I generally hate New Year’s resolutions. I find the date to be arbitrary and I strongly believe that a person must be ready to take-on the impending change or discipline. It just so happens that this year, my readiness coincides with January 1st! I am ready to address self-sabotage and Sjogrens symptom activation because of it. But I still refuse to call this a “New Year’s Resolution”, when in fact I am aiming for a long-term commitment to my life.
I have tested several diets and exercise regimens throughout the years with the primary goal of losing weight and getting fit. The last diet I tried was the “Paleo” diet (animal protein, vegetables and fruit) coupled with a longer walking/hiking program and yoga. I not only lost ten pounds but I also felt so much better — greatly reduced pain and inflammation, no bloating or digestive issues, no brain fog, slept well through the night — I had forgotten what feeling (close to) normal was like.
And then it happened:
Hello self-sabotage, meet my Sjogrens symptoms.
Continue reading “Self-Sabotage and Sjogrens Symptoms: Cause and Effect”
The past couple of months I have been working on vagus nerve stimulation in order to increase my vagal tone. By that I mean that I have been practicing different ways to activate my parasympathetic nervous system side of my vagus nerve. I have been doing this in order to practice better mindfulness and calm my anxiety and inflammation. My anxiety isn’t at a high level daily, but I do get quite worried about the long-term costs associated with having Sjögrens Syndrome. And I worry about my ability to continue working long enough to pay for future major expenses. I hate that feeling. And of course, I always have a high level of inflammation. I hate that too.
As I began to investigate the different methods to stimulate my vagus nerve and activate my PSNS (parasympathetic nervous system), I became more and more fascinated. This post explains why.
Or you can just stop reading now and start singing, loud and proud, like your favorite rock star! Continue reading “Can Vagus Nerve Stimulation Reduce Sjögrens Inflammation?”
Determining the best Sjögrens Syndrome products to use for dry eye, dry mouth, (and other challenges) is such a personal process. We all have varying degrees of challenges and different products work better for some people than others. But asking each other “What are your favorite products” is still one of the most common conversations I have with other patients. You never know when someone has tried something new that works for them and could also work for you!
This post is about the best products that work for me. I have focused mainly on some supplements and items for dryness. Addressing pain and fatigue will be a different post.
Take a look and see if some of these ideas might help you. And if you have tried products that you like even more, please do comment and let us all know about them!
Continue reading “Best Sjögrens Syndrome Products — My Daily Survival Kit!”
We’ve all heard it… You don’t look sick! When you live with an autoimmune disease, this comment is common. How do you react and then respond?
There are times when I’m happy to hear this comment and times when I’m displeased. I do have a prepared response for this statement, but it doesn’t always fit my emotional or intellectual needs at the time. I hear the comment often enough (and I know you do as well) that I thought it a worthy topic to explore. My hope is that this article gives you ideas to help you craft your best response for any situation.
I believe there are a number of factors to consider when determining the best response to You Don’t Look Sick. Consider your:
- Disease activity level.
- Emotional status.
- Time since diagnosis.
- Relationship to the person.
Each time someone tells you that you don’t look sick, you need to examine your answers to all of these questions and ask yourself the ultimate question:
Why do you care?
Continue reading “You Don’t Look Sick! How Do you Respond to this Comment?”
I am so relieved that it is 2017! I am happy to say that I am feeling my usual self today. But it was hard work getting back to emotional and physical status quo — because the last four months of 2016 was absolute shit!
This blog post is about how the emotional stress of a major life event collided with my Sjögrens, caused a major Autoimmune Disease relapse, and what tools I used to pull myself back up to my usual state of normal. I also, now, have a game plan for the next major life event!
Continue reading “When Major Grief and Autoimmune Disease Collide”