How to Stay Strong When You are Diagnosed With An Autoimmune Disease

You don’t need to have the mentality of having an autoimmune disease to work on these issues and get better. All you need to do is to fix the foundation- you don’t need strong medicine to suppress your symptoms. You need to stay positive and have hope that you can get help that fixes, gets to the root of and doesn’t dismiss the cause of your illness, which is what I dealt with in Western medicine for almost a decade. You can learn to heal your body starting with your gut, toxins, food choices and stress.

Our current medical profession (Western medicine) expects people to walk into an office for a 7-minute appointment; doctors need to shift their own role. The old days of ‘fixing’ people are over and that is why I switched to working with an Integrative M.D. because they take the time and help you with your lifestyle change. Eat differently, manage stress via mediation and yoga, etc. It’s harder than taking a pill; it’s about self-care and taking responsibility for this part of your care. Lifestyle changes are not easy and everyone just wants a special pill to help them feel better without having to make changes in their lives. People won’t get better unless they do the work and make lifestyle changes. That is why functional medicine has helped so many people. When people do this, they get better faster and more effectively.

Illness does not need to be debilitating; there is hope and it’s all about taking charge of your own health instead of letting a Western medicine doctor lead your life and push drugs onto you for a quick fix to hide your symptoms.

Here are a few things that helped me when I was running from doctor to doctor and no one could figure out what was wrong with me.

  1. Have a back up plan. And a back up to that back up plan. I always had a back up plan and was working with numerous doctors at once.
  2. Get a second and third opinion.
  3. Find a good and reputable acupuncturist.
  4. Try infrared saunas.
  5. Keep a binder of all your medical history including tests, blood work, doctor’s notes, etc. so that you can bring this with you to all appointments.
  6. Find the nearest Whole Foods Market or health food store when traveling to load up your refrigerator in your hotel room with fresh, organic foods.
  7. Drink organic green juices daily.
  8. Get at least 8-9 hours of sleep every night.
  9. Create a dining card for eating out and travel that you can show to your waiter for foods you can eat and not eat.
  10. Add turmeric to your food and beverages.
  11. Educate yourself through books, lectures and online forums as well as meeting people in person to talk about your struggles.
  12. Be grateful and smile every day. It will make you feel better!
  13. Remove the words “I Can’t” from your vocabulary.
  14. Remember there is a solution to all of our heath issues- some are just MUCH harder to find than others.
  15. Allow yourself to receive help from others.
  16. Reward yourself with a massage or a mani/pedicure.
  17. Start today even if you don’t know how you are going to finish.

Be sure to ask your M.D. questions to make sure they are the right doctor for you! Here is a list of Questions to Ask Your Doctor and here are a few Autoimmune Integrative Medicine Tests that I have had my Integrative M.D.’s test me for- these tests were crucial in finding out what was causing my pain.

It is essential to work with a nutritionist and an Integrative M.D. because I am sharing general information that is not intended to be medical advice. This information is only given for informational purposes.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Sherry May 22, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Thanks so much, I have stage 4 breast cancer, I am doing tumeric root and lots of greens , but your other suggestions are helpful as well.

Thank you , Sherry


Amie May 22, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Thank YOU Sherry! So nice to hear from you. Stay positive and keep your head up! Sending you a big hug!


Jeanette July 8, 2013 at 8:05 am

Great post and list Amie – it’s so true. Doctors medicate without getting to the root cause. Several years ago when my youngest son had severe abdominal pains, the doctor kept prescribing more and more medicine. In frustration, I took him off of all the meds and put him on a strict elimination diet for 6 months and his gut healed. You have to be your own advocate and do a lot of legwork on your own, but it’s well worth it.


Amie July 8, 2013 at 8:21 am

Awe; thanks Jeanette! You are so kind. So glad to hear that your son is healed! Have a wonderful week; hope all is well.


michele August 6, 2013 at 4:19 pm

my dream is for m.d.s to undergo mandatory training in nutrition and holistic medicine, to have hospitals integrate nutritional education as part of every patient’s rehab program, to provide nutritionally approriate foods both to patients and to families in the hospital cafeteria (no to mention to the medical staff!) to prepare them all to care for the patient post-release… I would love to hear about how you have approached educating your family and friends about auto-immune disease and care and their support or lack of.


Amie August 6, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Thanks Michele; it took a long, long time for my family to understand what is going on and sometimes I still don’t think they get it. It’s hard and I ask them for help with my medical records, etc. and helping me understand the background of my aches and pains with research and finding doctors that help me understand this as well instead of just pushing me off and handing me a diagnosis.


donna September 4, 2013 at 9:48 am

Amie- Again, I find comfort and power in the knowledge you share in your stories on your website, facebook, instagram…. thank you so much.
Along with the lyme, thyroid diseases I also have another autoimmune disease- iritis- which unfortunately was passed on to my oldest son and now he has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. He is just 18 years old and such a beautiful soul. He is an exercise nut -swimming, biking, hiking, repelling, cayoneering, …-and always has been. For the last year he has been on naproxin. I bought him a drink called “supple” for joint pain and it has helped him as he is trying to come off the naproxin. I am hoping to find an organic healthier equivalent of “supple”soon. Any suggestions / ideas would be greatly appreciated. Too bad NYC is too far from VA Beach! Id love for you to get my pantry healthier!!!!
Happy healing!


Amie September 4, 2013 at 9:51 am

Thanks Donna; I wish the best for you and your son. Sending you a huge hug; happy to work with you as a phone client and help in anyway I can. Have a great day and stay positive.


karen March 9, 2014 at 7:06 pm

I’m reading more and more on no processed food no wheat, no sugar. I have psoriasis and psoratic arthritis.. . I am on strong medication and my psoriasis on my legs will not go away. So I have to believe that my diet is effecting me. I am also addicted to diet dr pepper. . No way removing certain foods will improve my health. I have type 2 diabetes..Really have to watch my carb intake.


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