OVERCOMING Polymyositis Part II – Taking Back My Health

Author:  Elizabeth Sanchez

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
Hippocrates

Some would say that this should have been the worse moment of my life, however, it has proven to be the biggest blessing that I’ve ever received. It woke me up! I had my Oprah “AHA!” moment and realized that it was completely logical that it had come back, since I had changed absolutely nothing about my lifestyle. Whatever combinations of things that had caused and triggered the disease were still present. That’s when I took responsibility for my own health. I had to understand and learn what was going to heal me. There would be no easy way out; no magic pill. It would require work, sacrifice, dedication, perseverance and faith!

The real work was just starting! My dad suggested getting in touch with a nutritionist in New York that he knew who specialized in nutrition as a means of recovery from illness. After speaking with her, she suggested I immediately remove wheat and white processed sugar from my diet. Her formula was 60% vegetables, 10% protein, 10% good carbs, and 10% starch. The rationale behind giving up sugar is because white sugar causes your white blood cells to become enlarged and sluggish. It is the exact opposite of what we need to happen during illness. We want our body’s defenses to be fast, effective and efficient. By eliminating white sugar, we can significantly impact our chances of successfully battling our illnesses. The elimination of wheat (gluten) comes because digestion of gluten is very difficult for the human body, especially the large amounts of it that the average person consumes daily. The idea is to consume things that are easier for digestion, so that the body can devote its energy towards fighting the illness rather than for digestion. It seems logical and simple…because it is! It’s about understanding how your body works and giving it the tools to do its job.

Giving your body the proper nutrients is vital! I had to find out what I was deficient in and add the foods and supplements that would replenish my depleted system and enable my body to do it’s job of fighting this disease. Diet is a huge part of the process of healing, however, it is not the only part. You can take all the supplements in the world and eat the best diet, but if your body is filled with toxins from years of abuse (environmental, diet, smoking, alcohol, prescription drug use, illegal drug use, chemically laden products, etc.), you will never reap the benefits of these changes. Imbalances in the body, deficiencies and toxins cause illness! From a clinical perspective, these are easy to detect if you have a competent lab that can accurately identify and perform the correct tests. The hardest part is determining the cause! Everything in the body is connected; so one deficiency can lead to an imbalance, which might stem from a toxic element that you don’t even realize you are being exposed to! So the first steps of changing your diet must also be combined with detoxing the body. I am convinced that the majority of diseases stems from the toxic buildup that is present in our digestive track. We are all predisposed to disease and illness due to our genetic makeup. Whether these illnesses and diseases strike, depends on our lifestyle choices and what we are expose to, which in turn can cause these dormant cells to become active within our bodies.

Detoxing is vitally important, but it is also dangerous. These same toxins are part of the reason that caused your illness. To bring them all out, too fast, is dangerous and can cause the illness to worsen, if an appropriate individualized detox program isn’t designed and implemented. There is no formula, because each person brings a different set of circumstances to the disease, so detox must be an individually prescribed process. My choice was to detox using natural products (green tea, raw foods, etc.) in my diet, as well as nutritional products from Metagenics that are designed for detoxification. My belief and preference is that detox should happen in the same way as God had intended…to quote my personal trainer “from North to South”. Many people use colonics and enemas as a detox and cleansing ritual, however, for me, I felt the severity of my reaction to this disease, made me want to handle detox more conservatively and not try methods that were too aggressive. However, I am currently advising a young woman (32 years old), diagnosed with PM. She has been not only following the diet and taking the necessary nutrients/supplements, but she has seen great effects from enemas as part of her detox program. Once again…each person is very different and there is no one formula that will work, but there are certain truths that can be applied for all those suffering from illness.

Just as human beings are multifaceted, healing must also take place on several levels. It’s about healing the complete person: BODY, MIND and SPIRIT! The diet, supplements, Chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, massage therapy and water therapy exercises helps the body, but the other two areas may address the root of the problem for many of us. Trauma that has been left emotionally unresolved, resentment, anger, jealousy and stress are just a few of the things that we need to deal with and that will contribute in the development of any disease/illness when left unresolved.

For me, I did positive affirmations, prayer, reiki and read powerfully impactful books that helped me put my life into perspective. I stayed away from negativity (negative people, daily news reports, depressing movies… I became a “chic flicks only” kind of gal!!!). I watched TV programs that could help me gain insight and improve myself in various aspects of my life. As I slowly started to improve, I used my energy to do positive things and found ways to contribute to those less fortunate.

(Did you miss part I? Check it out here

Check back next week for Part III

Author:

Myositis Support and Understanding Association (MSU) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to improve the day-to-day lives of Myositis patients. MSU is a patient-centered organization, founded by Myositis patients, for Myositis patients, and believes education, support, advocacy, and assistance are key to helping patients and caregivers. As a nonprofit, we rely on donations for funding and volunteers to help manage our fast growing organization.

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PIONEER, Idera clinical trial for dermatomyositis

PIONEER, Idera clinical trial for dermatomyositis

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