, uh, you know, all the, you know, staph bacteria at bay. And since then, she's never had any skin infections. I mean, she's had flare ups. Flare ups are a part of, uh, you know, dealing with a chronic condition, especially when your immune system is concerned. But as long as they are manageable, as long as they are controllable and you can get it quickly back, uh, you know, in control, that's that's fine. I mean, that's something that you can deal with. And, uh, since then, we've had one major flare up, but never have we had to face, uh, such a severe skin infection again, which is extremely common with eczema. And I shared this story only to demonstrate that there are so many options that you have. Uh, you know, if only you know where to look for it. And I did not know where to look for it. So I was all over the place and I was trying all kinds of things. But you don't have to do that through this podcast, through my the blog, the resources that I share here and in my Facebook community, uh, with the same name, uh, embracing a Healing Journey. I share resources so that you don't have to go through this pain and you don't have to keep suffering. And it is up to us to do our own research if we need to. It is up to us to find alternatives that are holistic and maybe even more effective than what we thought, uh, than what conventional medicine is when it comes to especially dealing with chronic conditions. But this is not to say that medications or medical treatments should not be used and that they are not necessary. Don't get me wrong, they are necessary and lifesaving. However, they do not give you the long term solution for chronic conditions that you are looking for. So we need to take medications and go for treatments as and when necessary so that we can prevent further damage. We can improve our quality of life. We can find, you know, we can bring our symptoms under control so that we can address the root causes and figure out what else we can do, uh, to manage our health, to support our body's healing process. But they are not the solution that you are looking for. So. If when you're going through a flare up or a major flare up, I should say, and you don't know from one day to another how you're going to feel, and that makes you unreliable for making any plans with your friends and family. Or maybe you deal with nighttime pain and deep body aches and bone aches and muscle pain, and that is so bad that it is difficult or impossible for you to lie still. Or maybe for you, it feels like the worst flu ever. And you know, except that it never really goes away for you. And you have symptoms such as severe fatigue, extra pain, and aches than you otherwise have, and sore throat. And it may even feel, you know, like for you that you are doing so well on medication, and everything was under control and suddenly, Bam, one fine day you woke up and you're dealing with the flare, right? You may be dealing with one or more of these. And in the case of chronic conditions such as autoimmune diseases, where the symptoms are so unreliable and unpredictable, you can end up living in a constant state of anxiety and disruption. This is extremely common. You are not the only one who has to deal with this. And this is of course, because you never know when a flare up might occur. And this makes it impossible, as I said, for you to make plans or even go out, or even have a meal, or enjoy life, or have hobbies. And the unpredictable nature of autoimmune conditions in particular, you know, means that you can also end up with additional autoimmune diagnosis, which just adds to your growing list of problems. So the real problem here is that no one has really explained to you why your immune system is behaving in this manner, and as a result, you've not taken any steps to address the root causes of your autoimmune disease activation and progression. Right? So you don't really know what is going on. And if you don't really know what is going on, you can't really do anything about it. I mean, apart from just masking the symptoms and just trying to manage the symptoms, which is pretty much unmanageable when it comes to a flare up. And so the flare ups continue to take place and nothing that you do seems to help. If you feel like this, if you're going through this, know that you are not the only one. And while there is another way. And in fact, I have delve deeper into the topic of autoimmune disease progression activation. What is an autoimmune disease spectrum, and what are the myths surrounding autoimmune diseases that you should be aware of in episode three and in episode nine? And I will share the links below. So in the case of autoimmune diseases in particular, there is a specific loss of tolerance to self, and your immune system is unable to distinguish between its own tissues. So your tissues and a real threat like microbes and toxins are your immune system has a number of inbuilt mechanisms that helps it to differentiate between host and foreign tissue. So, you know, your body is extremely intelligent and it has mechanisms to actually prevent this from happening. However, what happens is that a hyper vigilant and long activated immune system, which has been dealing with a whole host of, uh, you know, uh, triggers that has been sort of under the radar for you for a very long time, uh, and is constantly having to react to threats continuously, like certain foods, maybe toxins, allergens can become dysregulated over a period of time, leading to autoimmune disease activation. Nothing. No. Chronic conditions develop overnight, including autoimmune diseases. Whether you you know, whether you realize this or not, this means that you may have already tried taking medications to help with your current symptoms and the new ones crop up, or you're pushing through the pain and trying to stay busy to take your mind off and helps you forget to some extent. But it doesn't really work right, and you may have already tried taking as much rest as you can, but your flare up can last months and again, nothing seems to really work. So you need to take a different approach. It's time that you approach this quite differently from what you are doing. All this while, if it had been working, you would have known by now. Right? So what I am inviting you to do is to allow yourself to be led by your own body's inner guidance system, and that includes your symptoms. Your symptoms are a message from your body, and you need to be. You need to allow yourself to be guided by it. You need to learn how to identify shifts early so that you can modify your diet, your lifestyle, and use gentle practices like meditation, yoga, tai chi, deep breathing, journaling. You know, all kinds of. There are so many different approaches before these symptoms escalate. And this same approach tree, uh, teaches you how to tune into the language of your body and see all the ways that your physical, emotional, and spiritual health are all interconnected. That is why, for so many of us, we are simply focusing on the physical manifestations such as symptoms. But we are not really addressing the emotional part of it and maybe even the spiritual part of it. But we need to make it a practice to integrate all these aspects of healing in our lives. And that's exactly what I do. I teach my clients to do this, and I'm going to talk about this in a, in a bit a particular model that I want to share with you today. So this means taking the time to pay attention to what your body needs in terms of support. Supporting your body is, you know, to heal is your responsibility. It is not the responsibility of your doctor or any other expert, because no one else can understand and support your body better than you. Yes, you can take medications, prescriptions, medical treatments, all that is fine, but the rest of it is completely up to you. And one thing is for sure, your body cannot heal when it is in a chronic survival mode. And that by that I mean, if you are not doing anything to shift your body out of a high, you know, chronic stress mode, you know, your body constantly feels high levels of stress. That's a problem. And you need to shift fire, you know, find ways. And there are so many different ways of breathing, meditation, relaxation, uh, you know, self-care practices that can help shift your body out of that high stress survival mode to a repair and healing mode. Right? We called it a fight or flight to a rest and digest. So your role is to learn how to create an environment in which your body's healing properties are in full gear. And to create this healing environment, you need to work with your body and give your body a chance to heal. In fact, in my coaching program I use a d o pts or dots method to help my clients do justice. It's gives them a step by step process. It makes it simple and as easy for them as possible to practice what I have just shared with you. And this is part of my program, healing from within. It's a 1 to 1 coaching program. I'm going to share with you this one model, the dots model today, so that you don't get overwhelmed by all this information, and because you know you need to get started. You need to get started with a radically different approach. So the Dots model goes like this
D stands for develop a healthy relationship with your body
O stands for on your healing Journey.
T stands for treat your body with care and compassion.
S stands for starts simple and healthy habits.
So this model helps you to stop feeling confused by all the variety of symptoms that you are facing. Even if you have 100, 100, and 50, 200 of them. By understanding the interconnected between interconnectedness between these symptoms. Right? So it helps you to become less confused. It helps you to understand where to and what to prioritize and why. And it provides a step by step roadmap for developing a healthy relationship with your body and take control of your healing journey. This is exactly what this Dots model helps my clients to do it. So it cuts through all the noise and it tells them what to look out for. It helps them to create that relationship in their body, so that the body can tell them what to look out for. And as a result, you start seeing noticeable reduction in your symptoms, in your unpredictable symptoms, whether it's a frequency, whether it's intensity, you also regain a significant amount of energy so that you can participate in social activities. You can start making plans again. You know all the things that you have to give up earlier. You can start getting them back in your life. But before that, this is what you need to understand about autoimmune flares. Autoimmune flares are periods of increased immune system activity and inflammation in individuals with autoimmune conditions. Then the characteristics of human flares can vary significantly from one individual to another, and even within the same individual over time, and flares may involve worsening of symptoms or emergence of new symptoms, or both. Right. And they can range from mild discomfort to debilitating manifestations. And they affect all kinds of body systems, whether it's joints, skin, digestive tract or different organs. So, understanding the triggers and their potential impact on autoimmune flares can empower you to take proactive measures. That's what I want you to do because then you can actually minimize their occurrence. And that is done by paying attention to the symptoms and their underlying causes. Right. Rather than just focusing on the surface level symptoms. It is not one trigger, but rather a synergistic combination of multiple triggers that is involved. And often multiple triggers are going on in the background. And what you need to understand that that there are no noticeable symptoms initially and often many people ignore these initial symptoms, which are very, very minor. They're more like irritations or numb them with various medications or even behavioral self-medication that helps them to just get through the day. So that's to coffee increase your energy level. Uh, you know, it can be a binging on Netflix. You know, just to take our minds off how we are feeling inside our bodies. Indeed, what happens as a result of this is that there is a progression of triggers that get added and added to your, you know, to the burden, and it becomes an increasing burden over time. Finally, you reach a point where there is a straw that breaks the camel's back, and that straw final straw may not be very significant, actually, but it's the last and final addition to the already large load that your body's carrying, and it becomes the final triggering event. That's when you suddenly take notice. So it might be the goal that you came down with the flu that you had, or any other such infection, or even the stomach infection that you developed while you were traveling. And this is exactly why you need to learn how to identify shifts early so that you can modify your diet, lifestyle and use gentle practices like meditation, yoga, breathing, you know, any kind of relaxation, deep restorative practices and shift your body to a repair and healing mode. Majority of the time, you know before, especially before these symptoms escalate. And you can if you make it a part of your daily self-care practice, then it you know, it becomes a part of your routine, and you create these habits and they help you to prevent many of these symptoms from escalating. And tuning into your unique symptom triggers, you know, allows you to restore stability and take back your life. And as a result, healing occurs, and your body wisdom continues to guide you so that you know it tells you what is the next thing that you need to focus on. And this and then after you are able to address that, then what is the next thing that you can focus on? So you know you are guided by your inner guidance system, which I mentioned right at the beginning. And that is never wrong. Tests may go wrong, experts may be wrong. You know, you may not get the right guidance, but this is never wrong. It's your own body. So make sure that you know it. It makes sure that you are back in your driver's seat. And it establishes trust in your own body's amazing and profound intelligence. And it is possible for you to do that. If you have any questions about this, you can contact me on Instagram @aninditarungta.
And thank you so much for joining me on this episode of Embrace Your Healing Journey. If you want to take the next step, uh, for, uh, you know, taking this forward, then finding relief from your symptoms from autoimmune flares, then, uh, make sure that you download the free e-book Autoimmune Symptom Relief Guide.
In the next podcast episode, I will be talking about why doctors don't have all the answers. Don't miss it.
Your body knows how to heal. Are you ready to support it?