how to heal autoimmune disease: an update

OK, it’s been a while since I’ve done an auto-immune post (for those new here, you can find the backlog of AI posts here). But I’m going to start up a bit of a series again. For reasons I feel it’s worth explaining.

Picture 91 how to heal autoimmune disease: an update
photo via Colin Hill flickr

NOTE: For anyone who DOESN’T have an AI…

1. be damn glad

2. you’ll still very much find these posts helpful.

Any tips that help an AI disease are tips that go to the absolute heart of good health and top living.

What I share is only good, fundamental, well, ways to live the good, good life.

3. feel free to forward this link to a friend who does have an AI. I think they’ll like you more for it.

So, my update. My hashimotos has gone a little haywire over the past few months. As a result I’ve had to pull back on a few commitments (you might have noticed…my book, my column) and I’ve been digging deeper into some of the craziness going on, trying out some new techniques, like going paleo and talking to folk like Chris Kresser and Nora Gedgaudas. I’m starting to get some traction in my understanding if not my health.

I know some of you have asked: how BAD do you actually get. You’re not being rude. My friends and family have to ask the same because when I’m BAD, I go M.I.A. So they don’t really see thyroidy me. It’s hard for them to get it. I kind of exit stage left when I’m BAD, not so much due to shame (tho’ that does have a bit to do with it), but because when I’m “thyroidy” I simply can’t face the world. Dark, cool rooms. Not moving. That’s pretty much the spectrum.

On days like this I revert to this intentional resting technique.

When I made the decision to pull back and recalibrate a few months ago I was unable to function 4-5 days a week. It had been about one day a fortnight previously – which I could deal with. But the uggggh days crept up on me. I almost didn’t notice. Until I did.

Unable to function? Alright. Unable to walk down from my bedroom (the light, the noise…and my legs and heart struggle to carry me), unable to sleep (because my head buzzes), unable to go to the toilet (and I mean EVER…like nothing at all…too much information???? …oh well).

I ache. I get foggy of head. Talking on the phone… even thinking about talking on the phone… hurts to my very core. My limbs get all puffed up, and my face. And everything burns. My period has stopped. My skin breaks out. I fall over a lot.

Imagine the worst hangover you’ve ever had. Double it. Add in PMT. And a head cold. And that’s almost it.

But you still flit about doing things, you say, how? I get asked this a lot, sometimes it’s an accusation. Which I understand. My answer: When I have to appear in public, I rev myself up on adrenalin to get through. Then crash when I got home. Not a good way to live. But you do what you have to.

Also, I have good days. And on these good days I feel invincible and I skip ecstatically back to the Sarah I used to be and I surf and sometimes I run and I head out for a good dinner. And I’m just so bloody grateful to feel normal again. If I play it right, I’m good (if I don’t overdo it, if I eat well that day and get enough sleep). Otherwise I crash. It’s a price I pay.

But you do everything right these days… what gives? I’ve stopped using the adrenalin so often and it’s all caught up on me. I’ve become more mindful of burning my adrenals and so things are unraveling, as they need to. You know how you get a cold on the first day of your holiday… it’s like that. I’ve been getting more relaxed and real with life… and so my body is like, “hey, we can finally dump this shit and really let Sarah know how we’re feeling”.

Finding my sweet spot, modulating… it’s baffling. For me and for those around me. If you know someone with AI you probably know what I mean – we seem full of contradictions. But understand what’s going on is crazy and complex!!!

So you can see why I’m FIRED UP about getting to the bottom of the craziness. To find the best way to live with my condition – to modulate for life. I’ve had this intent for a few years now, but the intent has become pointier.

That’s the grand thing about having an AI:

If you’re not living true and good, it will come and belt you into shape a bit…steer you such that you have no choice but to go to the pointy end of things.

And get real.

And this is the other grand thing: in the wash-up, you realise your AI is your gift. Like for me… and tell me if you don’t think this is pretty cool…

Communicating stuff that counts is what I’ve always wanted to do. Since I was a kid.

Because of my AI, I’ve had to pare my work back to blogging and writing ebooks (they allow me to work sporadically).

But I’m realising now, in the wash-up, blogging and writing ebooks are EXACTLY perfect mediums for me to communicate stuff that counts.

Ergo, my AI steered me. Perfectly.

I’m FIRED UP about getting well. About sorting through the criss-crossy issues that define AI. Finding the best help, and working out for myself the best path to wellness – because, honestly, I CAN NOT FIND A SINGLE PRACTITIONER IN AUSTRALIA WHO GETS WHAT GOES ON for people like me (and, please, if you’ve found someone, please share…I’ve tried Facebook support sites and groups OS… nada). This is a really common complaint and I get emails every day from people frustrated down to their tired toes with the sorry state of endocrinology and mainstream medicine. (You’re not alone! It’s not you! It’s them!).

I’m FIRED UP + COMMITTED to sharing everything I learn with all of you here. I’m lucky. As a journo I can get access to the best experts in the world. So it’s my responsibility to take full advantage of this privilege and then share all that I learn.

I’m going to kick off next tomorrow with a post on a treatment I’ve been getting that really does work wonders. If you’ve tried some different techniques, or if you have general AI questions, or if there’s a treatment/approach/whatever that you’d like to know more about…pen your thinking below…

In wellness,


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