How to Thrive When Suffering From Multiple Auto-Immune Syndrome
Knowing which foods promote inflammation and which foods typically prevent inflammation is essential.
Written by Dawn Ferguson on June 12, 2022
Living with an autoimmune disease is beyond tough. Each has no known cause and no cure, so managing an autoimmune disease is a lifelong journey. You need the discipline of a soldier, the skills of a nutritionist, and the determination of a fighter. If it takes so much to live with an autoimmune disease, how much harder would it be to suffer from multiple autoimmune diseases?
Meet Elle Hutchinson
In the suburbs of Charlotte, North Carolina lives a 31 year-old middle-school teacher suffering from multiple autoimmune diseases. Elle Hutchinson juggles lupus, psoriatic arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis. Elle opens up on just how difficult living not just with one, but four different autoimmune diseases is.
Approximately 25% of persons with autoimmune disorders have a proclivity to develop additional autoimmune diseases, according to Lauren Lippincott Lives with five autoimmune diseases. Polyautoimmunity refers to those who have more than one autoimmune illness. Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome refers to a person who has three or more identified autoimmune illnesses (MAS).
“It all started for me when I was in my teens when I began to get dry skin on my head, ears, and elbows.
I had aches and pains that were bothering me since I spent the most of my leisure time doing sports, swimming, or riding my bike,” Elle said.
“I recall being informed that it was most likely a combination of "growing pains" and eczema, and that I would eventually grow out of it.”
“I truly had psoriasis, but it would be a decade after my symptoms appeared that I was diagnosed. Unfortunately, psoriasis may impact the joints and cause arthritis, which it did to me. No one really talked about autoimmune diseases so I had absolutely no idea. I just trusted that my doctor knows more than me so I left it at that,” laments Elle.
“I began college while still experiencing aches and pains. That's when I began to feel exhausted all of the time. The doctor informed me that glandular fever was common among students, that I should relax, and that it will pass.”
“But I had to quit athletics because of my exhaustion just couldn’t do it anymore. I even found studying and working part-time to be utterly tiring. Looking back, I believe I was suffering from autoimmune symptoms, but I didn't have the energy or worldliness to obtain a more correct diagnosis.”
“In my twenties, a slew of additional symptoms appeared to reside with the constant weariness, including constant coldness, losing hair, puffiness around my eyes, kidney infections, and periodic chest discomfort. Not to mention my sudden lack of coordination, flareups, and pains and aches. I was still working part-time and unable to concentrate or even get out of bed. Mornings, in particular, were bad, but a combination of a prescribed steroid, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID), and an immune-suppressing drug helped me struggle through grueling days at my college.”
“Only when I had to be hospitalized because I lost consciousness from both the pain and fatigue was I diagnosed with multiple autoimmune disorders.”
Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome
Autoimmune disorders are defined by healthcare specialists as conditions that arise when the immune system, which typically defends the body from infection by battling germs and viruses, behaves improperly by attacking the body's own healthy cells.
Inflammation occurs in the joints, organs, blood vessels, tendons, skin, and other tissues.
Some disorders increase the probability of a person developing another autoimmune disease. Rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune thyroiditis, Sjogren's syndrome, and other diseases fall within this category.
Because they are treated by various doctors for different reasons, some patients may be unaware that they have two or more autoimmune disorders. For example, a patient may suffer ulcerative colitis, which affects the intestines, and seek treatment from a gastroenterologist. Meanwhile, she may develop vitiligo, a skin condition, and seek treatment from a specialist. The patient may be unaware that they are both autoimmune disorders.
“I couldn’t believe it at first. How can I have so many autoimmune disorders? It didn’t seem possible. But the more I thought about it and the more I read up on it, it started to make sense. The symptoms, the changes in my body, the way I reacted to my meds, these were really so many things wrong with me and no one caught it until now.”
“My doctors, for the longest time, couldn’t get me the help I needed. All the trials and prescriptions and all the medicine, nothing worked. Sometimes it even made things so much work.”
Multiple autoimmune disorders, according to research, may be caused by family or genetic causes, as well as immunological or psychological variables. Environmental triggers, on the other hand, may put in motion the emergence of a second disease and may be the primary cause of the increased prevalence of MAS.
Nutrition and Support for MAS
“I had felt so alone. No one I know really understands what Im going through. I had to navigate managing so many disorders by myself. I had to stop sports, so I grew apart from my friends there. I can’t really go to parties so I never really made many friends in college either. And my family and friends from home are thousands of miles away so it was lonely and scary,” Elle said.
The sensation of being alone with their condition is a recurrent issue among persons living with an autoimmune disease. Many persons with chronic autoimmune disease believe that those closest to them lack comprehension of their experiences and are hesitant to learn more about their illness. This can lead to sentiments of rejection, which in turn can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
“My cousins recommended that I join Facebook groups and they really helped a lot,” Elle recounted. “Knowing that thousands also experience the same thing as me made me feel a lot better. Plus, their tips and recommendations made my life a hundred percent easier. It’s a safe place to share information and support about various autoimmune diseases. I made close friends there!”
“The absolute best tip I’ve received was to focus on my diet and nutrition. It had been a miracle for me. It wasn’t easy at first, of course, but now, its second nature.”
When asked what kind of changes and diet worked, she revealed all.
The Anti-Inflammatory Diet
“I started using the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. It’s been so helpful! It’s a diet that I can easily incorporate. This is one of those plans that you can so totally adapt to "real life" and with a mirage of autoimmune diseases I have, taking down the inflammation naturally is the safest yet most effective option. And its effective not only short term but in the long run as well.”
"This is a complete guide to what you will need to start making critical changes to the way you eat! The authors make what could be challenging for most of us completely doable. They lay out a simple to follow plan including tips for how to prepare for change. Another plus is that most of the recipes contain less than eight ingredients. So happy I bought this book!"
"I absolutely love this book! For years I had constant pain throughout my body. All the test came back negative. I decided to go on an anti inflammatory diet and bought this book. The book breaks done your shopping list for you along with what to eat three meals a day, for 2 weeks and extra recipes. After one month, I lost 14 pounds, pain is almost gone, I am sleeping better, and my energy is up. I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants a life changing experience!"
"Even if you don't think you need an anti-inflammation eating plan, you will find many delicious recipes in this book. I admit we haven't tried most of them, but the recipes we've prepared have been delicious. There's a solid introduction to the concepts of anti-inflammation diets and the book gives many options for vegans, vegetarians, paloes, etc. The recipes are not super complicated and do not require many weird ingredients. Our naturopath suggested that my husband and I go on an anti-inflammation eating plan. I highly recommend this cookbook."
"I found this book to be most helpful in planning recipes that definitely help to reduce inflammation and bring weight loss. I really wasn't expecting weight loss with this book but I shed about three pounds the first week. I found the recipes to be very easy to follow with easy to find ingredients. I also like that the recipes are economical as they repeat as leftovers throughout the plan. There are only two weeks of meal plans in the book and that might not be enough for those looking for a longer meal schedule. If you cook, you will be able to follow the additional recipes and make your own meals off of the allowed foods list. Some recipes can be bland but I fixed that by adding additional spices and seasonings. My main goal was to get help with finding easily prepared meals that would reduce my inflammation without sacrificing on taste. I feel this book did both and I am losing weight too. I do recommend the book if you are looking for simple recipes that you can fix over the weekend and eat on throughout the week."
An anti-inflammatory diet involves eating nutrient-rich, whole foods that reduce inflammation. It contains plenty of fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3s. This means a diet rich in vegetables, whole fruit, whole grains, legumes, and fatty fish – that is as unprocessed as possible.
“My guide to the anti-inflammatory diet is absolutely amazing. It was The Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan for Beginners. This guide taught me everything, seriously! This is a complete guide to what you will need to start making critical changes to the way you eat. Plus all its recipes are easy and delicious.”
“This book has saved my life. I have stuck to the meal preps and recipes and I have felt more energetic and healthy. I was pleased to learn these new ideas, and upon the first recipe, I recognized how comforting and delicious all the recipes are! It has meal planning guides, how to start guides, even a food diary guide,” Elle said. “I found out why it’s so amazing. It's was made by in-depth insider expert take on meal plans and recipes that actually work!”
It’s been a year since Elle started this anti-inflammatory diet and she’s back playing sports. With the combination of a tried prescription from her doctor and this lifestyle change, it’s as if she hasn’t had the disorders in the first place.
“I’m now in remission and I have my life back. I can’t believe it was possible. I will recommend this guide to everyone with autoimmune disease or chronic inflammation like me.”
Here's What Customers Are Saying…
"The book begins with an overview of what an anti-inflammatory diet is, and what it all means. Helping one to understand can lead to someone making life changes. The book continues showing all the benefits of using this lifestyle choice As the book progresses, it shows what foods to eat and what to avoid. This may be a struggle because many foods that taste good are bad for the body. The book begins to show recipes of what is good to eat for the body. Many people love eggs. And there are a variety of egg recipes. There are many nuts, and seeds in a lot of these which are good for the body. For those who love such things as Tofu for breakfast, this book would be good for you. If you don’t like tofu there are other options such as meats and fish. Overall, I enjoy this book and I hope others can find something they can enjoy eating!"
"I bought this book after a significant flare up from rheumatoid arthritis which left me hospitalised, unable to move. Since buying this book I've adjusted what I eat on a daily basis and added in things that act as an anti inflammatory. It has done wonders, I've noticed a real difference, possibly even more so than medication."
"This is a great cookbook to purchase if you are looking to eat healthier, but still have great taste and flavor along with the healthiness of the meal. I loved that the introduction was so informative about the anti-inflammatory diet; the author even lists out reported benefits of switching to the anti-inflammatory lifestyle. One of these benefits was “less stress about what to eat.” Meal planning with these healthy recipes will definitely help end the neverending “what’s for dinner” question that plagues your family almost nightly. There are tips included to help you follow the lifestyle, which are helpful to those who find themselves often falling off of the wagon. There is a special section with tips on what foods to eat to follow this lifestyle, along with what foods to avoid to follow this lifestyle. There are too many under that “avoid” list that are sitting in my pantry, but it’s never too late to start eating healthier!"
- Therese Julianne
“Amazing! A great way to start out a diet! Love this book, simple and very informative. Hope it will help to change my eating behavior. I absolutely loved the sheer number of recipes that were included in this cookbook! This is a fabulous cookbook to have in your arsenal. Plenty of recipes to choose from so that you won’t have to keep making the same five meals over and over again.”