Shining a Light on Autoimmune Disease with Today's Woman

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Recently I had the incredible privilege to interview several women, like myself, who battle an autoimmune disease every day, as well as two medical professionals working to heal these medical issues in a more natural way. Kathy McDonald who battles multiple sclerosis, Kara Kuykendall who battles Lupus, and Penny Sobolewski who battles rheumatoid arthritis have three strong stories of perseverance that anyone, autoimmune fighting or not, can learn from. These women have fought to live their lives with the most positive outlook possible, despite various doctor and ER visits and even surgeries, to ultimately gain remission in their disease. 

In addition to sharing these stories, I was able to share a bit of my own story battling Crohn's Disease. Ironically this past week, about a month after writing this article, I was admitted to the hospital for a Crohn's flare-up. That's the reality of autoimmune. Unpredictability has become my new norm. As an autoimmune sufferer, I understand how extremely difficult it can be to stay positive knowing that my body is essentially fighting against my every move. At times it can seem like there is nothing I can possibly do to heal my body. Fortunately remission is possible, but there is no cure yet. I hope that by sharing these stories and spreading awareness for the autoimmune community we can create a place where living with these diseases can become easier.

Living the autoimmune life isn't all bad though! I've learned to listen to my body in ways I never would have otherwise. I know almost immediately when something is off and am able to react accordingly. Recently it has forced me to make more conscious dietary decisions. I love food as much as the next girl, but food is fuel, and in my case, an extremely important part of my wellbeing. I'm working to switch to a mostly gluten and dairy free diet with a treat here and there (recipes to come!). It's not something I really want to do, but it has become a bit of a necessity at this point. It's important for me to not only go about my daily life, but to do so as happy, healthy, and pain-free as possible. If that means skipping out on a few orders of biscuits and gravy, then so be it!

I am beyond grateful to have the capabilities and functioning body that I do.  This is something I would most definitely take for granted (and still do at times) if I didn't have an autoimmune disease.

This article only scratches the surface of living with autoimmune disease. There are so many variations of autoimmune and so much yet to learn about it's treatment. Learn the signs, symptoms, and about just a few autoimmune diseases and treatment options in this month's edition of Today's Woman Magazine! Pick up your copy at Kroger, JayC Food Stores, Liquor Barn or YMCA branch or view online to read the full autoimmune section on pages 40 - 48!

If you haven't checked out Today's Woman Magazine lately, you're in for a treat! They recently completely re-branded, which includes a new logo, updated layout, and a brand new website!
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