In an effort to heal and feel better with autoimmune disease or chronic illness, we're often trying a variety of different techniques, tools and healing approaches.
We might make dietary changes, swap out toxic products for less-toxic alternatives, add daily exercise to our routine or attempt to reduce the stress in our lives.
And yet, before we make any of these changes, there are a few questions we should be asking ourselves first. These are the questions that make sure whatever we're doing (whatever dietary or lifestyle changes we're making or want to make) has the best chance of actually working.
After all, that's why we implement these shifts, right? We want whatever diet or stress management plan to work and, by that we mean, we want it to help us feel better.
In other words, most of us aren't going Paleo or practicing daily meditation solely because we think doing so will be super duper fun. Sure, it'd be great to fall in love with the practice eventually, but we're usually motivated upfront more so by the desire to feel better and the hope that this change is what will get us there.
That's why these questions are really helpful to ask before you actually make any dietary or lifestyle tweaks... especially if you want to feel better and heal from autoimmune disease!
If you're binging (or binge eating) with an autoimmune disease, then you're probably trying really hard to eat a certain way -- maybe to follow Paleo or the Autoimmune Protocol -- and yet you find yourself falling "off the wagon" and eating (probably a lot of) something you're not supposed to eat.
For many of us, it's not that we're binging because binging itself is a symptom of autoimmune disease, but rather we're binging because binging is a symptom of our efforts to control our food.
When it comes to binging and autoimmune disease, we're usually trying to control, manipulate or "guarantee" a certain health outcome. We want to go into remission. We want to feel better. We want to get off medication or stop a flare. (Though, we might *also* be trying to control weight or body image, too.)
This means that even if you've been diagnosed with Celiac disease and have an allergy to gluten, any binging is likely not a reaction to the act of physically restricting gluten but is more so a reaction to the mental and emotional experience of not eating gluten. (In other words, it has to do what you think, feel and believe about not eating gluten.)
The good news is this: You don't have to change what you're eating to stop binging. (Especially if you're eating in accordance with medical restrictions, allergies, intolerances, personal preferences, etc.) Instead, you want to change how you think and how you feel about what's on your plate!
When we're first diagnosed with an autoimmune disease or chronic illness, we have to adopt a specific "operating system" to help us move through our new reality, right?
For example, we're asked, often over and over and over again, about the symptoms we're experiencing, when those symptoms first appeared, and what (if anything) provides relief. Because autoimmune disease and chronic illness is often invisible, it's usually up to us as patients to provide as much data as we possibly can.
However, even though we may eventually be diagnosed, start treatment, or find ourselves in management mode... that hyper-vigilance we've been trained to do doesn't always go away. It doesn't matter if we're no longer in immediate danger, the brain is still looking for any sign of a possible problem that needs to be solved.
Enter: My experience with healthy anxiety.