Aug 29 , 2022
Being diagnosed with autoimmune disease can have far reaching effects, for both your physical and mental health. The chronic symptoms and physical side effects of many autoimmune conditions can be exhausting, relentless and painful - and the toll this takes on your emotions and mental health can be just as taxing.
There is hope, however, for finding comfort, and even remission, for these chronic conditions. With 60 million Americans grappling with autoimmune disease, more research and findings are surfacing, offering sufferers much-needed answers and direction.
If you are coming to terms with an autoimmune disease diagnosis and looking for ways to feel better with your condition, consider trying these lifestyle adjustments:
Lower Stress Levels
Stress is often the culprit of flare-ups and can even sometimes be the source of the autoimmune disease itself. Lowering your stress levels can therefore be one of the most reliable ways to manage symptoms. This is often easier said than done, but once you recognize the power of lowering stress in your life, you can begin to embrace new strategies and lifestyle adjustments to make long lasting changes.
Regular, Low-Impact Exercise
Exercise can be a powerful strategy for lowering stress levels and also has notable benefits for your physical health. With autoimmune disease, however, it is important to make the right exercise choices so that you don’t incorporate something that may actually increase the stress level on your body. Intense endurance exercises or heavy strength training can actually trigger flare-ups and may do more harm than good. Low-impact exercises like yoga, on the other hand, have been proven to lower stress levels and minimize the symptoms that those struggling with autoimmune disease often face.
A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is one of the most impactful changes that someone suffering from autoimmune disease can make. In many cases, specific foods alone can be triggers for flare-ups, but there are also major changes that can improve most autoimmune diseases. The focus with dietary changes should be on lowering inflammation in the body. Cutting out processed foods and increasing fruits and cooked vegetables is one of the easiest ways to do this. Specific foods like garlic, turmeric and ginger have also been shown to have incredible benefits for lowering inflammation.
Get Enough Sleep & Rest
Getting enough sleep and rest is absolutely critical for managing stress levels and minimizing symptoms from autoimmune disease. When your body is sleeping, it is able to heal and repair itself. Every person has different needs, but 7-9 hours of sleep a night is usually the minimum amount required for your body. In addition to this, resting during the day has huge benefits similar to sleeping - your body is able to focus its attention on repairing itself and it will give you time to lower your stress levels.
The power of meditation is widely acknowledged to help lower stress levels, making it a worthy strategy to improve life with autoimmune disease. Regular meditation gives the body much-needed rest time and can be a great coping mechanism when unexpected stressors hit.
Not only do salt baths offer time to relax your body and mind, something that will always help to reduce stress, they also replenish your body with magnesium, which is released when we are stressed. Because warm baths trigger circulation, they also promote healing on a cellular level.
Journal to Identify Triggers
Similar to meditation, journaling is an easy strategy that has been proven to lower stress levels, especially when done on a regular basis. In addition to relieving stress, journaling is a great way to identify triggers that may be setting off flare-ups. These triggers could be related to stress, your diet, or other environmental factors that you may not realize until you’ve seen it all written down and recorded.
Spend Time in Nature
Exposure to a healthy amount of sunlight helps the body produce Vitamin D, something critical for a healthy immune system. For sufferers of autoimmune disease, this can be beneficial both to prevent flare-ups, as well as heal from them. In addition to Vitamin D, being outside in nature has been shown to calm the nervous system and reduce stress levels, another critical element of minimizing symptoms of autoimmune disease.
Drink Enough Water
Water helps transport nutrients to our cells and is one of the most basic elements we need to maintain a healthy immune system. Typically, each person should drink half of their body weight in ounces of water each day, not including caffeinated drinks or alcohol.
While autoimmune disease may be most known for the toll it takes on someone’s physical health, the toll it takes on mental health can be just as detrimental. Chronic symptoms can affect every area of your life and these diseases can often be extremely isolating. Finding a strong support system and someone that can help you adjust to a new lifestyle will not only help your mental health, but in doing that, it may improve your physical health as well.
Hope is Around the Corner
Getting the diagnosis of autoimmune disease can be life-altering, but there are ways to manage symptoms, and always remember that you are not alone. For many, making the right lifestyle adjustments can eliminate most symptoms and, for some, the disease can even be reversed. If you have been experiencing chronic symptoms and think you may be suffering from autoimmune disease, an ID30 test kit offers a blueprint of over 30+ autoimmune markers in your body. Reach out to us with any questions and we’ll help you decide if ID30 can help.